Check Out How and Where Our Curriculum is Being Used

Since we switched to a model of having open lesson plans and resources, our curriculum is being used by almost 100 educators around the world…

Educators and youth from New York City, to Oklahoma, to British Colombia to Taiwan, China are currently engaging with our curriculum and resources. Our lesson plans are being used in diverse settings such as home kitchens, high school classrooms, after school programs and community centers. We are continuously developing and growing from feedback that we receive from groups and individuals using our materials.

For example, Immigrant Social Services (ISS) in New York City is currently using our lesson plans an after school program, and they said: “The kids absolutely love the lessons. Young Chefs is the most popular club in our after-school program.”


Student working on making a spice blend

Immigrant Social Services (ISS) is “dedicated to improving the conditions and promoting the welfare of immigrants and other persons seeking our services living in the Greater Chinatown community of New York City.”They have a middle school after school programs funded by the Department of Youth and Community Development in New York City. They work in partnership with five local public schools, providing children with opportunities to learn new skills ranging from technology and math, to reading and art, as well as provide positive role models who serve as inspiration for their future.

“The kids absolutely love the lessons. Young Chefs is the most popular club in our after-school program. All students ranging from grades 6-8 are exposed to various foods and scientific concepts behind cooking. Its popularity is due to students being curious about food and the hands-on nature of the activities, both of which keep the students engaged.”


Students with their sandwiches (featuring pickles they made themselves)

“Recently, we made pickles and they were a huge success. One student shared with us what she enjoyed about it: “I learned about how much acid is needed to eat something…” The week after we used those pickles and made sandwiches with them. Students were given a variety of meats, cheese and bread to make a sandwich with their group members. Student judges evaluated the final products based on the presentation, taste, texture, etc”


We’ve Evolved Again!

Since its founding in Northfield, MN in 2011, The Young Chefs Program has grown from a local after school program to a network of educators spreading science and cooking across the globe. This rapid expansion of Young Chefs necessitates a global leadership structure that extends beyond Northfield, MN, and can ensure that Young Chefs evolves without compromising the quality of its educational materials or ongoing programs.

With this in mind, the Carleton College volunteers, leaders, and supervisors, have worked together to establish The Young Chefs Advisory Board. This is a group that serves as a general point of contact for the rapidly proliferating Young Chefs Program branches, in addition to regulating the creation and editing of Young Chefs Program curriculum available to the public. The board will never privatize the our resources and lesson plans, and will not interfere with any local programs such as those in Northfield and Faribault, MN. Rather, this board is a group tasked with developing and maintaining a Young Chefs Program vision and a commitment to high-quality science and cooking education. By bringing together people with diverse passions, skills, and interests, this board will help Young Chefs Program evolve and grow in a cohesive and controlled way, empowering educators to optimally use our resources. Long-term, this advisory board could serve as a basis for a future non-profit organization.

While people have different roles with different tasks and commitments, the board as a whole will convene in quarterly online meetings to discuss ongoing developments and projects. In addition, the board will work with educators throughout the year as needed to review and develop curriculum for publication on the website. We are so excited!

Below are the new board members. For a more in depth description of our board, click here or go to the “About Us” tab on our website.


Vayu Maini Rekdal, co-founder and Visionary Advisor
PhD student at Harvard University, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology


Emily Pence, co-founder and Outreach Coordinator
High School Coach at College Possible, Minneapolis


Chef Bill Yosses, Culinary Advisor
Former executive pastry chef at the White House; Founder of Kitchen Garden Laboratory



Dr. Deborah Gross, Scientific Advisor
Professor of Chemistry, Carleton College



Laurel Goldner, Curriculum Coordinator
Student at the Culinary Institute of America; Prep/Line Cook for a Napa Valley food truck


Kyle Schiller, PR/webmaster
Student; Asian Studies major at Carleton College

Dr. Eric Swan McDonald, Curriculum Adviser

Professor of Science Education, Carleton College