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What is the You’re the Chef (YTC) program?

  • YTC is a six week, after-school, cooking program for children in grades 4 to 12.
  • Recipes included in the program build food skills and the confidence to cook. Children learn safe food handling, how to use knives correctly, and much more.
You're the Chef - logo

How does the program work?

  • Each school recruits an adult leader from the school or the community. Additional volunteers (one per four students), which may be adults or students from the Food Major Skills program in secondary schools are also required.
  • Eight to ten students are optimal, but up to a maximum of 16 students can be enrolled in the program. Parental consent is required for each student.
  • Two recipes are made at each session. Students work in groups of four to make each recipe. While the students get to taste the food they prepare, the recipes made during the program are not meant to replace their evening meal.

What resources are provided?

  • A comprehensive Leader’s Guide, Participant Guides, Evaluation Forms, and Certificates of Completion for the students.
  • A half-day training session for leaders is provided and led by a public health nutritionist.
  • The Leader's Manual provides a promotional poster to recruit students, a parent/guardian letter, and parental consent form. It also includes recipes, shopping lists, equipment lists, tips on healthy eating, how to conduct demos on topics such as safe handling of knives, and fun facts about foods being made.

What is required of the participating school?

A room with the following:

  • Tables or counters to use for cooking surfaces.
  • Two sinks with hot and cold water (one for hand washing and one for food preparation). It is possible to manage with one sink if necessary. Bathroom sinks are not acceptable, except for hand washing.
  • Three to four electrical outlets that can sustain a load of 1200 -1500 watts each.
  • Two to three electric frying pans or, a stove and one electric frying pan.
  • Basic cooking equipment, such as chef knives, paring knives, mixing bowls, measuring spoons and cups, can openers and other small items, most of which can be purchased at a dollar store. Plates and cutlery to eat the food are also needed.
  • At least six dates and times (1.5 to 2 hours each) when the room and participants are available.
  • A contact person at the school if the Leader is not a teacher.
  • A First Aid Kit.
Photo of a boy in a chef hat stirring a bowl of ingredients

Cost

  • A budget of approximately $150 - $300 for food per six week program is provided by the school. Costs vary according to the number of students and volunteers involved, and where food is purchased. Purchase of food items and spices through a bulk buying store can save a considerable amount of money.

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