Monday, July 14, 2014

Kitchen Culture at Edible Schoolyard Berkeley

Vegetables from the garden
The rituals and routines that students and teachers follow create a kitchen classroom culture that fosters positive contributions and community in the kitchen.
In the kitchen, students have to come in line, put their things away in the cupboard, put on an apron, wash their hands, meet at the middle table for the Chef Meeting, choose their kitchen jobs, serve everybody at the table before eating,  wash their dishes and clean the kitchen after every kitchen class.
Kitchen utensils
 To let students know what to expect, the teachers and the kitchen staff  have established a set of routines. Teachers and staff have to greet the students, share leadership of the Chef Meeting, ask check-in questions at the table to allow kitchen teachers to get to know the students, take notes on each class to keep track of behavioral issues, and debrief with the students.
To instill a sense of ownership and love for the kitchen in each student, they have practices such as eat what they make, use real tools, cook in the kitchen what they have grown in the garden, harvest from the garden during kitchen class, bring copies of recipes home, and take leftovers in to go containers.
Chopping vegetables
The teachers also empower students to make decisions and encourage them to be their best selves. The teachers ask for student input whenever possible, engage all of the senses, use random decision making processes (rock/paper/scissor; pick a number), figure out appropriate work for particular student’s need, and praise students.

The kitchen culture creates a very interesting community that teaches skills, senses and responsibilities.
Dinning table with foods


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