Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Sunset Bay Restaurant chef Michael Grisanti informs and entertains a group of Silver Creek Elementary School students during a cooking demonstration Monday as part of the district’s Knight University before-school program.
Sunset Bay Restaurant chef Michael Grisanti informs and entertains a group of Silver Creek Elementary School students during a cooking demonstration Monday as part of the district’s Knight University before-school program. Inset: Everyone who participated was invited to devour his delicious Strawberry Banana French Toast Shortcake.

Before-school program engages students, the community

SILVER CREEK – Elementary students in the Silver Creek Central School District have a unique opportunity to get a jumpstart on their learning. This is thanks to Knight University, a before-school program for students in third through fifth grades.

 Enrollees choose courses in topics such as Master Chef/cooking, yoga, community outreach, crafts and wellness. Dozens of youngsters, under the guidance of their teachers, work three to four days per week for about six weeks in their chosen theme. The second session of the increasingly popular Knight U concludes Wednesday with a Celebration of Learning open to the public from 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the school.

Chef Michael Grisanti of Sunset Bay Restaurant in Irving paid a visit to teacher Courtney McIntyre’s Master Chef session shortly after dawn Monday (March 26, 2018) to demonstrate how to make Strawberry Banana French Toast Shortcake. Grisanti, who professes to have scant experience presenting to audiences, was a natural during his 40-minute demo.

He discussed kitchen safety, proper attire, equipment needs, demonstrated knife skills, and elaborated on kitchen terminology and slang. (“Do you guys know what it means when we eighty-six something?” he asked. “It means we’re all out of it.”) Grisanti regularly cooks with his children, fifth-grader Marissa and sixth-grader Mike, who both attend SCCS. He has been a chef at Sunset Bay for a decade and also runs a catering business.

Encouraging the students to expand their culinary skills, Grisanti offered some tips as he prepared the sweet treat. He generously provided all the ingredients to feed more than a dozen students and their teacher.

“You can do anything,” Grisanti told the students. “When you’re cooking, change things up. Just give your own little twist to a regular dish and then, voila, you have a whole new dish.”

The Knight U students assisted Grisanti in properly plating and serving the dish before everyone enjoyed dining together in the classroom. When the last strawberry had been eaten and the last dollop of whipped cream had disappeared, the dishes and equipment were whisked away and the official school day began.

Families in the school community are welcome to the Elementary gym and cafeteria for Wednesday’s Knight U Celebration of Learning, which highlights the students’ accomplishments.