Nourishing the links between land and table

Chef in the Classroom

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The Chef in the Classroom Program brings local chefs into middle and high schools to teach cooking lessons and lead demonstrations using local, seasonal ingredients. 

The Chef in the Classroom program builds students' confidence and excitement in the kitchen, teaching them valuable skills about cooking fresh, healthy meals using local ingredients. This program provides valuable information about agriculture, nutrition, sustainability, and what it's like to have a culinary career. Students are encouraged to taste, smell, touch, and appreciate fresh and healthy ingredients, and are empowered to bring the recipes and ideas home to their families. Kids learn to make everything from calzones to traditional Mexican sopes - all from scratch and utilizing locally grown ingredients. 

Chef in the Classroom brings local chefs into Madison East High School to teach cooking lessons​ using local, seasonal ingredients.​ Each semester, four local chefs prepare recipes with 2-4 basic cooking classes, exposing students to new ingredients and flavors.

C​ooking ​​Healthy Options in Wisconsin (CHOW) brings local chefs into Sherman Middle School and reaches the entire 7th grade. ​Students create eight different seasonal dishes over the course of the year, and the culminating experience is a trip to the Dane County Farmers Market and ​a tour of a downtown Madison restaurant. View the Chef in the Classroom Cookbook.

Recent participating chefs

Jason Kierce - Adamah Neighborhood Table
Dan Schmitz - Banzo
Claire Menck - Emmi Roth
Gilbert Altschul - Grampa's Pizza
Ian Gurfield - Ian's Pizza
Tory Miller - L'Etoile/Graze/Sujeo/Estrellón
Kristy Schwinn - Marigold Kitchen
Lisa Jacobson - Mermaid Cafe
David McKercher - Mermaid Cafe
Patrick McCormick - Oliver's Public House
Lily Kilfoy - The Kid's Chef
Jacob Wolfe - Underground Food Collective

Scenes from Chef in the Classroom

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Chef in the Classroom Materials

See the Cooking Local in the Classroom manual and the CHOW Recipe Book on the Farm to School Resources page.