Are you hungry to eat healthy? Do you want your kids to learn to cook well? Does your daughter or son dream about becoming a professional chef? Then Chef Ann Butler, founder of the Richmond, VA-based kids cooking school Edible Education, is where they need to go to help make their dreams come true. “It’s a funny thing, cooking and eating,” says the former high school culinary teacher who launched her cooking company in December 2010. “We do it three times a day … you would think more of us would know how to do that for ourselves. That’s why I founded Edible Education — because I want to get them started to cook real food when they are young.” In fact, studies by the CDC show that if you have 50 hours of cooking lessons before you are 12, it will change the way you think about eating well for the rest of your life!
Chef Ann’s philosophy: “If kids get to cut it, cook it, and taste it — they’ll eat it. Everybody’s happy when they are eating real food!”
To get as many kids cooking as possible, her offering include after-school classes, in-school field trips that feature cooking competitions, catering in public institutions (including schools, nursing homes, and other organizations that feature real food), and dozens of daily cooking classes in her commercial Source Kitchen & Market in Midlothian, VA (a suburb of Richmond). She also hosts the most popular C.H.E.F. summer camp in the region.
Having graduated 20,000 students — and counting — from her programs in the last four years, last year she began a catering service for schools and other institutions that don’t have a chef or food service staff. Instead of serving chicken nuggets and pizza, her team whips up nutritious breakfasts and lunches — and works with teachers to educate kids and adults about what they are eating.
This fall, Butler launched Edible Education TV, where kids are the celebrity chefs who prepare the dishes and teach other children to make healthy meals in 10 minutes or less.She’s also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s annual Food Revolution Day, a partner in the James Beard Foundation’s Better Burger Project, and the assigned chef of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Chefs Move to Schools” program for the Richmond Public Schools.
But the pièce de résistance of Butler’s growing, kid-focused food empire is her patent-pending brainchild, Kitchen a la Cart.™ This mobile cooking station comes complete with a running hot-and-cold-water sink, a kid-safe cooktop stove, an oven, a blender, a food processor, and all the utensils and tools you need to whip up everything from an apple tart to zucchini pizza. Schools across the nation, military organizations, and backyard chefs are flocking to buy the kitchen on wheels to teach cooking in classrooms, roll into remote villages, or tailgate at football games and NASCAR races. Scroll down to read all about it!
Are your creative juices flowing? Don’t miss this fun video featuring Butler and her students. Click here to learn more: EdibleEdu.com. And watch more videos starring Butler and her students at EdibleEducationTV.com.