Future Chefs Stir It Up In Westport

Tomorrow (Thursday, November 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Imperial Avenue parking lot) is the final date for this year’s Westport Farmer’s Market.

They’re ending the year with a bang.

Farmers MarketStaples High School’s Advanced Culinary Arts students of Cecily Gans will be among the chef demonstrators (10:15-11 a.m.). And “chef” is the right word. These guys are not just tossing together a Cobb salad.

They’ll feature a recipe by recent graduate Sarah Rountree. Her Crispy Brussels Sprouts in Honey-Mint Sauce was chosen for its seasonality, and the local availability of most ingredients.

But that’s not the only Westport connection. Sarah’s recipe is 1 of 5 featured in Future Chefs: Recipes by Tomorrow’s Cooks Across the Nation and the World. The handsome book — just published by Rodale Press — includes 150 contributions from teenagers around the world.

Sophia Hampton shows off her culinary skills. (Photo/JP Vellotti)

Sophia Hampton shows off her culinary skills. (Photo/JP Vellotti)

But Sarah is not the only Stapleite with a recipe in Future Chefs. Senior Sophia Hampton is included twice, for her Delicata-Crab Hash with Poached Duck Egg, and her Kale Caesar Salad.

Zach Reiser offers up his Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread; Deanna Baris, her Breakfast Cookies.

But it’s not only Staples students who are featured. Wes Beeler was in 8th grade when he contributed his Competition-Ready St. Louis-Style Spareribs. (The competition was the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival. He placed 3rd.)

But the book is not limited to recipes. Each young chef has a full write-up. Sophia’s, for example, notes that she volunteers one day a month — with the Culinary Club — serving food at the Gillespie Center, and that as features editor for the school newspaper  Inklings she moved from fashion writing to the food beat.

Future Chefs coverBut they’re not the only Staples students mentioned. Class of 2013 graduate Rusty Schindler was cited in the introduction, while last year’s entire Advanced Culinary Arts class was thanked — individually — in the acknowledgements, for testing many of the recipes.

But those are not the only local connections. Future Chefs was written by Westport author (and New York-trained chef) Ramin Ganeshram. The compelling photographs come courtesy of her husband — and frequent “06880” contributor Jean Paul Vellotti.

There are probably more Staples/Future Chefs tie-ins. If so, you’ll find them at the Farmers Market this Thursday. And the book — available for signing.

If not, you’ll still enjoy Sarah’s Crispy Brussels Sprouts in Honey-Mint Sauce.

(Click on Future Chefs for ordering information.)

Future Chefs - Wes Beeler

Wes Beeler eating his BBQ on the roof of Bobby Q’s. JP Vellotti took the photo on a very cold day. The roof was still a mess from Hurricane Sandy. The publisher said, “Try to make it look like he’s in Texas.”

2 responses to “Future Chefs Stir It Up In Westport

  1. Recipe for academic culinary success-

    Start by take one great teacher (Chef Gans)

    Add several great students interested in learning about food, good nutrition, sustainability, health….

    Allow to work and develop in a warm, welcoming and supportive environment

    Allow time for all the above to percolate and rise to the occasion

    Et Voila- Dan has something wonderful to present to his blogosphere!!

  2. Victoria Kann

    Thank you Dan for writing about Westport’s own Ramin Ganeshram! She is the hardest working writer I know and completely dedicated to all the kids who have contributed to make FutureChefs one of the most interesting cookbooks I have read in years. I am lucky enough to have tasted many of the recipes in the book and they are ALL incredibly delicious! There is a chocolate cake that I can’t even THINK about, it is that good! Jean Paul Vellotti’s photographs of all these eager, hard working young chefs make the book as beautiful to look at as it is fun to read.

    BTW, If you don’t get to see Ramin Ganeshram at the Farmer’s Market you can come to her Cupcake Party at Barnes & Noble on Tues 11/18 at 6:00 and buy the book. It would make a tasty holiday gift. I will be there as well (eating cupcakes of course). This bookalicious event is to support and raise money for First Book Fairfield County which provides new books to children in need.

    Looking forward to seeing all the 06880 fans there! Hope you can come too Dan!