Chef teaches Central Texas kids importance of MLK Day while cooking civil rights icon’s favorite meals

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 3:35 PM CST
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HEWITT, Texas (KWTX) - A local chef served up a history lesson for area kids by teaching them how to cook the favorite foods of Martin Luther King, Jr. while sprinkling in history about the civil rights leader on this national holiday.

Chef Natasha Jarmon, owner of The Heir’s Table in Hewitt, held the cooking class Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at her business on Hewitt Drive with the goal of educating the kids about why they were out of class.

“This was important for me to do this day to bring awareness,” Jarmon said. “A lot of times we’re out for holidays and we don’t know the meaning.”

The chef, known as Chef Heir, researched King’s favorite foods and came up with the menu to make of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and King’s favorite desert of pecan pie with a refreshing drink of sweat tea.

But Natasha said she added some modern-day twists to the recipes.

“We’re doing air fryer chicken but for the crust we’re going to use the kid’s favorite potato chips with panko crumbs. We’re going to take the macaroni cheese and make it into balls and we’re going to pan fry those,” Jarmon said. “The collard greens, we’re going show that it doesn’t take all day long, contrary to popular opinion , to make collard greens. So, we’re going to make collard greens in less than 45 minutes.”

And while the cooking for the kids was fun the day wasn’t all about the food.

The menu was fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and King's favorite desert of...
The menu was fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and King's favorite desert of pecan pie with a refreshing drink of sweat tea.(Courtesy Photo)

Jarmon taught the kids about the life of the Baptist minister before quizzing them at the table.

“He also had another name,” Jarmon said. “What was the name?” she asked

“Michael!” the group said in unison.

“He was very smart because guess how old he was when he went to college, do y’all remember?” Jarmon asked.

“15,” they answered.

“And he did a march on?” Jarmon said.

“Selma” they answered.

Once the kids were done with the cooking, they learned table etiquette before sitting down to the meal on formal dishes underneath a chandelier.

Then came for the most impactful part.

The students dined while listening to the famous “I have a dream speech” given by King during the March on Washington for jobs and freedom in 1963.

“We’re going to talk about some of the great things that went along with Martin Luther King,” Jarmon said. “One of the things today we’re going to talk about is the voting rights we’re still in on. We’re also going to listen to his speech and I’m going to let them tell me what they know about Martin Luther King.”

Chef Heir is also planning educational classes throughout Black History Month.

She will have a soul food cooking class on Feb 4 for couples and on Feb 5 she’ll host a red velvet cake class as an African American celebration cake. On Feb 20 The Heir’s Table will have a Sunday brunch on black history chefs and their contributions to the foods we eat today.

For more information you can search Heirloom’s Foodie Group on Instagram or @chefheir on Instagram.

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