A Salsa Story

In September, we returned to Meek High School for an afternoon of making fresh salsa.

As we did for our partnership last Spring, we worked with two of Joe Ferguson’s Natural Science classes.

The day was especially amazing for a number of reasons:

  1. The chef we co-opted to teach the salsa-making lessons was none other than Nikki Guererro of Hot Mama Salsa (the best salsa in Portland, Oregon.) Unsurprisingly, Nikki was a rock-star! She brought in all sorts of heirloom peppers from the farmer she works with on Sauvie Island who grows her specialty peppers. From sweet to hot-hot-hot, students tasted and used peppers they had never before tried in salsa.

dscn14252.All the tomatoes we used for the salsa were from the garden the Natural Sciences classes cultivated last year! For real seed to table!

3.We had really great visitors! Jillian Semaan and Danielle Lewis from the USDA were able to help clear garden beds and enjoy the salsa students made plus some Hot Mama hand-made non GMO white corn tortilla chips (to keep up their strength, of course). It is funds from a USDA grant that, in part, is making our ongoing partnership with Meek possible. There were also many great supporters from PPS: Nancy Bond, Korinna Wolf and Antonio Lopez. You can be there too–just watch this video!

4.Students…of course! It is always a joy to work with Meek students and our seed- to –culinary- skills- to- table salsa story was no exception. Our thanks to students, Mr. Ferguson and Principal Lorna Fast Buffalo Horse for their commitment to holistic learning of their students. dscn1436 dscn1437 dscn1434img_3941

What’s next?

Very innovative stuff!



Plan “No Matter What”: To return to Joe’s classes for another six or so chef visits. For three of these visits students will use their chef-led classes to prepare a food item that will be served side-by-side other lunch items on the cafeteria line. For the other three visits, the chef will lead students in preparing healthy grab and go items that will be available students experiencing food insecurity.

Plan “If We Find the Dollars”: We would love to make the “students cooking for students” model something we could partner with Meek on for the rest of the school year. There are a couple of grants we are hoping for to make this happen.

If you would like to support our ongoing work, please make a donation via our website. Or send us a message, we would love to hear how your suggestions for how we can fund this rich partnership.


Soulfully Searching


What does it mean to be of “the best service” to the community?

How can TCC be of “the best service”?

How can we build bridges with allies in the for- and non-profit worlds who believe the necessary work we need to do in order to best support the wellness of our youth?

After successfully finishing the 2015-2016 school year at Grant, Milwaukie and Meek High Schools, we’re working to analyze 600+ pre- and post- surveys to relay the impact of our work.

Of course, we’re also thinking about programming for the upcoming school year, and the many dollars we will need to raise to serve the schools who are interested in our programming.

There is a bit of dreaming, some scheming, but mostly, a continued looking in to determine the best ways we can empower youth with the essential culinary skills and basic food literacy they deserve as a part of their high school experience.

National Recognition Sure is Nice

Over the past months we have been working with the National Farm to School Network towards a blog entry focused on The Curriculum of Cuisine. March proved to be the right fit as Farm to School is focused on nutrition during this month, and TCC provides students the skills they need to make nutritious choices. Here’s the story!

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We are honored to be featured on this national site, and hope you will share this story with your networks. As ever, TCC is always looking for opportunities relative to  partnership and collaboration. We know that we can create greater impact for our youth when work together; let’s connect: maggie@thecurriculumofcuisine.org.

Seven More Days to Get the Chefwich at Lardo!

A Chefwich benefiting TCC!

Spring Fling Chefwich by Jason French of Ned Ludd at Lardo until May 16th!

Jason French's Chefwich contains...

Jason French’s Chefwich contains…


Huge thanks to Lisa with Chefstable who helped get those cute Curriculum of Cuisine postcards into napkin-holders and all the folks connected


We are tickled pig (ha, ha, ha, sorry, we couldn’t resist) to be  chosen as this month’s charity for Lardo’s Chefwich.

Not familiar with the Chefwich? Here’s the deal, good-guy Lardo owner Rick Gencarelli calls on a local chef to create a sandwich special. Proceeds from that sandwich are donated to a local non-profit.

If you haven’t been to a Lardo location since April 16th, you’ve been missing out on Jason French’s  delicious Chefwich. The good news is, you still have over one week to get in on the goodness and support us in bringing essential culinary education back into high schools!