Fog Bar & Cafe chef cooks with students in Youthlinks program
On Tuesday, February 12th, Chef Nick Krunkkala of the Fog Bar and Café in Rockland took time from his busy schedule to teach students in Youthlinks' Soup Kitchen program how to make a Creole Chowder in honor of Mardi Gras. The Soup Kitchen program meets once a week and is open to all students grades 8-12 in RSU 13. Each week students learn how to prepare a new dish, frequently taught by a guest chef from the Rockland area. Students then put their skills to use one Saturday a month and gain community service hours by preparing a meal from start to finish at the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen at St. Peter's church in Rockland.
Chef Nick, who spent several years in New York training and working as a chef, chose a dish exemplifying his southern style of cooking while also using flavors suitable for cold Maine winters. Chef Nick showed students how to safely chop vegetables, and explained the difference between a traditional French mirepoix of carrot, onion, and celery and the Cajun style of starting a dish using bell peppers, onions and carrots (known as the “Holy Trinity”.) Chef Nick taught students how to thicken a stew using pureed sweet corn and roasted tomatoes to create body without sacrificing flavor.
The final product was a creamy, lightly spicy, and layered stew of andouille sausage and crawfish, a version of which has won the past two years at the annual Chowder and Chili Challenge hosted by the Rockland Fire Department. The chowder was enjoyed by the program’s participants and Youthlinks staff.
This was Chef Nick’s second visit to the Youthlinks' Soup Kitchen program. Chef Nick previously taught students his recipe for pickled watermelon rind, and how to create a refreshing smoothie from the fruit of the watermelon and fresh lemon.
Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983. For more information please call Youthlinks at 594-2221 or visit youthlinksonline.org.