Young Chefs on CBS Minnesota Radio!


Thanks to all the volunteers, organizations, and people who have made this possible!!

Listen to co-founder Vayu Maini Rekdal’s interview on CBS Minnesota on “Off the Menu,” by James Beard award-winning journalist and Carleton College alumn Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl. Between minutes 17-24 you can hear him talk about the Young Chefs Program: From Cooking to Science,FireBellies, and growing up cross-culturally.


Young Chefs Announces Summer Program in Northfield, MN: Two Paid Positions for Gardening, Cooking and Science

We recently announced our launch of our new garden launched together with Kitchen Garden Laboratory at the Middle School in Northfield, MN. We are now proud to announce our launch of a summer program that will incorporate gardening, cooking, and science to provide underserved youth with rewarding learning experiences in the kitchen, classroom, and beyond. Specifically, we are partnering with the Northfield Middle School Summer Plus program to hire two site assistants that will work to actively create and teach science, cooking and garden curriculum over the summer, in addition to helping with day-to-day tasks at the school and mentoring and supporting the Middle School students in their normal academic activities.

All site assistants will spend 1-2 hours working each morning tending to, and teaching in, the Northfield Middle School  Garden and spend 3-4 hours leading groups of middle school students through daily activities at Carleton with the Kitchen Garden Laboratory, Young Chefs, and other on-campus organizations involved with the Summer Plus Program. Site assistants you will also join our team to develop the schoolyard garden this spring! Such a program has never existed in Northfield before, so if you are interested in taking it on, you can truly make it your own.

Deadline to Apply: March 25, 2015

contact for questions

Apply at Northfield School District website (Job ID 1876) scroll down to where it says, “Targeted Services BLAST site assistant”

June 24thto August 6th, M-Th: 9:30am-3pm, $11/hour, 20 hours/week
Training on June 23rd
If you are a Carleton College student, you can easily work Lighten Up or reunion between end of classes and start of program!


Young Chefs spreads to Saint Paul Public Schools, MN, and Warren Wilson, NC

Many great things are happening in Young Chefs right now, but perhaps one of the most exciting things is to see our curriculum spreading across the U.S. We are proud to announce two new Young Chefs Projects:

Saint Paul Public Schools, MN (2015-present)

Kathryn Vadnais, currently a visiting Master Teacher at St.Olaf College, is taking on our curriculum in her Saint Paul Public School classrooms, bringing edible experiments to urban youth at the South Central High School.

Warren Wilson College, NC (2015-present)

The students and staff at this college are coming together to utilize our curriculum in the establishment of a new after school program in the community. Go Warren Wilson!


Young Chefs Collaborates with Kitchen Garden Laboratory, Announces Building of School Garden

This January, former White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses visited Carleton College to share his passion for science, cooking, and social change with the community, including our Young Chefs. We are now proud to announce a new chapter in our collaboration with Mr Yosses and more broadly, highlight another milestone in the development of Young Chefs.

Thanks to the hard work of Christian Purnell (’17) and Erin Roth (’16), a Young Chefs volunteer since 2013 and now a Program Director in Faribault, Young Chefs has been to approved to build a garden at the Northfield Middle School, allowing us to now incorporate farming and gardening into our curriculum.

Erin Roth ’16 first initiated the idea of a garden during her time studying environmental education in New Zealand this past winter, preparing an extensive grant proposal on the garden as part of her final project. And now, this idea is becoming reality. The initiative is funded by the Kitchen Garden Laboratory, an Oregon-based non-profit founded by Bill Yosses and social entrepreneur Rick Montgomery (founder of Global Roots). This newly established organization focuses on bringing science education, cooking, and gardening to undeserved communities by initiating school garden projects across the U.S

Christian Purnell ’17, who is from Oregon, has volunteered with Kitchen Garden Laboratory since high school. He also played a pivotal role in catalyzing this new partnership, bringing his invaluable experience and expertise to the process. Linda Oto, the Youth Development Coordinator at the Northfield Middle School, also contributed significantly by helping facilitate conversations and logistics with the public school district. Finally, the Carleton Center for Community and Civic Engagement provided much-needed infrastructure and support throughout the planning stages.

The garden will be used not only as a source of our ingredients and cooking material, but also as a laboratory for teaching new scientific principles and methods relating to plant biology, geoscience, and microbiology. It will also play a central role in our continued summer programming in Northfield, MN.

We will develop the garden together with Middle School students and staff starting in a couple of weeks, and are hoping to have our first plants ready by mid-spring, continuing growing through October.

This effort reflects the shared vision of Young Chefs and Kitchen Garden Laboratory to combine hands-on food education with science outreach to create social change. Soon enough, our Young Chefs will have the opportunity to engage with scientific and culinary learning through food as it develops from the seed to the plate.