Connecting the Sterling College Food Service with the Curriculum
This project is a collaboration of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, the Sterling College kitchen, the Food Systems Analysts (Work Program positions), and the course NS206 Human Nutrition: A Whole Approach.
Sterling College believes in experiential learning . In addition, we continually search for ways to grow and prepare great food within our campus food system.
For this project, the Sterling College Food Systems Analysts (a Work Program position), in conjunction with the Executive Chef, will design recipes that incorporate vegetables grown in the Sterling College gardens by students and faculty into our dining hall. The specific vegetables of study will be ones that Sterling is growing for High Mowing Seeds (a locally based, nationally distributed organic seed producer} as part of their experimental practice. In addition, students in the NS206 Human Nutrition class will help the kitchen test, present, and assess five recipes throughout the course of two fall semesters (2015 and 2016). This will lead to the development of 10 new recipes by the end of the study to be used in the Sterling College kitchen. These recipes will be highlighted to the community in a final tasting event at the end of each fall semester. These recipes will also be incorporated into the Sterling College Dining Hall throughout each semester.
In a combined eff ort , the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, the Human Nutrition Class , the Food Analysts, and the Executive Chef will create, test, tweak, photograph, scale up for larger audiences, serve to the community, publish, and assess for permanent placement in the Sterling Kitchen a total of 10 recipes incorporating St erling -grown vegetables. Some of these vegetables will be grown from seeds as part of High Mowing Seeds' experimental process.
The first step will see students in the Sterling gardens growing a series of vegetables in conjunction with High Mowing Seeds. Secondly, two student Food Analysts (Work Program positions) and approximately 10 to 12 students in the Human Nutrition class will work alongside the Executive Chef to test five recipes each fall semester (2015 & 2016}, highlighting these vegetables. Throughout the course of the semester, these recipes will be presented to the Sterling community through meals in Dunbar dining hall, as well as to the local community at the end of the semester at a taste-testing event.
For each recipe, students in the Human Nutrition class will help to develop and prepare the recipes in the following ways:
- Assisting in testing recipes.
- Assisting in creating a photo shoot where test recipes will be plated and presented to Sterling's photographer.
- Learning how to scale recipes to suit larger numbers of eaters.
- Assisting in publishing a series of blog posts that provide recipes, background information, growing tips/seasonality, preparation tips, nutrition facts, and other pertinent information.
- Collating a feedback form based on the recipes to be submitted by community members to fill out at the taste-testing event.
- Preparing the recipes for a final taste testing event for the public.
Human Nutrition students will help prepare the recipes under the aegis of the Executive Chef. These students will present the food and distribute food surveys to assess the quality of the recipes being served. We aim to attract 50 to 75 members from the public to this event.
Student Learning and Outcomes
Nutrition Assignment - See attached: This assignment clearly outlines goals, procedures, and outcomes.
Students will gain cooking experience. Their first experience will be in the test kitchen preparing their recipe, working closely alongside the Kitchen Staff and Executive Chef to learn basic cooking skills. They will take this experience to more independently cook the same recipe scaled up for a community taste-testing event.
Work Program evaluations will be used to assess Food Systems Analyst position learning. Detailed learning goals will be written before the beginning of each fall semester.
This research will benefit the departments and Sterling College as a whole and serve as a model to others colleges in the following ways:
- The Rian Fried Center will have recipes to share with High Mowing Seeds and be able to give feedback on which variety of vegetables works best for the recipe.
- The Sterling kitchen will have student involvement with recipe-testing, leading to better understanding of the kitchen, as well as acceptance and support of the food.
- Students in Human Nutrition will have hands-on experience working with whole foods.
- Students will learn valuable cooking skills to prepare whole foods so they can "practice what is preached." They will learn how to do a nutritional analysis of a recipe using the computer program FoodWorks. They will research and learn about the cultural and historic aspects of the vegetable highlighted in their recipe, gaining a broader perspective of food. They will take this information and share it with the public.
- The Rian Fried Center will have recipes to share with the community and information about the food posted on the Sterling College blog.
This project can serve as a model for other colleges as a way to connect the food served in the dining hall to the curriculum. It is also an exemplary way to show support for local foods served in the dining hall.
Goals, Assessment and Measures
- To enhance the connection from the garden to the plate: 10 recipes will be designed using vegetables grown in the Sterling College gardens.
- To expand Work Program positions involved with classes: Food Systems Analysts will help design the recipes and work with students in the test kitchen to prepare the recipes.
- To provide a resource to the community to promote local foods. All 10 recipes and information will be posted on the Sterling College blog (https://sterlingcollege.edu/blog/). The local community will come to taste-test events to try the food and give feedback.
- To have students learn basic cooking skills using whole foods. While preparing the food, they will show competence in producing their recipe.
- To enhance the connection between the kitchen and the curr iculum . Students will work in and with the kitchen on this project.
- To integrate new varieties of garden vegetables into the dining hall. Some of the recipes will incorporate new strains of vegetables from High Mowing Seeds.
- To involve students in a broader definition of a "whole" approach to fo od. The Nutrition class will have hands-on experience with working with whole foods. They will learn skills cooking to prepare whole foods so they can "practice what is preached." They will learn how to do a nutritional analysis of a recipe using a computer program. They will research and learn about the cultural and historic aspects of some foods gaining a broader perspective of food. They will take this information and share it with the public.
Student assessment is detailed in the Human Nutrition assignment sheet (see attached). Criteria include the extent of students' professional approach to learning how to prepare the food, being actively involved in the cooking process, completeness of research, ability to prepare a recipe while following standard kitchen sanitary/safety practices, preparation, and engagement.
Taste-testing surveys will be filled out at the event s. Data from these surveys will be published on the Sterling blog and be used by the Sterling College Food Service.
Farming, Eating, & Teaching at Sterling College
Vegetable Cooking and Recipe Development Project 2015
To gain knowledge and share it by enlightening the Community with information about vegetables that are produced in the Sterling College gardens (in this case specifically vegetables grown experimentally for High Mowing seeds) and incorporated in recipes to be served by the Sterling College Kitchen.
The Sterling College Food Analysts, and the Executive Chef, will create recipes highlighting vegetables grown in the Sterling gardens for research for High Mowing Seeds. As a class, in teams of two, you will help research one of the vegetables. Then you will test, tweak, photograph, scale up for larger audiences, cook and serve to the community, publish on Sterling’s blog, and assess the recipes for permanent placement in the Sterling Kitchen. Approximately 5 of these recipes (one for each group of two students) will be investigated this semester.
Specifically in teams of two you will:
- Assist in testing recipes.
- Assist in creating a photo shoot where test recipes will be plated and presented to Sterling’s photographer.
- Learn how to scale recipes to suit larger numbers of eaters.
- Research the vegetable then publish a blog posts that provide recipes, background information, growing tips/seasonality, preparation tips, and other pertinent information including nutritional information.
- Come together as a class to prepare a taste testing of the recipes for the community.
- Collate feedback from community members based on a survey designed by the food Systems Analysts and the Executive Chef.
Part One: Test Kitchen
In teams of two you will be given a recipe that the Sterling College Food Analysts and Executive Chef have developed. You will work with these folks and assist in the “test kitchen” to prepare this recipe. In this process you will learn some basic whole foods cooking skills. As part of this testing the food will be plated and presented for a phot shoot.
Assessment will be based on your professional approach to learning how to prepare the food, being on time, following all Kitchen rules and being actively involved in the cooking process.
Part Two: Blog Post
In teams of two you will research interesting background information, preparation tips for your highlighted vegetable and the recipe. You will use FoodWorks, a computer program, to determine the nutritional composition of the recipe.
1. Interesting facts/history/cultural aspects
2. Growing Tips/Seasonality
3. From Garden to Kitchen
4. Preparation Tips
5. Nutrition Facts/Health Benefits
This will be written up to be place on the Sterling blog. A draft will be due one week after you have made your recipe in the test kitchen. The final draft will be due the week after you receive feedback on your first draft.
Assessment will be based on the completeness of your research and ability to put in together in a manner that is interesting/entertaining for the public to read.
As a class you will prepare Taste testing event dinner for the community.
1. Each team of two will prepare their recipe (scaled up).
2. Serve your recipe to guests answering questions they may have.
3. Encourage participants to fill out the survey.
4. Collect the surveys and tally results.
5. Clean up all dishes and the serving space
6. Have fun!
Assessment will be based on your ability to prepare your recipe while following standard kitchen sanitary/safety practices, your complete involvement in the preparation, serving, clean up and interaction with the public. Your tally of the survey results are due three days after the event.