JACKSON, WY— It’s never too early to inspire kids to love local food.
That’s the idea behind Slow Food in the Teton’s after-school Farm-to-Table Cooking Class, offered to students in fourth and fifth grade, middle school, and high school. The third session starts Wednesday, February 6.
“We believe that the best way to affect long-term change in our local food system and our investment in the future of Slow Food is to bring programs to kids where they can create meaningful connections with their food and farmers,” said Slow Food Executive Director Scott Steen. “This all begins in the garden and in the kitchen.”
In each class, kids learn important life skills like meal preparation, flavor identification, cooking with the seasons, following recipes, deviating from recipes to use ingredients on hand, teamwork, time management and of course creativity in the kitchen. In the past two months, classes have baked sourdough bread, put together rice bowls, milled flour to make tortillas for tacos, made sauerkraut and fermented veggies, and created delicious dumplings from scratch. As the weather warms up, students will spend more time in the Summit Innovations School greenhouse planting and harvesting veggies and learning about gardening in general.
Perhaps the most important moment of this entire experience comes at the end of class, joining together for a healthy delicious meal prepared with care. This timeless and joyful moment of sharing a meal is the binding agent that holds the entire Slow Food movement together. This moment is not lost on the kids.
Each class tries to focus on teaching kids where food comes from. Local food is ideal, but Slow Food tries to empower the kids to find out where all their food came from, how it was raised, what it takes to get it to their plates, and how those eating choices affect the whole system. “These can be some pretty heavy themes, but when conveyed through cooking, even the youngest kids in our classes can understand them,” said Ian McGegor, Slow Food in the Tetons board president, farmer and lead instructor.
Registration is still open for Session 3 on Wednesdays beginning February 6. In addition, registration is now open for Session 4- Mondays or Wednesdays beginning the week of April 8. Cost is $175, and some scholarships are available. Class size is limited, so register now! Sign up online or by emailing Ashley at [email protected].