We use cooking as a tool to explore a variety of important topics relating to food. These include the social, cultural, and environmental impacts of food, as well as food systems, and healthy eating. This curriculum empowers young people to nourish themselves and their communities through mindful cooking, healthy eating habits, and an appreciation for food.
Cooking techniques and skills
At Seattle Cucina, we focus on practical and accessible cooking. Our hope is for students to replicate at home what they learn in our programs. In all of our classes we teach fundamental techniques and skills such as knife use, baking and sautéing, basic food safety, sourcing ingredients, and planning and budgeting meals.
We believe that understanding where our food comes from is key to making conscientious decisions about what we eat. That is why we teach students about the environmental impacts of agriculture, seafood and meat production, and food waste. We encourage students to explore alternatives such as gardening, sourcing locally and seasonally, and reducing consumption of foods harmful to the environment.
All of the ingredients used in our classes adhere to these values.
In our classes, students learn to ask questions about the industries and governments that impact their food choices. We delve into topics ranging from consumer power to the role of the USDA. While we primarily focus on local and national food systems, some classes explore international food systems and the power dynamics within them.
Social impacts and Food cultures
Healthy food is central to a health society. Food plays an important role in everything from personal cultural identity to economics.
We help students explore the social impacts of food, including barriers to access, the rights and treatment of agricultural workers, and inequities in the food system.
Cooking can also be an important form of cultural expression. In our classes we encourage students to take pride in their personal identities through food. We discuss the current American food culture and the value of preparing and sharing food with others. Through this, we challenge students to expand their palates and have fun exploring new dishes.
A healthy diet requires both an understanding of basic nutritional concepts and a positive relationship with food. While preparing tasty dishes, we discuss topics such as food groups, nutrients, and the diet-disease connection. All of our classes emphasize mindful cooking and eating. Mindfulness addresses the effects of a negative relationship with food including self-esteem, body image, and the development of eating disorders.
We believe that variety and moderation are key to healthy eating.
Our curriculums were developed with the generous help of the following people:
Danika Drugge- B.S. Public Health, University of Washington
Emma D'orazio - B.S. Public Health, University of Washington
Emily Doyle - University of Washington, Food Cooperative Manager
Neils Brisbane - Sous Chef, Canlis
Joe Rieke - Founding Executive Director, (know) food