Goals/Objectives: Our goal is to create a restaurant with dishes that reflect our cultures, as well as to explore the cultures of the local cuisines found in Queens.
Monday: Trip to Dera, an Indian Restaurant in Jackson Heights
Dera is a restaurant owned by Tariq, an Indian restaurant. We were greeted with free soda. Tariq was telling us how the business opened since 1973. The restaurant was one of the first Indian restaurants to open in Jackson Heights. It has been know for its sweets and the years it’s been around. Tariq was telling us how being in the cooking industry is a hobby to him and wishes he could be in the criminal justice department. Tariq also said that if you are going to run a restaurant you most likely won’t have a social life and all your attention goes to the restaurant. After having a lovely conversation with him, he offered us free sampling of food. We had pita bread with sesame, rice with green peas, patties with chicken, potatoes, and vegetables, and chicken curry. In the end, he let us go to the back of the restaurant to experience the making of pita bread. The oven was made out of clay and we stuck it on the side of the oven. This was very different from other restaurants because it was made out of clay.
Tuesday: Visit to BR Guest bakery
On Tuesday we went to an ice cream factory. Jerry the head manager, demonstrated how to make ice cream, bread, ravioli and more. Jerry has been working in the factory for 13 years. There was several of machinery used to make different types of food. There were different parts of the factory to put in the foods. Being in the ice cream factory is similar to owning a restaurant.
Wednesday: Cooking in the kitchen & a visit to Brooklyn Grange
In the morning today, we made breakfast. We made pancakes, tortilla omelets, and hash browns. Emily showed us how to make the tortilla omelets. Angelica, Charelle and Melissa made pancakes. Some seniors made hash browns. We also continued to make chicken. In the afternoon, Joe showed us how to make cavatelli pasta, candied walnuts, sauteed escarole with gnocchi, roasted chicken, and mashed potatoes. To make pasta, Joe first made dough, and then ran it through a machine to turn it in to long pasta strands. Everyone loved the candied walnuts. It was also pretty easy to make. To make candied walnuts, we first made a caramel mixture, than mixed it with walnuts and roasted them. To make roasted chicken, we rinsed a whole chicken, took out the inner giblets, rubbed it with some seasoning, and roasted it. The chicken came out very juicy. We ate the chicken with mashed potatoes.
Today Emily took the senior girls to the Brooklyn Grange Farm located on 37-18 Northern Blvd. It was a farm of organic plants that are grown to sell to restaurants and companies. We met a few folks and we got a tour of the farm from a lady named Cara. She explained to us a few things about how the farm got started and how the idea of doing a farm on a rooftop came about. The question that came to our mind was why was it named Brooklyn Grange Farm when it was located in Long Island City. She answered our many question and we now know why this name was chosen for this farm. Like most farms, they usually have a bunch of animals but this farm only had one type of animal which were chickens. Since it was on a rooftop the weight of the building wouldn’t be able to contain the weight of many animals. The fresh eggs that the chickens laid were fresh and perfect for profit. It was an hour long tour and the view from the rooftop was incredible. We could see every rooftop from up there. It was a wonderful experience and we learned a lot.
Thursday: Cooking in the kitchen & a culinary walking tour of Jackson Heights
First we went to the supermarket to pick up some parsley, cilantro, breadcrumbs, Tostitos chips and pistachios. Then we went to a couple of vending/food carts, starting with Sammy’s Halal Food Cart then we went to Alba’s taco cart (we forgot the name) from there, we then went to Rite Aid to get some simple things like chips and soda.
After all of those errands, we then come back to school and ate like a big happy family. Sara brought sushi, Charelle brought taco salad, Saurav brought in his families special rice, Emily brought in dal (Dried lentils and beans) and bread, Jessica brought in an Ecuadorian dish made with peanut butter and pork fat. Everything was very tasty!