When the pandemic forced schools to close in spring of 2020, ESYNOLA educators did what came most natural to them: they made lemonade. Our staff made a lot of different flavors of lemonade, actually: videos and cooking demos and capacity-building projects and curriculum refinements, etc. One of the lemonade flavors was a project chef educators had on the back burner for a long time: ESYNOLA recipe collections.
It went like this:
- For each collection, chef educators chose a theme and selected 8-10 favorite ESYNOLA-adapted recipes along that theme.
- For each recipe, chef educators wrote instructions for how to engage different grade levels of students hands-on in the cooking process.
- Chef educators collaborated with garden educators to write fun educational tidbits for each recipe: seasonal food growing/gardening instructions, helpful kitchen hacks, ingredient swaps, fun facts from the ESYNOLA teaching kitchens and gardens, and cultural information on food.
Designed with watercolor illustrations from Nicole Gelb Dugat, the final recipe collections are beautiful representations of ESYNOLA educators’ vast expertise with food, culture, gardening, and culinary education. We now have recipe collections for each of the four seasons in Louisiana, a collection of Family Food Night Favorites, and a collection that–building off our 3rd grade curriculum–explores Native and international cultural influences on New Orleans cuisine.
These recipe collections are free, downloadable resources that bring the ESYNOLA kitchen class experience to families’ home kitchens! We hope families in and out of our network enjoy these tasty recipes and, even more importantly, the joy of cooking with kids at home.