There's No Stopping Our Kitchen All Stars

Two weeks ago, over 100 students from fourteen different DC high schools gathered in our three Brainfood kitchens across the city, eager to meet new people and explore all aspects of food and cooking. Some are returners—teens who have been with Brainfood for two, three, four, or even five programs over the course of their high school careers. Some are just entering our kitchens for the first time.

Students in our first-year program, Kitchen All Stars, represent a variety of levels of experience in the kitchen. However, all of our first-year participants can now say they have an ongoing list of kitchen knowledge under their belts. After just three Brainfood classes, Kitchen All Stars have encountered at least 33 different ingredients and over 33 different pieces of kitchen equipment. And we’ve only just begun our introductory baking unit.

From A to Z, check out the ingredients and tools that have already made an appearance or two in Kitchen All Stars:


  • All-purpose flour
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Applesauce
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Black beans
  • Blueberries
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Chives
  • Chocolate chips
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Cream cheese
  • Eggs
  • Espresso powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • Honey
  • Lemon zest
  • Maple syrup
  • Oats
  • Parsley
  • Raspberries
  • Salt
  • Thyme
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Yogurt
  • Zucchini

Kitchen Equipment

  • Baking pans
  • Baking sheets
  • Bench scrape
  • Blender
  • Box grater
  • Can opener
  • Colander
  • Cookie cutters
  • Cooling rack
  • Dry measuring cup
  • Food processor
  • Ladle
  • Liquid measure
  • Loaf pan
  • Measuring spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Muffin tin
  • Oven
  • Parchment paper
  • Pastry blender
  • Pastry brush
  • Potato masher
  • Rolling pin
  • Sifter
  • Skillet
  • Slotted spoon
  • Spatula
  • Stock pot
  • Tongs
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon
  • Zester

Are you surprised to see any of these items show up in the first two weeks of classes? Are you as impressed as we are that our students have already mastered so many new things?

In addition, participants have picked up a variety of new skills and concepts in their first three classes. Just a few include:

  • How to read a recipe
  • How to precisely measure dry and wet ingredients
  • How to “cut in” butter
  • Food groups and what it means to have a balanced diet
  • MyPlate and basic nutrition guidelines
  • Health benefits of fiber and whole grains 
  • Healthy baking substitutions that keep baked goods moist while employing less fat and sugar

We hope you join us in congratulating our Kitchen All Stars on all they have accomplished already--and cheer them on for eight more months of exploration in the kitchen!


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