I taught Pleasuring Your Palate in the Spring during my last quarter at Stanford as a collaboration between the PRL and Stanford Dining. I created the class to help students of all ages form food philosophies, gain confidence in the kitchen and change their behavior, in addition to demystifying why good food is good.
I learned a lot about teaching about food in the process of designing and teaching this class. Allowing students to taste and talk about what they’re tasting was an incredibly successful education method. I’ve never seen perception and appreciation change more quickly than when students tasted delicious raw asparagus from the farmers market side-by-side with fibrous, tasteless asparagus from the supermarket. “This is what it’s actually supposed to taste like?!” said one student as they went on to describe the tastes and textures they were experiencing. Learning to talk about food helped them express what they like about food and gave them confidence in choosing ingredients to cook themselves. I also taught a version of this at the Royal College of Art in London!
The workshop will enable you to feel comfortable creating well-designed, cohesive and delicious meals from seasonal healthy ingredients. You will learn skills based on the culinary tradition of staging, where an aspiring cook learns from the ground up: for example, keeping an organized and stocked kitchen, cleaning greens and preparing cold dishes, and sautéing, frying and roasting. Together, we will transform your perceptions of food from a source of fuel to an exciting design challenge. You will create your own menus based on seasonality and local availability, and will use human centered design principles to cater to specific needs and experiences. In addition to teaching applicable skills that you will use every day, this class will offer you a new medium to express your creativity.
Please contact me if you’re interested in learning more about this workshop.
Thank you to Dickson Chow and Nora Sweeny for photos.