Running the Kitchen in RVA – Zdenka

You Don’t Need A Silver Fork To Eat Good Food.”

Welcome to the Richmond Vale Academy Kitchen

Oh FOOD! How much we love you! All of us know this mental pleasure whilst eating food. If you don’t then you aren’t eating the right food or eating in the right way. I could talk about food for days and days without getting bored, showing people it is more than just fuel to our body and it’s supposed to be the nourishment for our soul in every aspect. Staying nourished is very important because you could be eating and eating without any further satisfaction. Remember that it is not the body which craves the food, it is your brain who does.

Here at RVA we try to do our best to feed our bodies and minds as well as possible. That’s why we have our own gardens that grow different types of vegetables and fruits. If we don’t have certain types, we always try to get them from the local market. It is one of our ideologies to buy local and help the local economy because – honestly speaking – we don’t think that globalization is the best way to make this world a better place, but that is a whole new story. Let’s get back to the doorsteps where all these ingredients are being mixed up for the very first time.

Our kitchen is a small place yet the warmth you feel immediately as you step in. This is not just because of our ovens, which are releasing the best of smells from the freshly baked bread, but also because of our cook Monique, who will greet you with a huge kind smile waiting for you to mess up her place while she is cooking. Joking. (Not with the second part though). Monique is definitely a unique cook providing us with the best meals possible. She has been running the school kitchen for about 5 years now and we cannot even imagine any other person dealing with these daily responsibilities better than her. I can proudly say that I am – along with David and Kelly – a part of the kitchen team. As an unconditional food lover, could I have chosen a better responsibility area than this? Hardly!

Richmond Vale is a great place to start to learn these responsibilities. Starting with the minor ones and ending with greater ones than you could have ever imagined. One of my responsibilities is to help manage and run the kitchen. What does this mean?

In short, amongst the budget and schedule making (schedule for every person to appear to participate with the making of breakfast, which we are doing by ourselves), we have to also make sure that we have enough ingredients, a full fridge and lot of love in every meal. We also have to do our best to keep the place clean, which is basically a responsibility for all of us. It is a necessity. So once in a couple of weeks we provide deep cleaning with five volunteers or chosen people to get rid of all kinds of unwanted dirt that has suddenly appeared. Because the kitchen is one of the places with the most traffic in our school (whether you want to get some coffee, or just gossip chat around) keeping this area clean is a necessity!

Every Tuesday and Saturday we make bread. People here are truly bread addicts. (Imagine that crunchy, tasty, toasted piece with mashed garlic and a drop of olive oil). We not only make the white type of bread, which we know is “a killer” when it comes to body fat, but also the more nutritious whole wheat one. Also, banana bread and the breadfruit variety which we hope to implement a lot now since the whole breadfruit season has just began. In between the bread making process, we always try to add extra food production options such as granola, pesto, jam, hot sauce, dressings and pretty much whatever we desire – or whatever it’s a season for. It’s a lot of fun! Until you have to clean all the dishes and the whole place after you…

So what do we eat? There are lot of things on the list, most of them vegan – yay! – (from various beans, quinoa, potatoes, rice, pastas, couscous, barley, to fresh vegetables, salads and fruits). But the meat eaters and cheese lovers don’t get overlooked, there is always some domestic meat, eggs and dairy provided by the local farmers and our own animal farm. We also want to satisfy our sugar cravings with tasty chocolate cake in a couple of vegan varieties. Once in a while we bake cookies with our leftover oatmeal because we don’t want to waste any food, it’s a sin! Whatever we don’t eat we put in the pig pan for our little piglets. I am no longer going to write about meat and keeping animals for food here since there is no difference between death in the slaughterhouse and on the yard for me, but HEY, who am I to judge? I was there once! Nevertheless, the food here is delicious!

There is no chance to improve without people’s feedback. We always want to hear the voice of yours! We have provided the comment cards so people can “rate” each and every meal anonymously and put some comments, suggestions, desires… and they are more than welcome to do so!

Anyhow, keep in mind that your body is the only place you have to live in, so choose the food wisely! And never waste it! It is not a daily occurrence for millions of people around the world.

You Are What You Eat. So Don’t Be Cheap, Fast, Easy or Fake.”

Running the Kitchen in RVA – Zdenka
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