by Jamie B.
Cooking with Confidence is a beginner cooking class for adults with developmental disabilities offered by the Free Library’s Culinary Literacy Center. The class is designed with two goals in mind: to help students learn basic cooking skills that will support their efforts to eat healthy and live independently, and to provide a learning environment in which students can feel free to be themselves.
This monthly series provides a supportive and developmentally appropriate classroom experience for adult students with special needs. Classes are taught by Shayna Marmar of Honeypie Cooking, a talented food educator with a background in teaching students of all ages and abilities.
The curriculum helps students learn to cook healthy, delicious food from scratch, incorporating ingredients that are easily available and have a range of preparation styles. Students learn to follow recipes step by step, as well as gain confidence in the kitchen as they improve their knife skills and food knowledge. Each class ends with a shared meal and warm conversation about how students might try or adapt the recipes at home.
Here’s what the staff from our partner organizations had to say about our first classes:
“We work with individuals with disabilities, so we have to be able to accept who they are and exercise patience in order to effectively deal with different personalities and functional levels. The gentleman who was making noises NEVER sits still that long! He was paying attention in his own way and showed a lot of progress by just sitting there and participating the entire time. We are proud of him because in any other setting, he would have gotten up and been ready to leave." — Mikall Powell, Kindred Hearts, LLP
“The program is welcoming and user friendly, but with a detailed instructional environment that motivated my members to do their best with no pressure at all. This program definitely helped my members build confidence in their abilities overall.” — Martin Van Pitchford, CATCH
If you work with adults with special needs and would like to bring a group to the Culinary Literacy Center for this class, just fill out our Cooking with Confidence form.
If you have any questions, please contact Jamie Bowers at 215-686-5323.