Cleveland High School Cooking Program

By Nikki Lewis, Seattle Tilth Intern

On December 7th, students from Cleveland High School participating in RaVE’s after school cooking class prepared a celebratory meal for friends and family to mark the end of their ten week program. Over the course of the program students have been introduced to new and exciting ways to cook fun and quick meals from local food sources. Many of the students had no previous cooking experience, but with the aid of RaVE cooking and nutrition expert, Leika Suzumura, many of them displayed a confidence and excitement in the kitchen that day.
To celebrate their achievements, the students prepared sushi in authentic Japanese style with egg cake, hand made teriyaki chicken, rich apple crisp, a fresh ginger salad and flavored soda. All the food used in the scratch meals were provided from PCC, introducing healthy, organic and local food to the students. Teaching students how to cook provides a healthy alternative for teenagers looking for a gratifying meal.
When asked if they would pass their newly acquired kitchen knowledge into their home, a student replied, “Absolutely! My mom has always wanted me to help, but now I will cook dinner myself.”
With the support of RaVE employees, Rokea Jones and Syreeta Bernhal, the students took leadership in the kitchen, making every meal from scratch and whole foods, while developing their own unique recipes. To witness such an eagerness in teenagers to create healthy food is purely remarkable and the skills they have been taught will surely develop into their adult life. When friends and family arrived, it was a joyous occasion shared with proud parents and supportive friends.

RaVE’s after school programs are providing necessary education on healthy eating to Seattle’s youth, a crucial period to develop good eating habits. The enthusiasm and accomplishments the students have achieved in the past ten weeks clarifies that community cooking and kitchen education is an effective way to teach healthy new skill sets. Follow us as we continue to grow, share and eat at other schools in the Seattle area!