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"Chef in the Classroom" program gets students excited about eating their veggies


students participate in chef in classroom projectThe Catskill Edible Garden Project (CEGP) worked with the George L. Cooke Elementary School to design edible gardens as a living classroom to teach about food and nutrition. They are piloting a fun, hands-on program called “Chef in the Classroom” that is designed to get kids excited about eating fresh vegetables. Students participate in a hands-on cooking class, working side by side with a professional chef to create dishes featuring vegetables grown in the school garden.

The Sullivan Renaissance and the Catskill Edible Garden Project (CEGP) team held their second “Chef in the Classroom” event with Ms. Simona Ballard’s class of fifteen 2nd graders, at the George L. Cooke Elementary School on October 22 as part of a Farm to School celebration. Students began the event by learning how to properly harvest carrots from the school garden. This was followed up by planting garlic in the school garden led by Ashely Tully, CEGP Program Coordinator.

Chef and owner Richard Watt of “The Local Table and Tap” restaurant in Kauneonga Lake, NY led the students in preparing carrotstudents from Cooke elementary participate in the chef in the classroom program fritters freshly harvested earlier from the George L. Cooke School garden. Teaching assistants Jessi-Ann Rosenbaum and Janice Dorn were joined by Sullivan Renaissance Volunteer Corps member Anne-Louise Scandariato to offer valuable assistance. Jane Sorensen, EPIC, STEM Community Outreach Coordinator along with CEGP team Colleen Emery, Denise Frangipane and Ashley Tully coordinated the morning’s details. The students helped in every aspect from peeling garlic to mixing the eggs.

All of the students really enjoyed this event and are looking forward to work with this group again.