Aaron led a food demo hosted by Anna Florio's La Cucina At The Market in Reading Terminal Market in center city Philadelphia. The food demo was targeted to the Adolescent Violence Reduction Partnership (AVRP) summer internship program of Philadelphia.
Aaron spoke powerfully to the young interns detailing his upbringing in Camden, NJ. How he constantly battled teasing because of his desire to learn how to cook during his young adolescence. Aaron encouraged all the interns to continuously strive for their goals. Several interns were selected by the Chef to help in preparation and cooking during the food demonstration.
Chef McCargo and La Cucina decided to feature a demo on a favorite Spanish pastry - the Chicken Empanada (aka Pastelillo). Aaron first asked all involved to wash their hands but this time he made sure he didn't turn his back to the audience (take that Rachel Ray). Aaron spoke about his addiction to the pastry when he was young and went on to detail the different aspects of preparing the chicken with traditional Spanish spices including a Sofrito base and the colorful Adobo rub.
A surprise guest was lurking in the audience ... one of the 3 current finalists of the Next Food Network Star - Adam Gertler !! Adam provided an excellent overview on the different aspects of the tortilla used in empanadas and how they differ across Spanish cultures.
Aaron put the interns to work as they cut, prepped, seasoned and cooked the chicken empanada filling. The interns then filled the empanada tortilla shell with the filling and Aaron instructed them on proper empanada folding and completion. Donyelle, Aaron's assistant, helped deep fry the delicious pastries and started passing them out to the crowd. Delicious !!!
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