FORESTDALE'S TEACHING KITCHEN IS NOW OFFICIALLY OPEN!
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joined Forestdale supporters, staff, and clients on a beautiful afternoon, Thursday, May 16, 2019, for the Teaching Kitchen ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception. Forestdale’s Chef Hannah MacDonald, who has provided culinary instruction at Forestdale since January of this year, and guest Chef Michael Kimberg coordinated the food preparation by supervising the adolescents in our Culinary Arts Internship Program, highlighting healthy options and proper culinary technique that the youth have learned in Forestdale’s Strong Futures Internship (SFI) program. They did a fabulous job making such dishes as a seasonal fruit bowl with strawberry yogurt sauce, a crudité platter served with hummus and a caramelized onion dip, ricotta phyllo cups, banana bites, and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, all served beautifully to the guests in silver serving platters. A terrific job! The Teaching Kitchen was first conceptualized by former Forestdale Executive Director Anstiss Agnew, back in 2006. She understood the fact that adolescents aging out of foster care need marketable skills such as food preparation (i.e., culinary arts), and must learn how to stretch their food dollars without sacrificing good taste and nutrition. Bill Weisberg took up that baton when he assumed the role of Executive Director of Forestdale in 2016. Forestdale's Culinary Arts Internship, led by our Strong Futures/Youth Development department, increases the odds for our youth by working with top chefs to prepare the interns with marketable skills for gainful employment, and the lifelong skills to cook healthy, nutritious meals for themselves and their families.