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SuperChefs Cookery For Kids Summer Report 2021

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Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a dramatic shift in the way we delivered our hands-on SuperChefs Cookery program to our young and enthusiastic chefs. Despite the progress in B.C.’s COVID-19 reopening plan, we made the decision to deliver camps virtually again in 2021.

SuperChefs Cookery for Kids - virtual camps part 2!

Similar to last year, online camps ran for a duration of 2 weeks each, where Zoom cooking lessons and nutrition/oral health & movement lessons were delivered on alternate days. With 34 different staff members, employed by the Canada Summer Jobs Program, SuperChefs was able to reach over 110 campers in July and August, more than double the campers from 2020.

Our camp kits proved to be a great success in creating an engaging and impactful experience for our campers last summer. As a result, we were incredibly grateful when the Cloverdale Community Kitchen partnered with us, offering their kitchen space to us as a means to store and pack the contents of our camp kits this year. In our SuperChefs kits, campers received fresh and local produce for our cooking lessons, a laminated brushing & flossing chart, and a bingo contest challenge among other items.

Pick-ups this year were hosted at Dr. Greg’s dental office Surrey Place Dental Group at Central City.
Conveniently situated right next to the Surrey Central SkyTrain station, the office was more centrally located and accessible for families across the Lower Mainland. Furthermore, with our new pick-up location, we had access to a refrigerator to safely store perishable ingredients before families came for their designated time slots. As a result, we had more flexibility during our research and development phase in recipe creation as more ingredient options were possible. We were honoured to have Surrey City Councillor Linda Annis and Member of Parliament Ken Hardie visit us at one of our pick-up days to see our program in action.

One of the most exciting additions to the camps this year was an all-new scripted web series. Co-produced by Dr. Greg and brought to life by a team of film & broadcasting graduates, the series follows 13-year-old Lily (played by Scotia Browner) as she learns what it means to be a SuperChef under the tutelage of Dr. Greg himself (now a puppet played by Lucien Lum). Joined by old & new characters from the SuperChefs universe, the series takes the campers through recipes, nutrition and dental lessons, movement routines, and even a rap about brushing their teeth! But the most challenging and rewarding episode to produce was the season finale, a farm tour shot at and featuring Rondriso Farms and Lindrian Farms here in Surrey, BC, showing campers where the ingredients for their vegetable frittatas they made in camps come from.

With the series having been well received in the camps, Dr. Greg & the production team are now working on a half-hour pilot episode, hoping to bring the rebooted SuperChefs world and vision to TV & streaming services across Canada and the world.

Another exciting collaboration this year was with dietetic interns from Columbia University’s Teachers
College in an effort to scale our program. We created a Train-the-Trainer program, with a comprehensive website with multiple modules - complete with learning objectives, written and visual material, and additional resources such as accompanying webinars. Our aim was to create a program that could be used as a tool by our partners and new staff members to train them about the SuperChefs model - complete with our rich history and how to plan & execute camps - in order to carry out their OWN interpretation of our mission, suitable to their community’s needs without compromising the integrity of our core values. As a result, the interns worked with a local community organization, SEED Harlem, to give virtual workshops to grade 6 students that were adapted to the unique and diverse makeup of their community.

The feedback and response we received from both campers and their families were tremendously
encouraging despite not being able to interact with our campers in-person. Before camps, 58% of families said they rarely cooked together but after camps, 95% of families said they enjoyed spending time together in the kitchen! Virtual SuperChefs served as a fun bonding activity for families while also helping to develop important habits and life skills. Our efforts were also congratulated with a feature in the Surrey Now-Leader! As we continue to navigate through these challenging times, SuperChefs is proud to continue to engage children on the importance of healthy living while bringing the fun to their own kitchens!