Amidst sizzling pans and refreshing drinks, our Members & Survivors enjoyed an afternoon of cooking, laughing, and tasting their new creations this past Sunday at TPC Sawgrass. This group event was our largest yet and one of the most fun!
When everyone arrived to the clubhouse at noon, we were greeted with Arnold Palmers and Pellegrino to enjoy while catching up and introducing the group to a few new faces – Chris and Emma. We also celebrated the homecoming of one of our cofounders, Katie, who had been in Michigan this past year to be closer to family.
After getting reacquainted, we took off in golf carts for a volunteer-led tour of THE PLAYERS Stadium Course, including the iconic 17th hole – a par-3 with an island green.
Once we returned to the clubhouse, it was time to get cooking! The hospitality staff at TPC Sawgrass set us up in a beautiful group kitchen for a cooking class led by sous chef, Logan McCurry. Logan designed the menu and recipes around balanced nutrition and cancer-fighting foods to boost overall health.
For our first course, we made vegetable gyoza – a vegetarian version of a popular Japanese dumpling or ‘pot-sticker’. Our members & survivors filled gyoza wrappers with a mixture of shitake mushrooms, napa cabbage, and kale before giving them a quick steam to seal them closed. The dumplings were perfectly accompanied by a sweet chili garlic sauce with just a hint of sriracha and pineapple.
Next, it was time to bring out the big guns – in this case, individual countertop burners. Once the flames were ignited and pans were heating up, Logan described our second course – a fried rice dish with our choice of shrimp, chicken, and vegetables.
Soon, the activity was heating up with 17 hot pans sizzling with onions and garlic. Step-by-step, we crafted our fried rice dishes to our liking, getting an exciting crash course in stir frying. Not surprisingly, Logan led us all to create delicious dishes and soon the room fell silent. Everyone was savoring their new creations.
Now for the sweet stuff: desert was a crepe with a lychee filling and blueberry sauce topping. We quickly found out making a crepe is a bit of an art form. Luckily, we each had three attempts to get it right! But when it was right, it was oh-so right.
When it was all said and done, everyone had a wonderful day learning to cook, trying new recipes, and spending time together. There is something special about a room full of young adult cancer survivors enjoying a new experience together and truly living for each day.
Thank you so much to TPC Sawgrass, especially Hector Gonzalez, Food & Beverage Director, and Carlianne Nawrocki, Social & Special Events Coordinator for their time, effort, and generosity for making this event possible! We would also like to thank sous chef, Logan McCurry, for his leadership, dedication, and thoughtfulness in helping our young adults to learn to cook healthy and delicious recipes.