Erin Sunderland’s Inaugural Boston Marathon

It’s hard for me to put into words what it felt like to run the 2015 Boston Marathon. I spent approximately 4.5 hours running through rain, cold, and wind and it is a day I will remember for the rest of my life.

My desire to run the Marathon began before I learned that Future Chefs was looking for a runner. In 2006, as a fresh Northeastern grad, I worked part-time for Nike at the Boston Marathon doing pace bracelets for runners. I had no idea what the terms “qualifying time” or “BQ” or “split” meant. I went for the occasional run, and I took every Patriot’s Day off to stand on Beacon Street yelling encouragement to strangers. The thought that I could ever participate was only the tiniest whisper in the back of my brain.

In 2013, I was on Commonwealth Ave near the right-onto-Hereford-left-onto-Boylston turn. That year, I watched runners come to a halt at the top of the Commonwealth Ave ramp as police put barricades up and everyone tried to figure out what had just happened near the finish line. As events unfolded, that tiny marathon-voice in my head started getting louder.

In 2014, that voice became a downright shout, and I proceeded to challenge myself and successfully completed the Philadelphia Marathon.

In February 2015, I learned that Future Chefs was looking for a runner, and I became that runner. As a bonus, I became better acquainted with Future Chefs. In their office, I saw the “Attitude/Gratitude” board, sampled student-made truffles and learned more about helping equip high school kids with the right resources to figure out what their futures might look like in culinary.

Erin_Mile20Erin at mile 20

With Future Chefs and others in mind, I trained another 8 weeks in Boston’s record-breaking winter. I anticipated race day with equal parts fear and excitement.

One of the best pieces of advice I got leading up to the race was to “be present” – enjoy every moment, even the bits that were not so fun (ahem – I’m talking to you Miles 17-21). In spite of the pouring rain and wind, when I stepped on the freshly painted starting line in Hopkinton, I was ready and “present.” I broke the race into segments – each one marked by a spectator that I knew would be there. The spectators got me through. They got me to smile when I wanted to cry and keep running when I wanted to stop. I saw so many moments of joy; when runners would see their families and careen off the course for hugs or the tons of hilarious signs. It was mile after mile of the greatest spirit I’ve ever witnessed.  

Mile 25 – I was ready to be done, but I got to the turn onto Hereford and then Boylston where I finally got to experience that deafening, incredible crowd for myself. I crossed the finish line and I burst into tears. There is some quality or feeling to that crossing I won’t ever get into words. It’s an experience I will cherish forever – the lengthy training, the cold, the wet, the anxiety, the calm, the steady and unsteady footfalls, the joy, the strength and most importantly the finish.

Written by: Erin Sunderland

Mayor Walsh Appoints John Barros – at Future Chefs

 Welcome, Mayor Walsh and Mr. Barros…

Header 3…Let’s Get Cook’n!

Every teen who enters Future Chefs kitchen must walk under a sign that says, “Welcome Boston Team, Let’s Get Cook’n”. Today Boston’s new Mayor, Martin Walsh, stood under these words to announce the appointment of John Barros as Chief of Economic Development for the Walsh Administration. As a small non-profit committed to putting youth on a pathway to fulfilling careers in a vital industry, Future Chefs was honored to host the Mayor and his team for this announcement.

Before speaking to the press, Mayor Walsh told our young chefs about how he stuck with his vision for his own success, how he wasn’t a quitter, working hard to finish his degree in his 40s. When successful role models from Boston neighborhoods reach out to inspire those coming into adulthood they fulfill an important obligation to help young people adopt positive values. Thank you, Mayor Walsh and Mr. Barros for being great role models!

After accepting Aquila Kentish’s challenge to participate in a culinary throw down, the Mayor, alongside John and Tchintcia Barros, stood in front of talented, on track Future Chefs Alumnae to address the press. He emphasized a shared vision for a Boston in which the ladders of success reach into every street and every shop. With our skilled and diverse young chefs beaming proudly, Mr. Barros repeated themes from his and Mr. Walsh’s campaigns- themes that brought out many new young voters – like better public education to create a skilled workforce, streamlined permitting processes and real community input to ensure that a stronger economy benefits everyone in the city.

With hard work, collaboration and service, the Mayor and Chief Barros will make their mark on the city, as will the young Future Chefs coming up behind them. The success of all these leaders and leaders-to-be, depends on every one of us doing our part to make Boston a city of peace and opportunity for all.

There’s a lot of work to be done. Let’s Get Cook’n!

See our full album, here.

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Shawmut’s First Community Partners Charity Fair

On Thursday, October 17, Shawmut Design and Construction will be hosting its first Community Partners Charity Fair.  The event, held at Shawmut’s Boston office, will give Shawmut employees an opportunity to interact with the organizations that the company has had long-standing philanthropic relationships.  The invited organizations will be raising employee awareness of the many volunteering opportunities available. 

Shawmut and Future Chefs Partner of the Year Award

During a critical time when Future Chefs was looking to move to Boston in late 2011, Shawmut and Harbour Food Service came on board to lend a hand.  Shawmut graciously donated their time and resources to the design and construction of the new Future Chefs teaching kitchen, while Harbour Food Service Equipment outfitted the kitchen by donating all of the commercial equipment.  In 2013, Future Chefs and Shawmut were named “Partner of the Year” by the Boston Business Journal for their continued mutual support. 

Future Chefs looks forward to participating in the Community Partners Charity Fair and strengthening our partnership in the process.  Thank you, Shawmut, for your continued support.

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Thai Doughnuts with Grilled Pineapple and Mango Coulis

Quincy team developed an Asian-inspired menu for this year’s Cook Off with the support of their chef instructor Patrick Noe.

Thai Doughnuts with Grilled Pineapple and Mango Coulis
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  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon butter
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 2 tsp baking powder
  6. 3 1/2 cup flour
  7. 1tsp nutmeg
  8. 1 cup milk
  9. 1/4 pound of butter
  10. 1/2 cup olive oil
  11. Two nice slices of pineapple, grilled
  12. 1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into chunks
  13. 1/2 cup simple syrup (cold)
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer cream together butter and sugar at a medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Lower the speed then add the egg. Continue to mix until incorporated.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together salt, baking powder, flour, and nutmeg.
  3. Add flour mixture gradually to butter mixture, alternating with milk until flour and milk are added. Let dough rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes then roll out the dough 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick. Flour well and cut the dough into rounds.
  4. Heat butter and oil in a saucepan over
  5. medium heat to about 325 degrees then fry the donuts for several minutes on each side. After they are fried, allow doughnuts to drain on a paper towel before serving.
  6. For mango coulis, blend mango with simple syrup until it becomes pourable.
  7. Plate doughnut with grilled pineapple slice and use mango coulis to garnish.
Adapted from Original Recipe
Adapted from Original Recipe
Future Chefs

Soy Marinated Chicken with Daikon Radish Dumplings in Chicken Miso Reduction

Quincy High students Liz, Xristos, Jasmine, Shannon, Kency, and Brianna developed an Asian-inspired menu for this year’s Cook Off with the support of their chef instructor Patrick Noe. 

Soy Marinated Chicken with Daikon Radish Dumplings in Chicken Miso Reduction
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  1. 2 chicken boneless chicken breasts
  2. 2tsp minced garlic
  3. 1 tsp ground ginger
  4. 2 tablespoons honey
  5. Pinch of red pepper
  6. 1 tsp sriracha
  7. 1 cup soy sauce
  8. 2/3 cup white vinegar
  1. 2 cups chicken stock
  2. 2 tbsp. miso
Dumpling Filling
  1. 1 1/2 cups napa cabbage, sliced
  2. 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  3. 1 cup daikon radish, small dice
  4. 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  5. 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  6. 1 tbsp. sugar
  7. Pepper to taste
Dumpling Dough
  1. 2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 3/4 cup hot water, divided
  1. Combine garlic, ginger, honey, red pepper, sriracha, soy sauce, and vinegar in a medium sized bowl. Add chicken and set aside to marinate.
Dumpling Filling
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Dumpling Dough
  1. Put flour in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachement. Add 1/2 cup water and allow to incorporate, then add an additional 1/3 cup water. Add an additional 2-3 tablespoons water until the dough comes together. Mix on a medium speed for 5-10 minutes or until the dough becomes soft and elastic.
  2. Divide dough into small pieces then rol them out into disks about 3 inches in diameter. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the disk then fold and crimp the edges to seal in the filling. Set dumplings aside on a floured surface.
  1. To cook dumplings, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan.
  2. Sear the flat side of the dumplings for several minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Add a small amount of chicken miso reduction to the pan then cover it to allow the dumplings to steam. When broth is fully evaporated, the dumplings should be fully cooked and ready to eat.
  4. For final assembly, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Sear the marinated chicken breasts and finish cooking them in the oven. Plate chicken with three dumplings in miso broth and top with chopped scallions.
Adapted from Original Recipe
Adapted from Original Recipe
Future Chefs