Imagine Nation cooking up fun for Saturday

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

Connecticut Open House Day falls on Saturday, June 9, and Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center, 1 Pleasant St., plans to cook up some fun!

At 10 a.m., join the Imagine Nation staff and the Barnes Group for the official ribbon cutting of The Charlie Cart, “Imagine Nation’s new mobile teaching kitchen.”

“We’re really excited to have the, really, formal grand opening of our mobile teaching kitchen, which is called The Charlie Cart,” said Heather Grance, marketing specialist at Imagine Nation. “It’s part of a national project, called The Charlie Cart Project, to get children -and families too- really interested in eating healthy foods by cooking their own foods and understanding how those foods are made and prepared, because children that cook their own food are more likely to try new and healthier things.”

To do so, Imagine Nation has invited five Connecticut chefs to demonstrate how to create a specific treat, and then attendees are able to taste each treat. Each chef will have about an hour for their demonstration and tasting.

At 10:30 a.m., pastry chef Kate Mancini will be showing and teaching how to decorate cupcakes.

“I will be doing a demonstration on baking which will include following a cupcake recipe, demonstrating how to pipe with frosting, and how to work with fondant,” Mancini told Grance. “I hope this hands on learning experience will broaden the children’s knowledge about baking and to teach them that baking is a creative art.”

After Mancini’s cupcake hour, attendees are invited to make pico de gallo and guacamole with executive chef David Gilmore of Chango Rosa in Hartford. Resident chef Trace Alford of Sur la Table Canton will demonstrate how to make sunflower butter. Chef Ben Hopkins of Marilyn’s Pub in Bristol will present at 1:30 p.m., and rounding out the day will be chef Lanita Thomas of Jake’s Wayback in Bristol, who will be showing how to make hot dogs.

Grance said there are many other activities planned for the day, including a butter making workshop, a class entitled “Where food comes from,” recipes that families can take home, and more. The first 100 attendees will receive free admission, which includes the demonstrations.

For more information, you can call Imagine Nation at, (860)540-3181.