Growing chefs

One of the food predictions for 2011 I highlighted back in January was the suggestion that professional chefs would get involved in school lunch—and bring children back into the kitchen. Of course, this makes it sound as if chefs haven’t been doing this all along, which is simply not true.

In Vancouver, in fact, an organization called Growing Chefs—in which volunteer chefs are paired with elementary school classrooms—has been running since 2005.

Growing Chefs has a two-part mandate: to promote urban agriculture; and to connect kids and chefs to encourage a sustainable food system. What this means in practice is that the volunteer chefs go into the classroom over a three month period, first helping the kids grow indoor veggie gardens, then engaging them with games and activities about sustainability and nutrition, and, finally, heading into the kitchen to create delicious meals from the food they’ve grown.

The Growing Chefs site also has smart resources for growing food indoors, recipes and ideas for fun food experiments—a great way to turn little people into little chefs.

Check out "The Little Chef," a short film about small but mighty chefs and the lengths to which they'll go for carrots

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