Garden to Plate

Now that they have grown veggies, Chef Johnny shows them how to cook them!

Chef Johnny goes into the classrooms and gives cooking demonstrations on vegetables types that grow in the students own gardens!This program is easy adapted for students all the way from k-12. The younger students have special fun interactions including the Veggie Shake dance, where they show Chef Johnny the dance moves they want to see him lead and then they all join in. Great fun is had by all. Older students get more serious cooking demo’s that have included zucchini bread, Bolognese sauce, and salsa’s. This is the simplest of our four programs and only require the participation of one class for one period.

Program milestones include our support of a group of students at Pontiac International Tech Academy in Pontiac, Michigan in 2010, who were involved in a community garden program at the school. We assisted the students in the design of the garden and also showed them the science of optimizing the output of the garden. Of course, when the vegetables were ripe, I took them into the kitchen and demonstrated how to make such things as zucchini bread and Bolognese sauce.

In 2011, I initiated and hosted a Gumbo and Blues festival to raise money for the Pontiac International Tech Academy. Working with students, we used my recipe and the okra from our garden to compete against 15 of the best gumbo restaurants in southeastern Michigan.  Our team took second place amongst this stiff competition!