Word Choice Cafe is an online cooking program for stay-at-home teens due to COVID-19. Before COVID-19, our Program operated at Kelly Hall YMCA with a student capacity of 22 teens. The Program teaches teens age 13 through 19 fundamentals in cooking and baking. Teens attend the Cooking Program Monday through Wednesday and are coached and guided through a variety of recipes, creating meals and experiencing different cuisines, using fresh and dry ingredients, assorted meats, pastas, vegetables, etc. Each week a recipe deck cookbook is emailed to teens for review, grocery list and instructional purposes. Parents can join in as co-coaches who also help teens successfully create an entire family meal. There are several benefits that make our Project awesome: Our Program (1) provides teens with hands-on experience in a field that may turn into a profession; (2) gives teens an opportunity to work along with skilled field professionals who will expose them to career opportunities; (3) encourage family fun and participation, family eating; (4) teaches long-term life skills. Word Choice Cafe provides teens and families with lessons in culinary creativity experienced right inside the family kitchen, (5) allows our teens to give back to the community by providing free catered events for the elderly and families. The curriculum includes: food safety, sanitation, nutrition, set up & clean up and so much more. Upon completion of the 12 weeks Program, teens receive a trophy and certificate of achievement and during their weeks of learning, teen participants are able to document their dishes in photos. Our Program is free and our teens can return as often as they want, to learn and develop new skills and recipes.
Funded by Chicago, IL (September 2020)