Teaching Kitchen

Special to the Record

GreenRoots is thrilled to announce the full opening of our new Teaching Kitchen on Pearl Street in Chelsea! The community was involved throughout the entirety of the process to bring the kitchen to fruition.  Community members developed the original idea and vision; and dozens of residents were involved in final designs, program development and more! GreenRoots officially launched programming in spring 2024 and brought on Joanna “Jojo” Emerson as the Teaching Kitchen Coordinator.  Jojo embodies GreenRoots goals of combining health and nutrition with cooking skills. 

Area residents attending the new GreenRoots Teaching Kitchen.
Regular classes are hosted at the Teaching Kitchen on cooking, baking and much more.

As a trained Chef with a Masters Degree in Public Health, Jojo is planning and implementing programming focused on making nutritious meals while building community and sharing culture.   GreenRoots has hosted regular classes at the Teaching Kitchen on cooking and baking; and together, we’ve made dishes like crispy tofu, homemade soup stock, veggie-covered focaccia and more! We’ve also led sessions covering cooking techniques like all the ways to cook an egg and the science of baking. Others have been conversations on topics like herbalism and cooking to mitigate asthma symptoms. We also share tips for healthy cooking, and host specialty classes that focus on how to eat well given certain dietary restrictions or health concerns like diabetes and hypertension. And, of course, everyone gets to enjoy our delicious treats! “It’s been wonderful to watch a community organically build within the Teaching Kitchen and between folks who come to events and classes. The community has really taken ownership of the space and everyone is so excited to both participate and contribute to what it can become” said Jojo Emerson, GreenRoots Teaching Kitchen Coordinator. Our approach to programming at the Teaching Kitchen will always center our community – hosting sessions that are exciting and relevant to those who live and work in Chelsea and East Boston. Each of the Teaching Kitchen classes make a connection to food justice and food security and how we can work collaboratively to ensure everyone in our community has access to the nutritious foods they need and deserve.  Another beautiful component of GreenRoots kitchen is seeing the cultivation of relationships blossom into new programs!  With North Suffolk Mental Health, we host a class on basic cooking techniques for those who struggle with mental health challenges.  This summer, in partnership with Community Connections, we will host workshops on women’s health and nutrition. And with the Chelsea Senior Center, we’re collaborating on weekly classes on health, nutrition and sharing culturally relevant recipes! GreenRoots designs each of these curricula is specifically designed with the audience in mind to be relevant and engaging for that particular group. This summer will be full of exciting and delicious programming! We plan to begin regular weekend classes to make our programs more accessible for all community members;  and local chefs will host demonstrations of their favorite dishes and cuisines, including Ellen Rovner’s class on Traditional Jewish Cooking on June 25th 5:30pm-7pm; and Yahya Noor’s session on Somali food on July 12th 6pm-8pm. Our kitchen will be a space where the community can share their history, stories, and culture through food. We hope to begin a weekly community recipe sharing group, where community members can share their heritage and cook their favorite recipes alongside their neighbors. The Teaching Kitchen welcomes everyone to attend our classes! From those who have never held a knife to Master Chefs, GreenRoots welcomes you to join us! With the support of our generous funders and donors, we aim to keep all of our sessions free or at a low cost. Join us!  Check out upcoming classes at GreenRoots’ website https://greenrootsej.org/get-involved/events

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