18 Reasons invites aspiring young cooks – ages 13-18 – to join our teen culinary immersion program, where they will advance their technical skills and their cooking repertoire. Led by our amazing team of instructors, our eight-week course is structured to give students the knowledge to confidently intuit their way through the kitchen and find meaning and value in the ingredients they work with as well as the farmers and purveyors who grow and produce them. The curriculum is based on 18 Reasons’ mission of empowerment, creativity, sustainability, and community.
Students will begin the series with an introduction to kitchen techniques, including knife skills, culinary terms, and mise en place. They will receive a guided tour of Bi-Rite Market to learn how to source for and plan seasonal menus using ingredients from local farms. Students will progress through techniques for cooking vegetables and meats, working with both familiar and unfamiliar ingredients. They will create recipes, develop menus, learn about food cultures and agricultural systems from around the world, and gain insight into food professions.
The course culminates in a “Chopped” -style finale, where the students start the afternoon with a short shopping trip in Bi-rite Market to collect ingredients. Drawing from everything they learned over the past seven weeks, and with our chefs’ guidance, they will cook up a meal of their own creation and serve it to their families.
Early Enrollment, until August 15: $550
Registration after August 15: $675
Only 12 students; full registration required
3 scholarships are available - thanks to the generosity of community member Peter Scott, we were able to add a third scholarship! click here to apply
Course Structure and Dates
Each 2.5-hour class culminates in a full sit-down meal, when the students get a chance to appreciate their efforts and get to know one another.
Introduction, Market Tour, and Basic Knife Skills
Thursday, September 24, 4-6:30pm
Instructors: Michelle McKenzie, Shakirah Simley, Theresa Salcedo
Seasonal Vegetables: Pumpkin, Kale, Fall Fruit
Thursday, October 1, 4-6:30pm
Instructor: Michelle McKenzie
Meat: Chicken Intensive
Thursday, October 8, 4-6:30pm
Instructor: Viola Buitoni
Pantry Essentials: Spices
Thursday, October 15, 4-6:30pm
Instructors: Simran Singh and Stacie Dong
Homemade Pasta & Simple Sauces
Thursday, October 22, 4-6:30pm
Instructor: Viola Buitoni
Foodcraft: Cheese and Jam
Thursday, October 29, 4-6:30pm
Instructor: Shakirah Simley
Baking: Sweet and Savory Tarts
Thursday, November 5, 4-6:30pm
Instructor: Jen Nurse
Final: Culinary Showdown
Thursday, November 12, 4-6:30pm