Berthold Academy's Culinary & Food Studies Program

Our interdisciplinary focus is a year-long exploration of food, offering an opportunity to interweave a variety of subject areas and our three main themes of the year...Revolution, Transformation, and Sustainability.

As the basis of our inquiry, we strive to explore and answer the questions:  What does it mean to feed ourselves well? And how do we do it?

Curriculum has been developed within Culinary, Garden, and Personal Development areas, and is balanced with deep inquiry into topics across Literature, Science, and Cultural Studies. The timing of various concepts and projects has been synced throughout the year.

The Food Studies interdisciplinary program and our Culinary program were designed based on the work of program development consultant, Laurie Young.

The following is information specific to curriculum in the Culinary and Food Studies area:

Trimester One

A Food Revolution, One Meal at a Time: Creative Snacks & Simple Lunches

  • Know the differences between three of the four different histories of meals that Michael Pollan describes in The Omnivore's Dilemma: Industrial Meal, an Organic Industrial Meal, and a Local, Sustainable Meal.

  • Visit a local grocer to learn how they source their products, then pick up lunch at their food stand, and get ingredients for the day’s culinary class. 

  • Learn the skills to make healthful snacks, and lessen the dependency on packaged snack foods

  • Become skilled in preparing vegetables and plant foods (grains, legumes) by experimenting with creative recipes for hummus, Mason Jar salads with dressings, Power Bowls with sauces, all made from scratch.

  • Engage the class in creating their own recipes, choosing which are best, featuring those as “Berthold student-approved recipes” to be distributed to the larger community.

  • Slow down, savor and re-engage the senses through conscious, mindful eating, so that an array of simple, healthful become more appealing.

  • Design and offer a culminating showcase day for our community, in which we teach what we've learned!

Trimester Two

Transforming How We Eat:  One-Pot Cooking, Healthy Proteins & Fats

  • Watch the Netflix series Cooked by Michael Pollan. Cooked is divided into four parts, each of which corresponds to “the great transformations we call cooking” represented by the four elements: fire, water, air, and earth. The Culinary curriculum is loosely synced with the type of cooking and themes covered in this documentary.

  • Meet with the owner of a local business based on healthy cooking who makes use of local, sustainable vegetables and meats, consistent with the themes from our first and second trimester areas of Food Studies.

  • Learn one-pot cooking: soups, stews, sautees, stir-frys, etc. as we learn the basics of flavoring and slow cooking to create savory hot meals.

  • Explore the importance of family meals and eating in community, something that human beings have done throughout time but that is being done less and less in our busy society.

  • Design and offer a culminating showcase day for our community, in which we teach what we've learned!

Trimester Three

Sustainable Nourishment:  Think Globally, Eat Locally

  • Learn how eating locally is a sustainable option, and supports the local economy as well as our health.

  • Cook creatively with the ingredients coming from our garden, as well as menu planning and meal organization.

  • Explore how CSA programs function, how to order and pick-up, find local options to consider with family, and explain why one would want to purchase food from them. Place and pick up an order from Polyface’s CSA drop, then cook from it!

  • Outline our summer garden program and find a role in supporting it.

  • Design and offer a culminating showcase day for our community, in which we teach what we've learned!