Becoming a photographer in the Plymouth area was one of the best ways for me to get to know people and hot spots after our move here. This city is filled with local business owners that have an authentic place in this city but it’s also filled with smart, talented people with big hearts and a love for the arts. My kind of town. I connected with Kristen from The Simple Kitchen a while back because I love everything she is doing in her space at PARC (how could you not) and over an amazing cup of coffee at Expesso Elevado we decided on a fun little collaboration because women like to dream.
So we decided on getting together during her ‘ Made in Michigan ‘ camp that Kristen teaches in her awesome kitchen at Plymouth Arts & recreation Complex (PARC). I knew it would be legit but I didn’t really know what to expect so the whole thing was really fun for me too. The students start at PARC but quickly take a walk through the downtown Plymouth neighborhood to Westborn Market for fresh, local ingredients. I could tell the kids loved this part as much as I did. There’s something to be said for walking to your local market and getting fresh ingredients for a lunchtime meal.
Once we got to Westborn, it was time to learn about all the amazing products and produce that we can get right here in our ‘backyard’ made by our own Michigan culinary dreamers. The kids got ‘schooled’ on ingredients but they also learned how to read labels to make sure you are getting the best. They got some geography lessons too because some of these towns were not ones that everyone had heard of before. Everyone was surprised at how many local, yummy and creative foods we have available to us.
One thing I loved is that Kristen took everyone to the different ‘specialty’ sections in the store too and taught them how to consult with the butcher or baker.
To say that the kids had fun inside Westborn Market is an understatement, I mean, there was even a scavenger hunt…. How could they not.
Once we got back to The Simple Kitchen it was all business. Like I said, I didn’t know what to expect but this is where it got even better. The kids learned about math & science as it relates to cooking, Kristen made sure of that. She has such a gift for teaching, making it fun and getting the kids engaged.
The meal of the day was pizza and lets be honest , everyone loves pizza. They got to choose their toppings at the store and when they got back they learned all about yeast and making dough while her interns made sausage and bacon for toppings… it smelled amazing in there by the way.
There were 6 or so teams of chefs and each one got to choose their recipes within the safety and guidance of Kristen walking them through. It was so fun to watch everyone measure things out and use all the great tools that are available to them.
Everyone seemed really proud of all the different skills they were learning, you could see it in them as they focused on the recipes, asked questions and debated on measurements. I was certainly impressed at how seriously everyone was taking it and how much room they had to explore and learn in the kitchen and still have fun making themselves a fresh meal filled with local ingredients.
I left there with a sense that Kristen and ‘The Simple Kitchen‘ was doing something really cool and unique for this community in a way that only she can. She shines in the Kitchen and she seems to genuinely love teaching this skill, craft, art. She has a way of explaining things to kids that makes them think and sometimes fills the with excitement. I loved how respectfully she treated everyone and how warm her kitchen is (no pun intended). I can’t wait to send my boys there!!!
If you want to learn more about The Simple Kitchen and all the different classes, workshops and product offerings you can do so by clicking on this link: Offerings at The Simple Kitchen
If you would like to book me to photograph & document your events, highlight your business of schedule a family session you can do so through the form below: Bon Appetit!
Genevieve DeVries is an on-site, natural light photographer. Based in Plymouth, Michigan, I serve southeast Michigan and the greater Wayne County, Washtenaw County and Oakland County areas, including Plymouth, Canton, Livonia, Westland, Northville, Novi, Farmington/Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Belleville, Whitmore Lake, Saline, Dexter, Salem, South Lyon, Wayne, Garden City, New Hudson, Wixom, Walled Lake, Brighton, Milford, Southfield, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, and beyond.