One lazy day, while doing a little channel flipping, we came across a program that really caught our attention! Being Encinitas locals, we were first drawn in by the familiar beach-side locations. A show being filmed right in our home town? Our interest was piqued.
The show was none other than “The Good Food Factory” a fresh take on your traditional cooking show. There are a number of things that set “The Good Food Factory” apart, from it’s effervescent hostess Amanda Curry to the gorgeous shots of the Southern California coast, but what we love is that this is a cooking show targeting young people, teaching them to cook healthfully and to love doing it!
This show is just what the doctor ordered! How often do you hear dismal news reports discussing the childhood obesity crisis? Newscasters have become adept at criticizing the modern diet and ever diminishing activity levels of the young, yet rarely do you hear a real, practical solution in these broadcasts. “The Good Food Factory” offers just that. Teach children to take control of their diet, and develop a lifelong love of cooking and eating well!
What’s not to love? Amanda approaches each recipe as an exciting new project. She exudes such joy and vivaciousness that children and grown ups alike can’t help but share her enthusiasm.
In the episode we caught Surfboard Sandwiches, the camera follows our hostess and her young friend Dagan through the entire process of bringing a meal to fruition. Amanda easily turns a trip to the grocery store into a whimsical adventure, but it is in the kitchen that she really shines.
Amanda embews such a sense of fun and wonder into her cooking that you would believe she’s working magic. In a way, she is. She is transforming the way an entire generation of children will approach their diet.
After a bit of searching on the web, we discovered that in addition to creating and hosting “The Good Food Factory” Amanda teaches classes at The Center For Healthy Lifestyle in the neighboring city of Solana Beach. We just had to sit in on one of these classes!
The Center For Healthy Lifestyle is a beautiful yellow cottage, complete with an organic garden. Inside, we found Amanda, dressed in a green apron and chefs hat, playing host to a gaggle of excited youngsters, 14 to be exact, in the kitchen. The children sat around the island atop wooden stools, the room bubbling with their laughter. You could tell they were already entranced.
Amanda passed print-outs of the day’s recipe to all the students, Homemade Soft Pretzels. She presented an assortment of ingredients that the children could choose to add to their pretzels; berries, nuts, cheese, broccoli, even crushed pretzel pieces. She then let the children know that they had access to the entire garden outback, and anything they picked, they would be welcome to mix in.
The children were delighted to explore the lush garden, and pelted Amanda with an onslaught of questions about the various fruits and vegetables they discovered. They brought their new found treasures to the sink to wash them off, brimming with pride. It was amazing to see children come alive like this over vegetables, the proverbial nemesis of children everywhere. Amanda was already working her magic.
Back in the kitchen, Amanda had one little girl assist her in showing how to roll the dough and twist it into the shape of a classic pretzel. The children were eager to get their fingers around it. Creativity was abound. Some children twirled the traditional shape, while others created blueberry topped snakes, and cheese sprinkled whales. When they were finished, Amanda put the pretzels on a tray, lined with butcher paper, and wrote the name of the student each belonged to beside these works of art.
The class then was split into groups to create team pretzels. These team pretzels would be collaborative efforts, which would be sampled by all. Amanda delegated different ingredients to each group, some kids tackling a broccoli and cheese pretzel, while others worked with strawberries or crushed pretzel bits. The kids cheerfully worked together, giggling and joking with one another.
As the group pretzels were whisked away to the oven, Amanda helped the children prepare a variety of dips for the pretzels using natural ingredients such as honey, yogurt, berries and vanilla.
The children were given paper bags in which to bring their personal pretzels home and share with their families. Amanda then announced each groups’ pretzel, and it’s individual ingredients, cutting them into 14 pieces and letting each child have a taste.
As the children’s parents arrived, they proudly showed off their pretzels, and their finds from the garden. One little boy excitedly asked Amanda “Can I take my Swiss chard home with me?” Never has a child brimmed with such elation over his vegetables.
The class was a triumphant success. A curiosity has been awakened in these children that won’t easily be smoldered out. Food is no longer something they will just passively graze on, but something to be celebrated and enjoyed. For many of these children, their diet will become something they actively participate in and want to more fully understand. This is the first step in adopting a healthy lifestyle, and it’s wonderful that someone like Amanda Curry is devoted to fostering this in young people.
Join The Fun
The Good Food Factory is trying to raise funds to shoot another season, spreading the joy to even more youngsters, and they’re looking for your help! The Good Food Factory would gladly partner with businesses or like-minded people that share in the vision of making healthy food fun. If interested, contact Amanda directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To sign up for Amanda’s classes, visit The Good Food Factory website: http://www.thegoodfoodfactory.com/
Or email Amanda Curry: email@example.com
First class is free sponsored by Jimbo’s…Naturally!
The Good Food Factory can be seen on channel 4SD in San Diego every Saturday afternoon at 2:30 pm and Wednesday afternoons at 4:00pm.
If you are outside of the San Diego area, check out “The Good Food Factory” sizzle reel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvCKjumFtkM&feature=player_embedded
And a FULL episode “The Sleepover” is also featured on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/13398546
Become a fan of The Good Food Factory on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheGoodFoodFactory?ref=ts&v=wall
-To Your Health!