‘Community Cook’ program teaches Madison students healthy eating habits, practical cooking skills
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Thanks to a partnership between Horizon High School and Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, area high school students are learning practical skills in the kitchen.
The ‘Community Cook’ program brings a new chef to Horizon High School twice a month.
“We get to have a community cook come in and they come in and teach them different cuisines, different options that are out there and expose them to things that they aren’t normally exposed to,” Full-Time Therapist at Horizon High School Madeline Brown said.
Brown said the experience pushes their students to become adaptable, and meal prep is just as fun as it is educational.
“They’re all willing to try everything and it’s been a really cool experience to see them try things that they wouldn’t normally try but be open-minded and enjoy it along the way,” she continued. “We get to you know sit down and eat together, it’s basically a family and it creates a lot of cohesion and togetherness.”
Community Cook Daijah Birchette said she has been looking forward to cooking with the students for weeks.
“I’ve been planning out and testing my recipes even though I made the same thing a bunch of times just so I can make sure it’s really good for everyone who will be eating today,” Birchette said.
Birchette specializes in plant-based foods and hopes to open people’s eyes to the benefits of the cuisine.
“I want to introduce people to plant-based foods without having the feeling of ‘oh, it might be gross,’ or ‘it might be bland,’ or just not really sure what to expect.”
Brown said even after cooking a meal, the students are still hungry for more.
“They love it. They look forward to having Second Harvest, they look forward to having the cooks come in, they’re always asking when they’re coming next.”
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