Summer is in full swing at Latin American Youth Center. Through DC’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), 18 young people are working in our Food & Nutrition Program to hone their cooking skills, learn about work opportunities in the food industry, and explore foods from different cultures.

Throughout this six-week intensive, youth are writing blog entries to share what they’ve been up to. You can check out our previous posts here and here.

LAYC Food & Nutrition students spent the fourth week of the program learning about US southern cooking and exploring food justice issues.
Johanny writes:

“Esta semana fue una semana muy divertida e interesante. Aprendimos sobre “southern food.” El chef Sam Jones nos enseñó a cocinar una jambalaya.

También cocinamos varias comidas representando nuestras distintas culturas. En el primer grupo preparamos una ensalada de pasta, versión latina, y el otro grupo cocinó lo mein. Llevamos los platos que cocinamos al farmers market donde los dimos a personas para que los probaran y le dimos las recetas e información para que ellos podrían prepararlos en casa.”

Myla writes:

“This week we explored the culinary styles and foods of the US southern region. On Monday, our peers gave an introductory presentation about Southern food. On Tuesday, Chef Sam Jones from Occasions Catering gave us a demonstration on Cajun and Creole jambalaya. On Wednesday, we formed small groups to create a Southern-style meal, which we cooked on Thursday. One group made barbeque chicken and mashed potatoes and the other group made cornbread and peach cobbler. Everything was made from scratch, including the barbeque sauce. This was probably the best summer cooking experience for everyone because we were able to try foods that we were already familiar with.”

Over the next two weeks, youth will learn about Salvadoran food and dive into their final projects, so stay tuned for the next report!

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