We are happy to introduce Ms. Adrian Gaino, our cooking instructor. She has been cooking with us on staff for over two years, leading the classes every Monday afternoon at Hayward Recreation Center and during the summer at Hayes Valley South, with Adrian Almquist, CommunityGrows Garden Educator. Ms. Gaino has been a long time participant of CommunityGrows, first volunteering and watching her nine children, most of whom have gone through our programs over the years. Now on our staff, she continues to bring her enthusiasm and cooking knowledge to our youth. She works with other staff to plan the recipes, buy the supplies and set up the agenda for the day. Often the cooking involves sharing knowledge of various cultures and different types of vegetables. On any given day you might find the youth preparing and enjoying salads, sushi, veggie stirfry, burritos, Chinese dumplings, Canjun fritters, or sautéed greens. Ms. Gaino is there offering her support and encouragement.
One of her children, Ashante, has also worked with us in our cooking classes, and just spent a year in South Korea, and will be going to Azerbaijan in the fall to teach English. Another child, Anija, participated in our BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) Program and was accepted into the Conservation Corp program last year. We are really happy to have them all connected to CommunityGrows.
We also offer opportunities for chefs to join us in preparing and serving some of their favorite dishes. On May 8th, Kennard Smith, former chef of Firefly Restaurant, joined us for his second year to teach the youth at Hayward Recreation Center about Cajun food. If you would like to participate, please contact us on our volunteer page. Happy Cooking! Happy Eating!