John Robinson

THAT’S A WRAP, CAYIP!

The PB&J Fund has concluded our pilot partnership with CAYIP (Community Attention Youth Internship Program).  Six teen interns joined us for four weeks of intensive culinary training, while also providing much needed operational support and helping out in classes with younger students.  Aliyah, Cedric, Donshea, Patrick, Pyi, and Nykala brought great energy and curiosity into our space and we’re grateful for their efforts!

The interns received safety training, learned a variety of knife skills, practiced setting up food prep stations, deboned a variety of meats, studied how to develop and balance flavors, and were introduced to the expectations of working in a professional kitchen.  All left more confident in their culinary skills and four who achieved perfect attendance also went home with their very own professional chef’s knife.

Each intern was fortunate enough to gain real world experience through the generous support of partner restaurants.  We are deeply grateful to Brasserie Saison, Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar, The Alley Light, and The Pie Chest for opening up their hearts and kitchens to provide such a unique learning experience for the interns.  We’re thrilled to announce that one of our interns landed a permanent part-time job with her partner restaurant!

“My favorite part of the experience was learning different ways to cook. About myself, I learned that I can work under pressure,” said one intern, Aliyah Cobbs. “The whole experience was really fun. “

Their time with us culminated with a culinary cook-off.  Teams were challenged to come up with a recipe from scratch, pulling from all they had learned over their time in the kitchen.  The final creations of shrimp lettuce wraps and roasted chicken with risotto were excellent and both teams had much to be proud of.

Many thanks to our very own CHEF Kids Program Manager John Robinson and Executive Chef Antwon Brinson for all their efforts to develop a thoughtful curriculum, create a fun and meaningful learning environment, and motivate these young folks to follow their dreams.  

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We want you! 👉

Looking for a fun and meaningful volunteer opportunity during the next academic year?  The PB&J Fund is looking for somebody to work 5-8 hours per week supporting data collection, facility operations and classroom preparation. This is an unpaid internship but a great learning and service experience to have on your resume. 

Hours are flexible on weekdays and during normal business hours.  Ideal candidate has reliable transportation, is an energetic self-starter who can also work well with direction, and is excited to support PB&J Fund’s work with youth and families.  For more info, please contact Ryan Jacoby at ryan@pbandjfund.org or (434) 244-3317. 

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OUR EXCITING NEW PILOT PROGRAM!

We are thrilled to be piloting a new program this summer in partnership with CAYIP (Community Attention Youth Internship Program).  We have six interns joining us for four weeks – each week they’ll be led through intensive culinary training by our own CHEF Kids Program Manager John Robinson and Executive Chef Antwon Brinson, while also providing general operational support (e.g. setting up for classes, volunteering in youth programming, etc.).  

The culinary curriculum includes safety training, knife skills, how to set up food prep stations, practice cooking with different vegetables and meats, and much more.  Plus, our instructors will be supporting CAYIP’s soft skills development such as communication, interviewing, and teambuilding.

Additionally, each intern will spend time working with a partner restaurant getting practical, real world “back of house” experience.  We’re extremely fortunate to have the support of four area restaurants – Brasserie Saison, Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar, The Alley Light, and The Pie Chest are all opening up their kitchens to provide a unique learning experience for the interns.  

Each of these young men and women self-identified as having a particular interest in culinary arts and/or the food service industry.  The intent of this unique program is to build on these aspirations, empowering them with the culinary skills and professional knowledge needed to gain quality employment with opportunities for advancement.  

Please be sure to follow us over the rest of the summer on FB and Instagram for pics and updates as our interns move through the program!

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Welcome Summer Interns!

Summer programming is in full swing and it’s wonderful to have the kitchen filled with children, laughter, and curious chefs!  Our jerk chicken and lemony kale salad, with a side of summer cantaloupe, were a big hit last week.
We want to give a special shout out to our fabulous summer interns.  Alexandra, Carlin, and Elly are giving a lot of time to PB&J this summer, helping to ensure that we’re fully supported during classes and providing critical operational support behind the scenes.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and stay tuned throughout the summer for more updates on what’s happening at PB&J, including an exciting pilot program for teens!

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A wrap on National Nutrition Month!

We are wrapping up National Nutrition Month here at PB&J. This year’s theme was “Go Further with Food,” which is a celebration of healthy choices that build ongoing energy throughout the day and also limit food waste. In honor of this, we had Make-Your-Own Omelette stations set up for our students in the kitchen last week. Omelettes are a great protein packed breakfast option, and also a creative way to use up some of your leftovers! Simply chop up any roasted veggies from last night’s dinner, add a little reduced-fat cheese and just like that you’ve got a healthy breakfast!

Omelet

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • Non-stick cooking spray

TOPPINGS: turkey bacon, onions, spinach, diced tomato, reduced-fat shredded cheese, mushrooms, diced green pepper.

Method

  1. Crack eggs into a bowl.
  2. Add salt and pepper, blending with a fork.
  3. Heat a 10-inch non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Pour eggs into center of pan. Using a rubber spatula or tilting the pan, move egg mixture around until the excess liquid touches each part of the pan. Let omelet sit in pan for 10 seconds without touching.
  5. Shake pan to loosen the omelet.
  6. Add toppings.
  7. Using your spatula, fold omelet in half.
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Jam session!

Looking for something more healthful to sweeten up your sandwiches, toast, (or oatmeal)? Try our sumptuous strawberry jam!

Strawberry Jam

Adapted from Epicurious

Yield: 2 cups

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

  1. Wash strawberries and lemons.
  2. Cut green tops off of strawberries and cut strawberries into slices.
  3. Cut lemon in half and squeeze out lemon juice into a bowl. Place a mesh strainer over the bowl before squeezing the lemon to catch the seeds.
  4. Place a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat.
  5. Add sliced strawberries, ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the pan.
  6. Bring mixture to a rolling boil. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon and mash the strawberries slightly with a potato masher.
  7. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Test jam by putting a teaspoon of jam on a plate and swirling the plate around gently. If the jam runs, cook for 2-5 minutes longer.
  9. Transfer jam to clean glass jars and cool. Refrigerate after completely cooled.
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Happy Heart Day!

This Valentine’s Day, we here at PB&J wanted to take the chance to acknowledge American Heart Month!<3 One recipe we’ll be cooking this month is a heart-healthy, delicious, romantic classic, just ask Lady & the Tramp.

Our spaghetti and meatballs starts with whole grain pasta, an excellent source of dietary fiber. Fiber helps to improve blood cholesterol levels, which helps your circulatory system and heart stay happy and healthy! We add olive oil, which is high in heart friendly unsaturated fat. We use lots of tomatoes which are high in vitamin E which also helps to balance cholesterol. And for our meatballs, we chose very lean beef. All the protein, but low fat means strong bodies and a healthier heart!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

3 Ingredient Tomato Sauce & Spaghetti

Adapted from Marcella Hazan

Serves: 8 (2 oz pasta, ¼ cup sauce, 3 meatballs each)

Ingredients

1-pound whole wheat spaghetti, cooked

For the sauce:

28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes and their juices

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, peeled and cut in half

Method

  1. Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the oil and the onion halves in a saucepan.

  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 30-45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon.

  3. Discard the onion.

Roasted Meatballs

Ingredients

½ cup panko bread crumbs

¼ cup 1% milk

2 pounds lean ground beef

½ small onion, small dice

2 large eggs, scrambled

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Non-stick cooking spray

Method

  1. Soak the bread crumbs in the milk while you prepare the other ingredients.

  2. Put the beef into a large bowl. Add the onion, eggs, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Put the soaked bread crumbs into the bowl and mix it all together well with your (clean) hands.

  3. Form the mixture into 24 meatballs using the red ice cream scoop.

  4. Place meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

  5. Serve with sauce and spaghetti.

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See us on Charlottesville Inside Out!

We are very excited to be featured in this season of Charlottesville Inside Out! Check us out in the teaser for this season (around the 4:40 mark) and look for our episode to air on PBS on February 22nd and 25th!

 

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The Most Simple Spaghetti & Meatballs!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

3 Ingredient Tomato Sauce & Spaghetti

Adapted from Marcella Hazan

Serves: 8 (2 oz pasta, ¼ cup sauce, 3 meatballs each)

Ingredients

1-pound whole wheat spaghetti, cooked

For the sauce:

28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes and their juices

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, peeled and cut in half

Method

  1. Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the oil and the onion halves in a saucepan.

  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 30-45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon.

  3. Discard the onion.

Roasted Meatballs

Ingredients

½ cup panko bread crumbs

¼ cup 1% milk

2 pounds lean ground beef

½ small onion, small dice

2 large eggs, scrambled

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Non-stick cooking spray

Method

  1. Soak the bread crumbs in the milk while you prepare the other ingredients.

  2. Put the beef into a large bowl. Add the onion, eggs, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Put the soaked bread crumbs into the bowl and mix it all together well with your (clean) hands.

  3. Form the mixture into 24 meatballs using the red ice cream scoop.

  4. Place meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

  5. Serve with sauce and spaghetti.

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Rotisserie Chicken Enchiladas!

Rotisserie Chicken Enchiladas

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients:

  • ½ one rotisserie chicken, picked from the bones and shredded
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and diced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 [4] ounce can diced green chiles
  • 1 [15] ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 large whole wheat tortillas
  • 8 oz block of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 batch red enchilada sauce (or 1 can store-bought enchilada sauce)
    (optional: 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your enchilada sauce, if making homemade.
  2. In large saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add shredded chicken and green chiles, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. To assemble the enchiladas, set up an assembly line including: tortillas, enchilada sauce, beans, chicken mixture, and cheese. Lay out a tortilla, and spread two tablespoons of sauce over the surface of the tortilla. Add beans in a line down the middle of the tortilla, then add in a spoonful of the chicken mixture, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese.
  5. Roll up tortilla and place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Then spread the remaining enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas, and sprinkle on the remaining shredded cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately, garnished with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.
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