With four cameras rolling, fifth-grader Amanda Kleva and sixth-grader Jessica Le took turns adding ingredients to a pot Wednesday while filming a cooking show for Telecare TV in Uniondale.
The students from Our Lady of Lourdes School in West Islip were thinking outside the box as they whipped up a macaroni and cheese that was anything but instant.
The recipe called for two types of pasta, three types of cheese, nutmeg and potato bread.
“Wowee. That’s pretty impressive,” Msgr. Jim Vlaun, president of Telecare TV, told the girls as they ran through the ingredients list.
Vlaun hosts a cooking show called “Real Food” on the not-for-profit network, which is run by the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He invited Amanda, Jessica and two of their schoolmates -- fourth-grader Paedyn Cardino and eighth-grader Jack Scheid -- to film an episode after learning about a new culinary program at their school.
Darren St. George, a theatrical arts teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes, launched the after-school program, called Let’s Cook, in September, after observing another teacher’s class that every student had brought a prepackaged treat.
“I just thought there was something wrong there,” he said.
With the support of Our Lady of Lourdes principal Louise Krol, he quickly launched the club and recruited 15 students from grades four through eight. Twice a week for two hours, they learn the basics of cooking and craft dishes inside the school’s cafeteria. They even prepared breakfast for their schoolmates one morning, cooking 60 omelets within 20 minutes, he said.
St. George said his intent is to encourage kids and adults to rely less on processed foods.
“If you make it yourself it’s inherently going to be better than anything you pull out of the freezer.”
Telecare did not have a date for when the “Real Food” episode with the students will air, but the experience of just taping the show was enough excitement for them, for now.
“I got nervous chills, it was my first time getting them,” Paedyn said.
After a few minutes of filming, she said her nerves went away. “It looked like a real kitchen, so it’s just like you’re in your own kitchen. It was really fun.”