If enthusiasm is the key to success, the chefs in our spring Cooking Class came ready to succeed. They were simply bouncing with eagerness as they came through the door to the cafeteria kitchen. “Are you excited?” we asked the first arrivals. “YES!!” they answered, all at once.

“But I also feel a little weird,” JoshLynn Hill said. “I’ve never been back in this kitchen before.”

Not to worry, JoshLynn. “By the time you complete this class, you’ll feel confident walking through those doors,” we said.

As always, our first meal was a healthy, easy breakfast to show that this important meal can be both delicious and fun to create.

Our five Bayard chefs were eager to make their own granola, which they had eaten before in energy bars. And they couldn’t wait to see what a fruit parfait would be like.

To get started, our chefs divided into teams, one for fruit and one for granola. Pablo Mercado quickly volunteered to slice fruit, perhaps because his red sweatshirt was a perfect match for the strawberries. He said he had cooked before, and his slicing skills proved it working alongside Mayalee Ramos and Jomarys Vega Santos. Together, they made short work of the strawberries, bananas and blueberries and combined them colorfully in a bowl.

Meanwhile, JoshLynn Hill and Angela Darden were learning about the different grains that go into granola and the different size measuring cups used to combine them. “This smells like nature!” Angela said, as she mixed the grains with a wooden spoon — and everyone leaned in to take a whiff. They then moved on to melting the butter and brown sugar, and learned how important it is to watch things closely.

“Is it supposed to look like that?” Angela asked when the mixture turned into a lumpy blob. “Let’s try again,” we suggested, with lower heat. The result was much smoother and easier to drizzle over the granola that Pablo and Jomarys had spread on the baking tray.

While the granola was browning in the oven, the class took turns blending the fruit with the granola, and dividing it equally into bowls.

“This smells like ice cream!” Angela declared, before discovering we were using vanilla yogurt which has the same flavor.

When the granola was brown, the class headed to the table to try their first creation. And how was it? “This is GOOOOOD,” Angela said. “This is actually good. This is a 100 out of 10.” “I could make this every day at home,” Jomarys added.

And how was the first day of cooking class? “Amazing,” JoshLynn said. “I need a better word,” Angela said. “It was exciting. It was out of this world.” Mayalee took a different approach entirely as she was leaving. She simply bowed and said “Thank you for this cooking class.”