Cooking Czech classics

Authored by:
Courtney Kobos

Courtney Kobos

Cooking Czech classics


A guest post by CIEE session 1 students Kevin R., Ava E., and Kirk B.

Edited by Courtney Kobos 


After days full of adventure and exploring a city full of generations of art and architecture, we tried something new. We learned how to prep, cook, and serve Czech food. At first, we were nervous because none of us have experienced cooking Czech food.The head Chef John, never lost patience with us throughout our many mistakes. We were separated into 4 different groups around the beautifully outfitted kitchen, each team was assigned a dish that was to be completed by a certain time.

Zora and Ngoc work on peeling potatoes 
Opal and Bella listen to Chef John's instructions

A sneak peak at the final outcome

The dishes were Czech favorites which included potato soup, potato pancakes, beef with cream sauce, bread dumplings, and cranberry, and strawberry dumplings.

Strawberry pancakes and potato pancakes

Our group was assigned to cook the strawberry dumplings and potato pancakes, we handled this assignment by working on making the dumpling batter which surprisingly included cottage cheese and cutting the strawberries first. Once we finished the batter and strawberries, we began to roll out the dough and took small circular pieces off to stuff the strawberries into them and roll into little balls which we set to the side.

Once we finished rolling all the balls, we put a pot of water on the stove to boil and once the water was ready, we dropped the dumplings into the water and knew to pull them out once they began to float. After 30 minutes we finished the dumplings and began to plate.We whipped up a nice sweet sauce to put under the dumplings and it made it so good! They were to die for honestly, even the Chef stole a few to take home.

Ava is sampling the dishes! The strawberry dumplings are closest to the camera

Feeling accomplished 

Throughout the whole process of cooking the dumplings, we had Chef Monica there watching us and giving us tips and overall making the class a lot of fun. If I lived in Prague, I would love to cook with her on a daily basis. Chef John with his patience taught us step by step how to cook a well-done potato pancake. Being able to cook our first potato pancake in our life and having the head chef tell us that the pancakes were made very well and carefully. This made our day because it’s a huge accomplishment to be told from a chef that we did a great job.

Ava, Kevin, and Ella sitting down to enjoy their hard work

Once all 4 dishes were done and plated, we sat down and dug in. Fellow students helped to plate the food and serve it to our peers. Something about cooking your own food just makes it taste a billion times better, and it was nice to enjoy the meal surrounded by friends. While the kitchen was hot that day, we had an amazing experience using teamwork skills to bring us closer together as a group and create something. To experience Czech’s culture through their cuisine was meaningful, and we plan to bring home copies of the recipes!

-- Kevin, Kirk, and Ava 



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