Learning to Cook with Confidence

By Jamie B. RSS Wed, August 31, 2016

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

Learn More!
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.

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Good morning, I am interested in bringing one of our participants to your Cooking with Confidence class if they are still available. If so I can be reached at 215-895-5667. Thank you in advance, Kim.
Kim Baker - West Philadelphia
Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Good Afternoon, I am a director for a local company who services people with disabilities. Our corporate office is located on Market street. Our corporate employees would love to get find a way to assist your program. How can we help? Thank you!
Jennifer - Center City Philadelphia
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Hello, I am a Supports Coordinator for adults with Autism and my agency also supports individuals with a variety of disabilities. We have several consumers that would be interested in taking your class regularly. We also have some who are seeking volunteer opportunities. I can be reached at 267 818 0576. We would love to help out if we can.
Dulcinea Williams - Philadelophia
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Hello, I am a Supports Coordinator for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. I noticed the form was for groups? I only have one consumer who may be interested in attending with her mother. How can I go about getting her signed up? Thank you!
Tori - philadelphia
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Hello Jamie, My name is Tahira. I am the School Based Teacher Leader at Robert Morris School. I am interested in finding out about the Culinary Literacy Program for students. I would like to bring my students to some of the sessions. Thank you, Tahira 215-901-3203
Tahira Burrell - Robert Morris School
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Please send information on your next class schedule. My consumers are very interested in attending. Thank you, Dulcinea Williams, MS Harmonious Life Systems, LLC
Dulcinea Williams - Phila
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Hello, I would be interested in getting a schedule as to when classes are held for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. Thanks!
Cindy A. - Philadadelphia, PA
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I am interested, please provide details, when, where, times etc
Colleen - Philadelphia
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

I am interested in learning to become a better cook.
Robert Dobbs - Philadelphia
Sunday, July 22, 2018

I firmly believe that quality vegetable seeds, coupled with knowledge transfer, have the potential to address many of the development challenges we face today. With the right partners, we can support vegetable growers to seize economic opportunity and bring vegetables to their communities and city markets. Bringing about the "Vegetable Revolution" will be a fitting tribute to the work of Dr. Borlaug.
Friday, November 1, 2019

My son is 15 on the Spectrum and loves to cook! Could he join this class?
Shaakira Gillette - Philadelphia
Tuesday, November 26, 2019