Overview

The Teaching Kitchen Collaborative (TKC) is a dynamic, action-oriented network of thought-leading organizations with existing and/or planned teaching kitchens that are capable of shaping next-generation strategy and collaborative research on best practices for integrative lifestyle transformation across settings. Our vision is that teaching kitchens are  used as catalysts of enhanced personal and public health across medical, corporate, school and community settings. Our mission is to enable early adopters to learn about each other’s facilities and educational programs, to develop best practices for reproducing and scaling various models and programs, and to explore the creation of a research network to assess the clinical, behavioral, and financial impact of recommended best practices.

History

In 2006, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—Department of Nutrition (HChan) launched the Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives® conference (healthykitchens.org), to provide medical professionals with state of the science updates relating to nutrition science, exercise and movement, mindfulness, and health coaching. These presentations are interspersed with culinary instructors from the CIA demonstrating how health-enhancing take-home messages can be translated into the preparation of healthy, delicious, easy-to-make, affordable, sustainable recipes. This educational conference, which has since been offered 13 times and attended by more than 4,500 registrants, provides participants with both didactic and experiential learning so they can better serve themselves and their patients/clients.

Over the years, HKHL has naturally turned into an incubator for early adopters and architects of teaching kitchens in various institutional settings used for health promotion. Participant surveys indicated that 32% of registrants in 2014 and 38% of registrants in 2015 built or would soon build teaching kitchens in their respective organizations. However, each teaching kitchen facility and its respective curricula were being designed, funded, implemented, and piloted largely in isolation; none were aware of the full set of insights, innovations, successes, and failures of the others.

This observation led to the idea of the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative (TKC), which was launched in 2016 with generous philanthropic support from the Sampson Foundation, the Peter Alfond Foundation, and the Meshewa Farm Foundation, with additional support provided by member-grantors, including Barilla/Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, Campus for Health, Inc. (Japan), Compass Group of North America,  and Google.

By collecting and sharing information among TKC members through in-person meetings twice a year, along with virtual working group meetings and member-only sharing platforms, the Collaborative functions as an accelerator to support the reproducibility, scalability, and evaluation of emerging teaching kitchen models and educational programs. Information and resources will be made available publicly through this website over time.

About The Culinary Institute of America:

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts and bachelor's degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies, as well as certificates in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 48,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

About Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives—not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan School teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America’s oldest professional training program in public health.

Founded in 1942, the Department of Nutrition has a long and respected history both nationally and internationally. As a component within the Harvard medical community, the department engages in a wide range of collaborative projects with scientists in other departments and institutions. As one of Harvard University’s ten graduate schools, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health emphasizes not only the development and implementation of disease prevention and treatment programs, but also the planning and management of systems involved in the delivery of health services in this country and abroad. The school has over 350 faculty members and nine academic departments representing major biomedical and social disciplines.