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2015 February

27 Feb


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Bragging, NOT complaining!

February 27, 2015 | By | No Comments


Along with the curriculum, the catering, the Five Star Fish Fry, and the Steepletown Curriculum, the Kitchen Sage Team is rocking it! So next week we have the Home and Garden Show! The KS team has a whole weekend of fun with our besties!



Friday March 6, MY boo, Chef Jenna from Amore is doing the floral competition and if you cheer the loudest, Kitchen Sage gets some $ from 5/3 bank, so please come and support us.  She will be on the Home Stage starting at 5:30. After that, see my students and me give you a grilling demo at the DTE grilling deck.  Stop by for a special “Jenna” snack! We are located in the “Ghetto” of Angus Campbell, just below his stage. To tell you the truth, it is a perfect fit for me. I am proud to have such an amazing chef, educator, and mentor right here in Grand Rapids. Any face time with the man is just a bonus for my KS team and me. Flowers, Snack, EDUCATION! All in one hour!! Oh and Free!


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Sunday March 8, Nick Heyboer and his Association of Grand Rapids Landscape Professionals are hosting a brunch to support Kitchen Sage.  They are putting up the resources to have our KS Team cook up a breakfast to rival even Amore’s Killer Brunch! Starting at 9am you can get into the show early and dine around his Cinderella inspired Garden!!  This is what the Students are cooking up:

Eggs Dragged through the Garden!

Have the students do a scramble with your choice of fresh ingredients

Sausage Meatloaf

Butcher’s Selection of Meats….YES BACON TOO!

Bananas Foster’s French Toast

Harvest Selection of the Freshest Fruit

OH and lots more..

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Seriously, you have to RSVP!  So email me! I can VIP ya!


27 Feb


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Fishing For Success!

February 27, 2015 | By | No Comments

Click ME! I’m delicious!

So as I prep up tonight’s Five Star Fish Fry(without the fryer!) with Chef and Students,  I keep thinking about how successful last week was and it really had nothing to do with the attendance.

First of all, as you look at the really cool video, please think of CJ Devries.  CJ stepped in to lend a hand.  She didn’t ask me what I needed, she just did it!  Thank you CJ! (Get used to Tommy and his helplessness!)

B)  Everyone of my board members chipped in, with out being asked. They just do(or send in proxies). I see many times in the non-profit world “the board” will just dictate their protocol and expect results.  My board WORKS!  Thank you Anicia, Jan, Todd, and Allison for your faith and support.

And finally, THE CLA TEAM.  These students are sincere.  I have such an instant respect for Caleb, Kris, Shaka, Erica, Jessica, Derrick, Alex, Isiah, and Darrell.  Last week was the first week of the CLA academy and they rolled with every punch we could offer!

So before you know it, Lent will be over and you will be out of a huge opportunity. You have the opportunity to support a mission that supports WORKERS! You have the opportunity to support healthy food and healthy relationships.  And really, you have an opportunity to pay only $25 for a meal implemented by Chef Tommy and Chef Justin! (and you know how expensive we are!).

BTW did you know that Kitchen Sage is supported pretty much by our catering and fun events?

To those that came, Thank you!  Come again and see how the students “TWEEK” the menu each week. To those coming, THANK YOU!  See you all soon!


23 Feb


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Breakfast, The MOST important meal of the day?

February 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

In case you are unaware, the Kitchen Sage Students feed the Steepletown Preschool. Monday through Thursday we are responsible for delivering breakfast, lunch, and a snack.  Here are just a few reasons why this is so cool:

We have not only made nutrition a part of the pre-schooler’s curriculum but a priority.  This means that these 4 year olds are being introduced to different foods, nutritious foods. For instance,  on Tuesdays the preschoolers make their own pizza.  Each week we introduce a new veggie to the make your own pizza recipe. This gives them something new with something familiar. We also serve Caesar salad(which they eat like rabbits) fresh fruit, and milk.

Along with the incredible nutrition, we also invite the parents to share in the kitchen.  Kitchen Sage is for everyone!!

Of course we follow State guidelines, but more importantly we follow ours!  Consistent protein, solid carbs, tons of fresh veggies and fruits.  We let the student wash them down with skim milk, juice, or water.  Good nutrition always goes down smooth! Consistent nutrition creates consistent learning.

Here’s what we get:

My students have a curriculum to implement teaching proper nutrition and food preparation.  Since some of my students are parents, what better way to break that cycle of culinary ignorance.

My students are reinforced with leadership, empathy, and communication with a demographic other than their own.

Kitchen Sage and Steepletown Preschool, Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together!

This Morning’s Breakfast:

Ham, Swiss, and Egg Tapas, Cherry Oatmeal, Fresh Orange Wedges, 100% Grape Juice, Skim Milk


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17 Feb


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They ARE NOT Kids Chef Tommy!

February 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

Happy New YEAR! Happy New Kitchen Sage! Thanks to Web Kujenga, we are entering a new world of technology! So now that we had an incredible JuiceBall, its back to work! Here is how we are evolving! The very FIRST thing that I have to do is stop calling my students “kids”! These are young adults that are trying to get their life back on track. With the collaboration of Steepletown Services we offer resources to these individuals to get them the to next level of education and the skills that make them marketable in the hospitality industry. Huge thanks to Blue Flame Thinking for the inspiration on how to PARTNER with the community!

17 Feb


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First Day Jitters!

February 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

Wholly Schnikees!

I can hardly believe that last year at this time we were in anticipation of hosting one our first sessions of Kitchen Sage and now we are going on our 4th!  So here we go!  I have to tell you that this class is truly going to be forged in fire!  We just have way too much going on in the community to let the students get complacent.  Today we have a group serving over at Catholic Central for their Mardi Gras Fundraiser.  The students actually made a killer Jambalaya with steamed rice for one of their delicious food stations.  Tonight is just a warm up for Friday!  We have a killer Five Star Fish Fry! Not only are the students going to be thrown into mega prep for the dinner, but we have to instill a ton of etiquette training in a short period of time! Check out the menu!


5 Star Friday Fish Fry



11 Feb


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If I could get just ONE…..

February 11, 2015 | By | No Comments

If I could get just one student out of our culinary leadership academy to run with the opportunities afforded them, it would be worth my while.

How do we break the cycle of entitlement? How does one impress on an individual in a respectful way that their parents just did not have the tools to guide them properly?  I get to see situations that frankly boggle my mind.  I could rant and rave for hours on the total ignorance that is out there that is passed along to another generation. There is this displacement of youth that are living on what they have been taught.  And honestly those are NOT the lessons anyone should aspire to.  Hence Kitchen Sage’s Recipe:

Take a couple of over-the-top-chefs with strong convictions and a passion for mentoring.

Take away any political barriers and “touchy” feelings.

Add a “What’s the Next Step” strategy for these students.

Sprinkle with a hope of a better future AND work ethic.

Fold in respect for a craft and a sense of urgency.

Let rest with marketable skills AND legitimate education.

Bake with the heat of ridiculous connections in the hospitality industry.

Now get your ass to work and enjoy a purposeful life!

Here’s to Jalen, the ONE from our last Kitchen Sage session!

Who knows? Maybe this next session we get TWO!