Chef Joel enjoys working with children of all ages and helping to inspire them to love cooking and enjoy good food. He uses culinary education to empower children to make good choices about the food they eat and how they eat it, and to provide skills to prepare food for themselves and others.
The goal of each of Chef Joel’s classes is that everyone learns to prepare food that is delicious and has fun doing so. But cooking classes can encourage many other types of learning, as well. Culinary education can be used to enhance many educational goals – from teaching math through recipes to increasing vocabulary skills through describing food and dishes.
Benefits of culinary education include:
- increased ability to prepare delicious, fresh food from scratch;
- increased knowledge of food and nutrition. Topics covered include seasonality, freshness, types of food, including fruits and vegetables, grains, meats, dairy products, spices, and more;
- increased understanding of different cooking techniques and processes;
- increased attention to safety in the kitchen, through learning safe skills for handling and using knives and other kitchen equipment, and safe conduct around stoves, ovens, and hot pans and utensils;
- improved kitchen, food, and social etiquette;
- increased feelings of accomplishment that can increase confidence and self-esteem;
- improved math skills through discussing food measures and measuring food (both by volume and by weight) and discussing recipes, including addition, fractions, sequencing, spatial geometry, and logical thinking;
- increased vocabulary and reading comprehension skills through following recipes;
- improved science skills including chemistry, physics, knowledge of cause and effect, and predicting outcomes;
- improved sense of teamwork and cooperation through sharing tasks, taking turns and working together to achieve a common goal, and sharing in the rewards;
- increased sense of responsibility through following directions and delegating tasks successfully;
- increased sense of time management and ability to be patient;
- refined motor skills and eye-hand coordination;
- increased familiarity with food and food preparation, encouraging participants to prepare their own food and rely less on processed and prepared foods;
- increased awareness of different cultures and cuisines;
- increased willingness to try new foods or familiar foods prepared in new ways;
- increased opportunities to pursue a possible career in culinary arts, or just increased culinary skills for the enjoyment of self and others;
- increased outlets for creativity and opportunities to have fun!
Chef Joel uses teaching methods that are fair, fun, precise, practical, and proven to provide a hands-on culinary experience which will be a sensory experience that both educates and helps to build and maintain good character. Participants are provided with many opportunities to develop cooking skills and learn classic culinary techniques while building and/or maintaining proficiency in the culinary arts. The cooking environment created by Chef Joel cultivates cooperation, encouragement, teamwork, fairness, and safety among participants.
Chef Joel has considerable experience working with persons with physical and developmental disabilities. He feels strongly that all individuals, regardless of disability, can successfully participate in culinary classes and works hard with all students to ensure that they fully participate in each class.
In addition to teaching children, Chef Joel has supervised many teenagers as class assistants, and works hard with them to impart good workplace skills that will benefit them their entire working life. He has been gratified to receive letters from former students who have been inspired to pursue careers in culinary fields by working with him.