Fun in the Kitchen
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Fun in the Kitchen

There's something cooking...

It's Ray Newlands, culinary teacher and chef extraordinaire. His skill with spatulas and sauté pans knows no bounds. Newlands, known as Short Chef by his students and other aficionados, has spent the greater part of his career cooking for others and teaching good culinary and eating habits. For twenty years he has owned his own catering business, aptly named Ray Newlands Catering, where he fulfils his passion to create memorable meals and events for his clients.

But Newlands has another passion. Combining his love of cooking, teaching and children, he has made it his mission to instruct kids in the fine art of culinary preparation with a focus on good nutrition. At a time when obesity and type II diabetes are said to have reached epidemic proportions among children, Newlands is taking matters into his own hands; or rather, into the kitchen.
"We are responsible for what kids are eating," said Newlands, who has developed his own class called simply "Kids Cooking". Children ages six and older can sign up for six or eight week classes that meet once a week. The classes are currently held during afterschool hours at All Angels Academy.

"I supply the kids with aprons, chef hats, and recipe books," said Newlands. "The key of the direction of the cooking class is to teach nutrition and good eating habits to the kids. I always talk about food safety, hygiene, and the food pyramid. The program is designed with kids not touching knives or fire. I also don't cook with salt. I use fresh herbs as often as I can."
Newlands has extended his outreach to other areas of Miami as well. He has collaborated with the New York based non-profit organization Spoons Across America, whose mission is, like Newlands, to promote healthy eating and family meals at the dining room table.
By Rita Mayor, River Cities Gazette

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