Cost:
The fee for each workshop is $200, which covers the cost of food for up to 30 students per class. I structure the fruit pizza activity by separating students into five table groups with no more than 6 students per table. Travel fees apply to locations outside of the East Bay Area. 

How to Book a Workshop

Please send an email to befreecooking@gmail.com or call (925) 998-1171. 


Relevant Certificates and Information:
Serv Safe Food Handler Certificate, Serv Safe Allergens Certificate.
Registered in the State of California Live Scan Database.
Pleasanton Unified School District Employee

Overview

The Writing & Food Fun Workshop is designed to help young students see writing and food in a whole new light. The 60-minute workshop takes students on a fun filled, interactive and fast paced journey of discovery, covering high level principles of writing and nutrition. This workshop is ideal for second and third graders but can be modified for older or younger audiences.  

 This workshop is a perfect reflection of the two worlds that came together when I wrote my first book, a cookbook, titled BE FREE COOKING- THE ALLERGEN AWARE COOK. In living out a longtime dream to write and publish a cookbook, I discovered that the lessons I learned went far beyond the printed page. I learned about what it takes to be a better writer, how hard it is to overcome rejection, the challenges of finding a publisher, but most of all, I learned that it’s important not to give up on a dream. This workshop is not just about teaching writing concepts, or reciting food facts to them; it’s about helping each student understand that they have the ability to realize their own dreams, that achieving those dreams will take hard work, and that anything is possible with perseverance.  

 I have several goals for the workshop, perfectly explained by these three words: inspire, educate, and enjoy. The workshop is broken down into three 20-minute segments with these goals in mind. When it comes to writing, I try my best to inspire each student to simply get that process going, be less judgmental about their initial work, and to embrace the revise and resubmit strategy. When it comes to food and nutrition, I educate the students about food allergies, types of cooking, ingredients, nutrition, sugar content and more. Once I have inspired and educated them on the variety of writing and food topics I change the focus to help them enjoy what they just learned. The last segment of the class is very hands-on and interactive, allowing all the students to enjoy what they learned through a fun team-building snack activity.

Workshop Details

There are three, 20-minute segments to the Writing & Food Fun Workshop. This format keeps things moving along at a good pace, fast enough so students don’t have an opportunity to be bored but slow enough that they don’t feel rushed. 

Part Three
Fruit pizza snack team development activity and conclusion.


The fruit pizza snack involves the following foods: grapes, mandarin or naval oranges, strawberries, and bananas. Teachers are asked prior to every workshop to make sure no students have allergies to them since they will be eating these fruits as the snack. Although it is called “pizza” there is no cheese (dairy) or wheat flour (gluten). This “pizza” is made up of fruit and the activity gets students to look outside the traditional way we see pizza and instead, allows students to be creative with dairy and gluten-free alternatives. This activity offers a great opportunity for students to work as a team and problem solve challenges that may arise.

Writing & Food Fun Workshop
Each 60-minute workshop is conducted onsite at elementary schools in the Bay Area

Part Two

Fruit & vegetable guessing game and sugar content guessing game.

Part One
Introduction and writing discussion


I give a brief introduction, describe my journey from cookbook inspiration to publication, talk briefly about what a food allergy is, and help the students start their first manuscript.


The fruit and vegetable guessing game involves the following foods: tamarind, ginger, lemongrass, habanero pepper, orange bell pepper, and tomatillos. Students will not be eating these fruits and vegetables, but they will be handling them (with the exception of the habanero pepper due to its spice factor). Teachers are asked prior to every workshop to make sure no students have allergies to them.

I take students on a culinary adventure around the world as they have the opportunity to guess what each food item is. I talk about the different cultures that use each food as well, nutritional properties as well as how each food is used in recipes.


The sugar content guessing game is an opportunity for students to see how much sugar is in an orange, orange juice, and a chocolate candy bar. I have three mason jars with sugar and they have to match up the sugar with the food.