Thursday, January 22, 2015

Girl Scouts Hone their Culinary Skills at Cooking Workshop

Girl Scout Ambassador Imani with Chef Dedra
On Saturday, January 17, over 60 Girl Scouts put their culinary skills to the test as they participated in a workshop to learn cooking skills and explore careers in the culinary arts at Stratford University in Newport News. The workshop was led by Chef Dedra Blount and Debra Brabson, owners of Now You’re Cooking, a culinary studio in Chesapeake. From chopping and dicing to marinating and frying, Girl Scouts spent the day learning their way around the kitchen and honed their culinary skills.

During the workshop, middle-school aged Girl Scouts prepared chicken stir fry, kiwi and strawberry trifles and hummus as part of the requirements to earn their New Cuisines badge. This badge is designed to teach girls about how culinary possibilities are as diverse as the people around the globe who cook them. Girl Scouts in ninth and tenth grade made Mediterranean salads and pork chops, as they learned about the benefits of using locally-sourced seasonal foods and earned the Locavore badge. The oldest Girl Scouts, those who are juniors and seniors in high school, worked on earning the Dinner Party badge by creating a multi-course meal, including cream of broccoli soup, stuffed chicken breast and crepes.

Girl Scout Cadette Charlotte
In addition to teaching the girls culinary skills, Chef Dedra and Debra make it a point to help girls gain critical thinking skills and confidence. They want to help girls achieve their cooking goals and instill in them a sense of accomplishment and feeling of confidence that will last beyond their time in the kitchen. They also encourage girls to think about where their food comes from and how their food choices can affect their health, the environment and the economy.

“We want children to have a better appreciation for food,” Chef Dedra said. “We teach them the basics of food so that they can learn to eat well as they grow older.”

At the end of the workshop, Girl Scouts had the opportunity to taste test their dishes and enjoy a meal together.
Girl Scout Cadettes Alexandra and Allison
Chef Dedra and Debra will be supporting Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast as participants in the upcoming Samoa Soiree, an adult-only tasting event where chefs use Girl Scout Cookies to create unique desserts and appetizers. Samoa Soiree will take place on March 7 at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in Norfolk. More information about the event and purchasing tickets can be found at

View more photos from the day here.