Boulder Valley School District

School Food Project Launches Teaching Kitchen Project

students prepping food
Mary Rochelle

Opportunity for hands-on learning for students and staff

The School Food Project is hoping to ignite students’ passion for learning by creating a BVSD Teaching Kitchen at the new BVSD Culinary Center which will open this summer, as part of the 2014 Bond Program.

The aim of the Teaching Kitchen would be to serve as a community hub, bringing people together for culinary literacy workshops, vocational learning, and hands-on training for students and staff. The School Food Project has lofty goals for this new kitchen that encompass many areas of the district and community.

One key goal is providing professional, workforce-ready training for high school students that can funnel into internships with the BVSD Culinary Center. In collaboration with Boulder Technical Education Center (TEC) this would be an exceptional opportunity for students seeking a culinary pathway.

The team has already collaborated to brainstorm what the new program could entail. Students would, of course, learn the basics of food preparation and food safety and sanitation. But they would also learn the business side of the culinary field including recruiting, front of house operations, customer service, pricing, and menu development. The culinary arts students would also be introduced to planning menus and integrating them into foodservice operations while providing the practical skills and knowledge for effective management of food and beverage service in different types of venues.

To help serve the community, the BVSD Teaching Kitchen also plans to collaborate with partners such as Community Food Share, Boulder County, and other area organizations to host food/culinary literacy workshops. These workshops could include cooking classes and nutrition education programs to increase our community’s food knowledge, focusing on the food system, nutrition, and food preparation. Family-based cooking classes could also teach participants tips and techniques for cooking as a family to open students’ eyes to the world of farm to fork cooking.

The Teaching Kitchen could also become a great gathering place for all BVSD staff. The Food Services department would use the teaching kitchen for professional learning, allowing staff to advance within the department, including training on the latest trends and techniques so they can contribute most effectively to the department’s success. Staff could also hold team building workshops for other BVSD departments and outside organizations. These hands-on cooking events could encourage team building and bonding, and improved communication and collaboration, resulting in a delicious, scratch-cooked meal.

The hoped-for opening date of the Teaching Kitchen is late 2020. 

Learn more about the BVSD School Food Project here 

If families are inspired by this goal to connect more kids and community members to hands-on food experiences, they can visit the recently launched GoFundMe page to contribute any amount, large or small, to help reach the goal.


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