For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

Free Library of Philadelphia Launches New Culinary Literacy Center with Acclaimed Chefs Jose Garces and Marc Vetri

New Center will provide culinary literacy classes for children and adults that use cooking to teach reading, math, chemistry, nutrition, and more

PHILADELPHIA June 2, 2014—The Free Library of Philadelphia launched its new Culinary Literacy Center and state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen, sponsored by Cancer Treatment Centers of America, on Monday, June 2 at the Parkway Central Library with the help of two of Philadelphia’s most acclaimed chefs: Jose Garces and Marc Vetri. As part of the Culinary Literacy Center kickoff, some of the Library’s many culinary literacy partners hosted interactive stations that focused on different aspects of cooking and nutrition. Plus, Chef Garces and Chef Vetri helped lead a group of community members and non-native-English speaking restaurant workers through a knife-skills class, highlighting the intersection of cooking and literacy.

By using cooking to teach reading (recipes), math (measuring), and even chemistry (what happens to the food when it goes into the oven), the Library will provide an array of innovative—and delicious—programs that help develop literacy and problem-solving skills. The Culinary Literacy Center will also allow the Free Library to host workshops on nutrition, courses on budgeting and cooking for healthy living, and public classes and demonstrations.

“Every bite of food we eat has a story, and the Free Library is committed to telling those stories—and helping Philadelphians tell their own stories—through high-quality culinary literacy instruction for children and adults of all ages and skill levels,” said Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director. “With the help of many fantastic partners throughout the region, the Library will host truly innovative and multi-disciplinary programming at our new Culinary Literacy Center. I encourage all Philadelphians to drop by and see what’s cooking!”

In order to present a diverse array of high-quality culinary literacy programming, the Library is building partnerships with organizations that provide a wide variety of culinary education services that include the Garces Foundation; the Vetri Foundation; Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), a vocational program for high school students; Drexel University’s Center for Hospitality and Sport Management; the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability; Penn State Extension’s Nutrition Links; The Supportive Older Women’s Network (SOWN); the Center for Literacy; and more.

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The 61-location Free Library of Philadelphia system advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi; and rich special collections, including those at Parkway Central Library and at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia. With more than 6 million in-person and 9 million online visits annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850