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PHOTOS: The Cooking Club at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop

  • Emily Abbott, 12, center, reports the contents of the cupboard while finding ingredients for the cooking club's afternoon meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013. Abbott has been coming to the Pittsfield Youth Workshop since she could in the fifth grade. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Emily Abbott, 12, center, reports the contents of the cupboard while finding ingredients for the cooking club's afternoon meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013. Abbott has been coming to the Pittsfield Youth Workshop since she could in the fifth grade.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Hailey Beliveau, 11, and Allyson Paige, 15, work together on peeling carrots for the cooking club at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop to eat with their afternoon meal on October 8, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Hailey Beliveau, 11, and Allyson Paige, 15, work together on peeling carrots for the cooking club at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop to eat with their afternoon meal on October 8, 2013.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Hailey Beliveau, 11, sets the plates for the cooking club meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Hailey Beliveau, 11, sets the plates for the cooking club meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Paula Martel, center, talks with Phoenix Roy, 13, about how to decide how much spaghetti to use for the cooking club's meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Paula Martel, center, talks with Phoenix Roy, 13, about how to decide how much spaghetti to use for the cooking club's meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Hailey Beliveau, 11, sets the plates for the cooking club meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Hailey Beliveau, 11, sets the plates for the cooking club meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Emily Abbott, 12, center, reports the contents of the cupboard while finding ingredients for the cooking club's afternoon meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013. Abbott has been coming to the Pittsfield Youth Workshop since she could in the fifth grade. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Hailey Beliveau, 11, and Allyson Paige, 15, work together on peeling carrots for the cooking club at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop to eat with their afternoon meal on October 8, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Hailey Beliveau, 11, sets the plates for the cooking club meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Paula Martel, center, talks with Phoenix Roy, 13, about how to decide how much spaghetti to use for the cooking club's meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Hailey Beliveau, 11, sets the plates for the cooking club meal at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop on October 8, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

Once a week, between eight to 10 kids gather around the table at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop to eat a meal they prepared themselves by working together. They do all the prep work and cooking, as well as the table setting and serving. The Cooking Club, as they refer to themselves, is led by the Workshop’s program director Paula Martel and keeps in stride with the non-profit’s mission to empower kids through useful skills and interesting activities. She also uses the club to encourage kids to taste new foods and learn about other cultures. At Tuesday’s meeting, the kids, tasked with whipping up a meal using what was stocked in the pantry and fridge, made pasta and sauce with onions and veggie burger crumbles, carrots with ranch dip and vanilla cupcakes with chocolate-covered strawberries.

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