Youth experience – Kids in the Kitchen fills need

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Daisy Dickson (above) manages Kids in the Kitchen at the Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center in Guttenberg. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

The Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center, located at 214 South River Park Drive is home to Kids in the Kitchen, a welcome environment where culinary creativity meets youthful curiosity.  

Kitchen mission

Come school student and kitchen manager Daisy Dickson of Guttenberg, and Guttenberg Gallery Owner Cindy Olsen believe a kitchen is not just a place for grown-ups, but a vibrant space for children to explore, learn, and have an enjoyable time while discovering the joys of cooking. Their mission is to inspire the next generation of chefs by providing a fun and educational platform that encourages kids to roll up their sleeves, don a chef's hat, and embark on exciting culinary adventures.

Filling the gap

The budding chef and entrepreneur is grateful for the cooperation and guidance Olsen provided when the Dickson family first moved to the community. Olsen visited with Daisy about her concerns over the absence of wholesome activities for individuals her age. Daisy was used to a more diverse selection of activities that young people could participate in before moving to the area. As newcomers, she and her sisters struggled to find something to do outside of Clayton Ridge athletics and their home school day. "Cindy was so helpful and open minded about my concerns," she commented. 

Creating space for youth

Through the years the Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center has offered numerous programs and activities to engage youth of all ages to experience and experiment with their artistic abilities, offering after-school programs and self-guided opportunities with several art mediums.

Kids in the Kitchen

Olsen offered the gallery's kitchen to Daisy and her homeschool group, and Kids in the Kitchen became a reality. The young group of energetic aspiring chefs, budding baristas, helpful host and hostess and waiters and waitress in training commandeered the certified, efficient kitchen and feed hungry tourists and community members lunch on specified days.

"I was in charge of the kids. They do like to have fun!" she laughed. Aiyana, one of the older girls in our homeschool group took care of the pastries, ran the counter and helped manage the younger kids.  I put together all the recipes and directed the kids on how to serve."

Youth work experience

Although Daisy does enjoy cooking she was more interested in doing something for the community. A lack of leadership programs makes it tough for youth to get a job without any work experience. Adult managers running a thriving business often do not have the patience or time to train youth properly.  Kids in the Kitchen offers younger individuals the opportunity to work one day a week, explore their interests and learn valuable skills. "We are all learning and try to share our talents and knowledge about polite, efficient service, appropriate appearance, artistic presentation, and food safety, such as cleaning the counters and safe handling of chemicals to clean kitchen utensils and service ware, but also allowing a cartwheel or two, and spontaneous bursts of song from eager volunteers," she listed.  

On the Web

Learning to build a website was another skill Daisy acquired under Olsen's tutelage "It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun to create our Kids in the Kitchen website. I hope you visit it soon for information on upcoming projects," she concluded. 

For additional information see online at https://kidsinthekitchen21.wixsite.com/kids-in-the-kitchen.

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