Revelstoke youth dig into environment-inspired cooking class

Environmental educator, Jade Harvey, is teaching children in Revelstoke how to cook and where their food comes from.

Jade Harley showing Cohen Maddison the right pastry cutting technique. Photo: Sofie Hagland

Environmental educator and physical geographer, Jade Harvey, was sitting around a bonfire grilling bread on sticks when one of her students said they would love to learn how to make the dough as well.

The seed was planted. After a couple of months, Harvey’s business ‘Stoked on Science’ received support from the City of Revelstoke and Revelstoke Local Food Initiative to start up the workshop ‘Kids Cook Too.’

Harvey thanks her Grandma for her love of food, which made her able to travel the world running restaurants from Norway to New Zealand, while also exploring the outdoors. 

Every Friday this November six children aged 11-14 will not only learn how to cook and clean, but also where their food comes from.

Harvey engaged in conversation with Sam Dellow. Photo: Sofie Hagland

Harvey fears that with all the processed food available, we have lost touch with real food.

The educator hopes her students will become more connected to the environment after cooking from scratch with real ingredients, and discussing food transportation, food safety, and food in the context of climate change. “I want them to know that chicken isn’t just a piece of plastic from the grocery store,” Harvey says.

Through Revelstoke Local Food Initiative the workshop gets produce from local farms. This week, the kids are making a pie based on pears from Airport Way, and next week they are using local squash in an Indian curry. 

Local squash provided by The Revelstoke Food Initiative. Photo: Sofie Hagland

“It is good to grow your own food to avoid pesticides, and food always tastes better when you make it yourself,” said workshop attendee Connor Mandel.

Fellow student Sam Dellow says his favorite dish used to be toast, but he is pretty sure that will change after the workshop. “It has been really fun and delicious,” he says. 

Payton Zimmer focusing on cutting pastry. Photo: Sofie Hagland

Harvey explains how ‘Kids Cook Too’ is not only about practical skills, but also about social skills and learning how to work as a team.  

COVID-19 precautions reduced the numbers of students down to six. However, Harvey is excited for the workshop’s future. The plan is to keep the class running for the next couple of months, teaching even younger kids how to cook, and potentially some adults as well. 

The children bring their dinners home after class, which is enough to feed a family of four. With the support from the city, some spaces in the program are free for people that need it, and in the future Harvey hopes to make the workshop fully subsidized.

Sofie Hagland is the multimedia community journalist for Revelstoke Mountaineer. When Sofie is not skinning up a mountain or climbing up a rock, she is probably behind a camera looking for her next story. Do you have tips on Revelstoke news, outdoor life, or what's happening in the community? Contact Sofie at sofie@revelstokemountaineer.com or call/text 672-999-3616.