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"Num, Num!" GAAH Press Club meets What the Truck

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The GAAH Press Club got to help cook on a local food truck providing three days of lunch for a summer program at the Cook Arts Center. Here they write about the experience.
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What the Truck provided three days of lunch for the Cook Arts summer program this August. The Press Club got to help the chefs prepare the food and then wrote about the event.

Some of the Press Club kids wrote news articles and focused on including important dates and names, writing in the third person, and using direct quotes.

Donny (age 12)

The Press Club worked with professional chefs, Chef Nick Natale and Chef Ryan Martin. The truck has tropical colors. On the side of the truck it says “Good to go.” Also, in the middle it shows a taco with legs that has eyes shaped in an “x."

The truck came to the Cook Arts Center for three days. It was on August 14, 15 and 16. Paul Lee owns/brought the What the Truck (the truck). Also, Paul Lee owns The Winchester.

Day one: Ignacio, Antonio, Samaria, Indira, and Donny were the people who made the food on day one. They first put on white gloves. Ignacio and Antonio were making pasta. Samaria made salads. Indira and Donny cut out the grapes. So many kids were waiting for the food. Then when the food was ready, they gave the food to at least 45 kids. The majority of the kids thought the food was tasty and great.

Day two: The kids that made the food were Shirley, Edgar, and Ivanna. First, they put white gloves on. Shirley and Edgar put the tortillas in the bowls. Ivanna was putting pineapple and grapes in different bowls. Shirley and Edgar were continuing to put food in the tortillas. They put lettuce on the tortilla and put “pico” on top (pico=chopped up tomato with chopped up cilantro). After Ivanna was done with the fruit, she asked the customers if they wanted beef or chicken. Then they could add hot sauce to their taco. Then they started munching on their taco. Everybody thought they were delicious!

Day three: Dulce, Avelycia, and Ana made Chinese food today (Also, they added fortune cookies). The day was raining, so that meant that kids had to run to get their food. The kids were all in a huge line. Well after all the kids got their food, they all ate happily. But since it was raining, all the kids had to eat inside. The lobby was very crowded. When they finished their food, the Press Club gave ice cream to every kid. Then the Press Club took pictures with the chefs, (Chef Nick and Chef Ryan).

The Press Club asked the chefs, “How did you get inspired?”

Chef Nick: “Mine came from my family. I’m from a big Italian family, and we love to cook. My parents, my grandparents, all my siblings. And I just always have a great time when I’m cooking and making people happy with food.”

Chef Ryan: “I just knew when I was younger. I always loved being in the kitchen with my mother and she wasn’t necessarily like the greatest cook, but it was still fun to be there cooking with her. When I got older, I knew that I wanted to go back to school but I didn’t know what for. So I figured I like to cook, I like to create, so I might as well make that my profession.”

That’s how the Press Club met “The Num Num Truck.”


Antonio (age 12)

Day One: On August 14, 2012, The Num Num truck came to the Cook Arts Center. Some Press Club kids got to cook for the whole Cook Arts and for the other Press Club members. It was an exciting day. Some Press Club members made spaghetti. The spaghetti was pre-cooked so the only thing Ignacio and Antonio had to do was move the spaghetti around and put cheese and seasoning on it. After all that was done the Press Club only had to serve it and enjoy it!

Day Two: It was a bright, sunny, hot day on August 15. Other Press Club members got to cook in the Num Num truck. Today they got to serve some tacos, fruit, and some chips. Some Press Club kids said, “It was yummy!”

Day Three: It was a rainy day on August 16, 2012. It was the last day the Num Num truck came to the Cook Arts Center. They were serving Chinese food, and they added some fortune cookies to keep that Chinese restaurant feel. At the end they gave everyone some ice cream. Near the end the Press Club members figured out that Chef Ryan was a beatboxer so the break dancers of Cook Arts danced to his beatboxes!


Shirley (age 10)

On August 14, 15 and 16, 2012, the Press Club cooked with Chef Nick Natale, Chef Ryan Martin, and Paul Lee of What the Truck. Paul Lee owns the truck so he donated the food to the Cook Arts Center. Some of the Press Club kids even gave their friends food like tacos, salad, pasta, pineapple, grapes, Chinese food and especially ice cream!

Whoa! There were a lot of kids there. There were about 45 kids there to eat food! Donny said that he liked the tacos, specifically because of the hot sauce. He said, “because it was spicy and I like spice.”

The Press Club asked Chef Nick how he makes the recipes. He said that he just keeps on making the recipe until it tastes good. After, Samaria and Shirley said, “like [the movie] Ratatouille.”

Overall, the Press Club kids thought that it was extremely fun with the chefs. Ignacio, a Press Club reporter, said, “I did not feel like a real chef because we did not get hair nets.”


Ignacio (age 13)

“Num num num num!!!” The Cook Arts children eat as Antonio, Donny, Ignacio and Indira were cooking with Chef Ryan and Chef Nick. The food they were serving was e’spagheti. Ignacio and Antonio were making and serving spaghetti, and Donny and Indira were preparing the grapes.

After that they said ‘You can use the apron,” so Ignacio turned his apron around, called himself Batman, and started eating the food. Antonio said “It was yummy.”

Badu ba ba dum, Ignacio loves it!


Some of the Press Club kids focused on reviewing their interviews with the chefs and using direct quotes.

Edgar (age 10)

Chef Nick and Chef Ryan are chefs in the food truck called What the Truck. They go all over West Michigan.

I interviewed Chef Nick and Chef Ryan. We asked “How did you guys get inspired to cook?” Chef Nick answered, “Mine came from my family. I’m from a big Italian family, and we love to cook. My parents, my grandparents, all of my siblings. And I just always have a great time when I’m cooking and making people happy with food.”

Chef Ryan replied to us, “I just knew when I was younger. I always loved being in the kitchen with my mother.”

The chefs were excited to cook with the Press Club. They had a lot of recipes for us.


Ivanna (age 10)

I interviewed Chef Nick and Chef Ryan, who work for the truck.

We asked, “Where did you get the idea of starting a food truck?” Chef Nick said, “That’s a good one for Paul [Lee]. Paul’s idea was that they’re not popular in our city, but they’re popular in bigger cities like Chicago or New York, and they just use a different outlet in creativity for food for us. Not everybody can come to a restaurant all of the time, whether they are working or can afford it or not. We can offer food mobilely [sic] around town on our food truck.”

We asked, “How did you come up with the recipes?” Chef Ryan said, “Trial and error, I guess. Right?” Chef Nick said, “A lot of it is. Everybody knows food and you kind of want to make it your own. So you make it, you taste it, and you go 'yeah, that was good, but I might want it to be a little spicier or a little sweeter, or different textures.’ So it’s really a lot of trial and error, like Ryan said. You try it, taste it, and if you don’t like it you change it and try it again and again and again."

I think that they were good chefs because they made it their own way.


Some of the Press Club kids focused on writing food reviews including their own opinions. 

Carlos (age 14)

On August 14, 15 and 16, 2012, the What the Truck food truck came to the Cook Arts Center. They came to make food and serve the students and staff at the summer program at the Cook Arts Center. The chefs who made the food are named Chef Ryan and Chef Nick. The truck is big and had covers close to the window to protect the customers from the sunlight. Inside the food truck had a freezer, refrigerator, and stove.

On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, the chefs served pasta with cheese. It was very delicious. It was very cheesy. I appreciate the chefs making the salad, but I didn’t like the taste. I was thirsty when I ate the food, but I ate it anyway.

On Wednesday, August 15, 2012, the chefs served tacos. It was very good. The taco had a lot of meat and a lot of cheese. Also, the taco had tomato. Yummy!

On Thursday, August 16, 2012, the chefs served Chinese. It was very delicious. The white rice was very good. Also, the meat had a lot of juice. Finally, we had dessert. We had ice cream.

In conclusion, I think that people should try these kinds of food. It is very delicious.


Ana (age 11)

On August 14, 15 and 16, a food truck came to the Cook Arts Center. The food truck had a lot of good food. The first day we had a salad with tomato, cucumber and lettuce, but the salad was gross because of the tomatoes and lettuce. The next day, we had pasta with cheese on it. We also had pineapples and grapes mixed. The last day of the food truck, we had Chinese food, and we had rice, fortune cookies and meat. Then we had ice cream. The ice cream was chocolate and vanilla, my favorite.

After the ice cream, Chef Ryan had gone to the dance studio and had beatboxed and some people danced. Then we all left. We had fun and we were all happy to have free food for all of us.


Brian (age 12)

We saw a big food truck. On day one, I had pasta with cheese. On day two, I had tacos. It had meat inside. It was good. Then we had fruit. I wanted to cook. On day three, I had Chinese food. I liked it. I also had ice cream and fortune cookies. It was good.

The food truck was so cool.


Juan (age 9)

We saw a big food truck and we got to eat the food that the chefs cooked. Pasta with cheese, salad, tacos, grapes and pineapple.

I liked the pasta because of the cheese. I didn’t like the salad because it had vegetables that I didn’t like which was all of them.

The food truck has a lot of stickers that said food, food truck, cheese, and the wheels were big, like three feet tall. Before they put the stickers on the truck, it looked white.

You should get food from the food truck. I give it five thumbs up because I like their food.

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