From Guest Blogger Natalia Barolin, weekly volunteer at our Columbia Heights site...
As Carina feared in her recent post, the snow this season has been relentless and Brainfood was snowed out through the Valentine’s Day class. With schools closed for Presidents Day we’ll transition back with a short week and I for one am anxious to dig out and dig into class this week.
In the meantime, the Chinatown class was not the only one with a guest chef adventure to reflect on. On the eve of the first of two huge snow storms (given a flurry of nicknames like snowpocalypse or snowmageddon), we had Chef Robert Barolín, from the City Square Café in Old Town Manassas, Virginia teach us how to work with shrimp and introduce an Italian menu of bruschetta, homemade Italian dressing, and Mediterranean shrimp. This was a particularly special day for me because Chef Robert is also my dad and the menu included some of my favorite dishes.
My dad eased right into class with his gregarious personality and charming accent that drew the kids right in. My Dad is from Uruguay where the cuisine is traditionally based on its European roots (ours in Italy), which characterize his cooking.
A few of the students have been to Italy and were excited to learn more about the food and hear about our family background. But despite some familiarity with Italian cuisine, the class was defined by firsts.