Saturday, May 16, 2015

Happy Food Revolution Day... At Northview We Smashed and Squashed It!...


It was a high energy day that began with racked nerves on May 15th cooking up with 1250 students- a majority of Northview Heights Secondary School (1500 student body)... and Jamie himself making a special live video appearance!! In addition, 200 grade 8s came for a tour in the morning and enjoyed Jamie's oatmeal cookie tweaked into breakfast bars, which is baked up every morning by the staff in the baking class in fact- the school's best seller! With teachers, 30 grade 3s from their family school Wilmington and other guests invited to participate, there were about 1500 people taking part on Food Revolution Day! A successful day indeed! Here was my presentation to kick-off the sandwich-making activities across three main areas of Northview- cafeteria where I was based, library and gymnasium and the balance in their respective classrooms...

Good Morning Northview! Today we’re celebrating Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day! Hands up if you know what Food Revolution Day is all about – who can tell me?

That’s right – Food Revolution Day is all about getting back in the kitchen and learning to cook – something that many of you here at Northview are champions of already! But it’s not just us – kids all around the world are also celebrating Food Revolution Day – we’re all going to be cooking together!

This morning, you along with thousands of kids all over the world are going to learn how to make a simple sandwich that is not only tasty but also good for you and hopefully this will inspire you to go home and cook something with your family. Through Food Revolution Day, Jamie Oliver wants to bring back home cooking – because it’s a better way to eat, it’s better for us and it helps fight all those diet-related diseases that are becoming more common these days. Food Revolution Day is about being aware that eating good food can lead to healthier lives; it’s a day to get back into the kitchen to cook and celebrate good food with family, friends, classmates and colleagues!


Before we get going, I want to thank some people who have made this morning’s event possible: Your principal, Mr.Paputsis, the school admin, the Culinary Arts staff and in particular, Dimitra and Julia Ross who have gone over and beyond the call of duty to make all this happen!  Also a huge thank you goes out to Sobeys who have sponsored the sandwich ingredients and to AVI-SPL Canada for sponsoring their technical expertise, manpower and video equipment.

Jamie Oliver will be checking in with us soon – so are you all ready to get cooking? Let’s make, smash, crush, squash and eat Jamie's Squash It sandwich!


Thank you to fellow Super ambassador Mardi Michels (www.eatlivetravelwrite.com) for her awesome write-up of my presentation. My initial speech was shortened to speak directly to the students. I knew I could count on her- she's a great writer! To read her summary of my event as well as her food activities during the week with kids- in and out of school, see here on her blog.

Thank you also to fellow ambassador Linda Matarasso (www.starvingfoodie.blogspot.com) for her awesome photo-taking! Credits to her for most of these photos posted here!  Linda was my eyes and ears for the event. To see her rendition of the activities, check it out here on her blog.


With amazing Mardi Michels, Super Ambassador for CAN and Food Rev TO

Over 600 students, teachers, guests and 30 VIP guest 3rd graders from Wilmington School jam packed the cafeteria!



Northview's culinary team of teachers and students under the direction of Chef-teacher Dimitra Konstantakou prepared the ingredients ahead of time. Due to strict school rules of tools not being allowed to leave the kitchen areas, and to make the event possible for the massive volume of students, vegetables for the sandwich (cauliflower, pepper, cucumbers, shelled peas plus apples) were chopped and mixed up in prepared bowls for each table. The students get to spread the scratch-made hummus and cream cheese on both sides of whole wheat buns and then fill with the colourful mixture after crushing them in plastic ziplock bags and along with a layer of salad greens. Then the squashing and eating begins!

Groups of six surround tables to make the sandwiches!


Credit: Mardi Michels

Ziplock sandwich bags made smashing and crushing with knuckles fun and mess-free!
Credit: Mardi Michels

Credit: Mardi Michels



Voilà! A beaute!

With Linda Matarasso, my awesome Food Rev Toronto mate. 
  
Jamie connecting in giving us a brief wave and shout out to Canada on his Food Tube Channel covering Food Rev Day. The audio was not working properly and our moment with Jamie was short and sweet. Exciting nonetheless!


Our eyes peeled to the screen for Jamie. Photo repost: Northview Heights High School

Credit: Mardi Michels

Food Tube Channel covering Food Rev Day

Jamie can see us but can't hear us! We couldn't hear you too Jamie!

The aftermath... just what we'd like to see after all the smashing, crushing and squashing!


Jamie's mission is to create a strong movement to educate every child about food, to have families get back into the kitchens to cook again and to fight obesity. Many young people here in Ontario lack the skills to prepare a simple healthy, fresh meal from scratch because they have never been taught how. They have become so used to food that comes out of a box and into a microwave, they rarely consider there is another – better – way to eat. Cooking is an invaluable skill that’s being lost. And the result is an alarming increase of diet-related disease and that is happening across the globe. This year Jamie created a global petition to put food education back into the schools around the world. I am so excited to tell you that we have reached over a million signatures (every single country on the planet has signed), just before our big day (WooHoo!!) and the petition runs until October. The petition is open until the G20 Summit hosted in Turkey in November.  By then we are hoping to get millions of signatures! You can log onto change.org/jamie oliver to sign. It takes less than a minute.


This catchy Food Revolution Day Sign It Share It song is stuck in my head now. Created by UK superstar singer-songwriter Ed Sheenan and sung with celebrities and Jamie himself... revolution! Check it out:

Watch and listen to this cool song!

Northview's Culinary Department students, teachers and staff rallied up for a great photo op!

Photo Repost: Northview Heights High School

Photo Repost: Northview Heights High School

My favourite picture of all- a well-done group hug all around!
Photo Repost: Northview Heights High School

A fun-filled day had by all! My hope is that the kids were inspired to go home and cook something up with or for their family. Even making up something as simple as a sandwich could spark an interest that will lead them to try new things in the home kitchen and beyond. With a full-fledged culinary department and classes in full swing at Northview, they are more than halfway there in the exposure, and perhaps culinary school could be in the horizons for some :).

My utmost respect for Northview's chef-teacher Dimitra K. for all her hard work, dedication and detailed organization to this event with her amazing culinary team! With so many things on the go with her other food activities at the school as well as ours leading up to this big date, she executed and delivered on every level without a hitch! AMAZING!

With incredibly talented Chef Dimitra K. You rock big time!

My event got a mention in an article for Canadian Grocers "Sobeys Gets Behind Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day."



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