Cooking Up Something Powerful

Something powerful happens when women get together in the kitchen. They share resources, skills, and stories, and create something more than just what goes on the table. Recently, facilitators from The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre® were joined in the SFC kitchen by members of Les Dames d'Escoffier, a worldwide organization of professional culinary leaders committed to culinary education and philanthropy for the good of the global community. The day was organized by Cecilia Nasti, producer of KUT's Field and Feast, and a longtime supporter of SFC. Cecilia has a generous spirit and a deep understanding of the power of connection--when she learned the Dames were planning their annual conference in Austin this year, her first thought was to bring these accomplished culinary professionals from around the US to our kitchen to meet our facilitators and share knowledge with them. Our facilitators are powerful women in our community; they are a source of encouragement and wisdom to their neighbors and friends and facilitate life changes that go far deeper than sharing recipes and kitchen technique, and they were thrilled at the opportunity to bring new skills and knowledge to their outreach in the community.

The Dames shared many techniques, each instructor at a station teaching a specific skill according to her knowledge base: growing plants with coffee grounds, quick pickles, using a whole chicken, sauce making, cost-cutting techniques for menu planning, cooking the perfect omelet, and so much more. Afterwards, the kitchen was abuzz with an almost electric sense of inspiration and accomplishment and filled with delicious aromas. Over samples of all the good food prepared together, one of our facilitators spoke for all of us when she said, "Well, I just loved it. The morning was fun, informational, casual, and full of good-hearted cooks from Les Dames and SFC facilitators. Great atmosphere--what a pleasure to have that class in the SFC tricked-out kitchen!"