Vetri Cooking Lab: Raisin Persuasion

March 23, 2018

In Week 2 of Vetri Cooking Lab at Adaire Alexander School, we made Apple Cinnamon Pancakes with Raisin Butter and talked a lot about measuring different types of ingredients and cooking tools. We also practiced reading the recipe and quizzed their comprehension with a short test.

The students did an excellent job grating apples, measuring dry ingredients, rehydrating raisins to be blended with an immersion blender into our raisin butter. They mixed together the pancake batter and cooked 30 cakes total on the griddle. A small group put their heads together to figure out what the serving size was if we divided the recipe yield by the number of kids in the class. (Answer: 2 pancakes per student)

There were a surprising number of raisin skeptics! When I asked the raisin butter team to taste a raisin before we set them to soak in the warm water, I felt like I was watching that show Fear Factor! One chewed it reluctantly with a disturbed expression, another held it in his fingers and poked it once with his tongue, another took the tiniest nibbled possible, and the other held it in front of his mouth, pretended to eat it, and spun around to put it in the trash can. I laughed and reminded the class of our pledge to keep an open mind and try everything!

At the end of class when we all came together to taste and discuss the recipes, my day was made when one student exclaimed, “Shockingly, I love the raisin butter!” This spirit of adventure and discovery is one of many reasons why I love teaching this class.

— Tara Mataraza-Desmond, Vetri Cooking Lab Instructor

VCP Announces New Annual Fundraiser – Eat to Empower

March 12, 2018 Eat to Empower Dinner Series & Food Festival

On Saturday, April 21stVetri Community Partnership, along with co-founders Chef Marc Vetri and restaurateur Jeff Benjamin, will hold its first annual Eat to Empower Dinner Series & Food Festival at La Colombe Coffee Roasters (1335 Frankford Avenue) in Fishtown. All proceeds for this event will benefit Vetri Community Partnership. More information about the event can be found at 

Ribs from Mike’s BBQ ( 1703 S 11th Street)

General admission tickets for the Eat to Empower Food Festival will go on sale Thursday, March 15th. Tickets are $75 per person and include food, open bar and music. Tickets can be purchased at Featured food vendors include Big Gay Ice CreamCheu Noodle BarMike’s BBQ, Pizzeria Vetri and Poi Dog. Drinks will be provided by Bluecoat American GinDad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye WhiskeyTito’s Handmade Vodka and Yard’s Brewing Co. More food and drink providers will be added leading up to the event.

Chill Moody

Attendees can expect a night of nicethings with Chill Moody and DJ Hank McCoy who will serve as emcee/DJ. Entertainment will also include original art created live by Saeed Briscoe 

“The food and beverage industry is full of passionate people,” said Marc Vetri. “It’s not just about what they’re doing in the kitchen or behind the bar – they are passionate about their families, communities, and giving back. We want this event to celebrate the generosity, heart and soul of the industry by mobilizing them around the mission of Vetri Community Partnership.” 

Founded in 2008 by Chef Marc Vetri and restaurateur Jeff Benjamin, Vetri Community Partnership empowers children and families to lead healthy lives through fresh food, hands-on experiences and education. Vetri Community Partnership’s school lunch and nutrition education programs are active in more than 70 sites in Philadelphia and Camden, serving more than 7,500 students.  

Also part of this event is the sold out Eat to Empower Dinner Series. Held in six private homes across the Greater Philadelphia region, approximately 20 diners at each home will be treated to wine, a multi-course meal, and high-end auction featuring one-of-a-kind food and drink experiences. Featured national chefs are Rocco Whalen (Charlotte, NC & Cleveland, OH), Tom Colicchio (NYC & LA), Michele Forgione (Montreal, Canada), Bill Telepan (NYC), Tony Maws (Cambridge, MA), and Jeremiah Langhorne (Washington, DC). Each national chef will be paired up with a local chef, including Michael SolomonovNick ElmiJoey BaldinoRich LandauChad Williams, and Tod Wentz. 

Sponsors for the first annual Eat to Empower Dinner Series & Food Festival include Tioga Franklin Savings Bank; Permit Capital Advisors, LLC; Clifton Larson Allen, LLP; Vending Trucks; Advanced Staging; Cashman & Associates; Bird & Banner; Color Reflections. 

Sponsorship opportunities begin at $2,000. For more information on becoming a sponsor of the first annual Eat to Empower event, contact Genevieve Lynch at Vetri Community Partnership at 

Urgent Need for Volunteers – Spring 2018 Semester

February 28, 2018

Vetri Community Partnership has an urgent need for volunteers at the following sites:

My Daughter’s Kitchen

Community Partnership School, 1936 Judson Street, Philadelphia, PA 19121
Mondays from 3-5 p.m. through May 7th

William H. Hunter School, 2400 N. Front Street, Philadelphia, PA 19133
Thursdays from 3:20-5:20 p.m. through April 26th

Vetri Cooking Lab

Hostos Charter School, 6301 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19120
Mondays from 3:15-5:15 p.m. through May 14th

Duckrey Elementary School, 1501 Diamond Street, Philadelphia, PA 19121
Mondays from 3-5 p.m. through May 21st

Young Scholars Charter School, 900 N. Marshall Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Thursdays from 3-4:30 p.m. through June 7th

Volunteers are needed to teach students how to cook and encourage healthful eating habits!

Please contact us at if you are available at one of these sites.

The Science of Pizza with The Franklin Institute STEM Scholars

February 9, 2018

VCP chefs partnered with The Franklin Institute to bring a special workshop about The Science of Pizza to their 9th through 12th grade STEM Scholars.

We experimented with different types of dough, toppings and heat sources to find out how it would impact the outcome. The results were delicious!

Thank you to the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center for hosing us!

Mobile Teaching Kitchen Featured on NowThis Food

February 2, 2018

The NowThis Food team came out to a Mobile Teaching Kitchen visit at Lindley Academy Charter School to see how we’re teaching kids about the importance of healthy eating.

Check out the video for yourself and share with your friends & family!

NowThis Food

This kitchen on wheels teaches kids about healthy eating

Mobile Teaching Kitchen Partners with PriceRite, Kroc Center, Philabundance, more for Camden Visits

January 31, 2018

Thank you to the Courier-Post for helping us spread the word about our Mobile Teaching Kitchen‘s visits to Camden, NJ! Our chefs love spreading the word about healthy eating and showing people that it can be accessible, affordable, and delicious.

This is what one attendee had to say about our sweet potatoes, greens and cabbage recipe:

“I’m not usually a cabbage eater,” she said, dipping her fork into a plastic ramekin. “The only time I ever have it is in an egg roll. But this is really good; the way they put the sweet potato and spinach together, they really complement each other. And the cabbage gives it some crunch.”

Philly outreach comes to Camden to offer fresh takes on free food

CAMDEN – The plastic cartons were filled to the brims with cabbage, oranges, sweet potatoes, fresh greens, squash and zucchini. All of it was free, and more than 140 people streamed into the meeting room at the back of St. John the Baptist Church in East Camden to help themselves to the fresh produce being offered by Philabundance.

Learning How to Make Salads with Eatiquette in the Classroom

January 25, 2018

What’s better than getting fresh, healthy Eatiquette school lunches? Learning how to make them!

As part of the revamped Eatiquette360 program, we’re getting students involved in making the dishes they’re served at lunch and giving them the recipes to recreate them at home with their families.

This semester, our chef mentors are teaching students how to make kale salad and a chickpea salad. Students loved massaging vinaigrette into the kale and spicing the chickpeas with cumin — it smells like tacos!

We look forward to bringing more hands-on cooking classes to our Eatiquette partner schools!

Ted Dallas Visits Cristo Rey High School for Eatiquette Lunch

January 16, 2018

We were honored to host Ted Dallas (Special Assistant to Gov. Tom Wolf and former Secretary of the PA Dept. of Human Services) at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School for a delicious Eatiquette school lunch. On the menu was a curried chicken salad sandwich with yellow rice and a warm pinto bean and pepper salad.

Cooking with Kids – Tips for Every Age

January 9, 2018

Looking for ways to get your kids involved in the kitchen? We put together a list of tasks appropriate for each age group.

Preschoolers (Ages 3-5)  

At this age, it might be hard to find basic tasks for your youngster to do in the kitchen. With a rapid growth of their imaginations, the need to touch everything in reach also grows.  

But have no fear! These fun tasks will keep your toddler busy while making sure they are staying safe: 

  • Opening ingredients from packaging  
  • Washing fruits and vegetables 
  • Peeling off skin and roots 
  • Stirring dry ingredients  
  • Spreading batter, icing, butter, etc.  
  • Setting the table  

Grade Schoolers (Ages 6-8) 

Your child has moved on from simple tasks in the kitchen and is now ready to take on a few more responsibilities. Although your  6 to 8-year-old can’t perform every job in the kitchen quite yet, you are now able to begin loosening the reins.  

These hands-on tasks will start to give your child a bit more freedom in the kitchen:

  • Measuring ingredients  
  • Stirring wet and dry ingredients  
  • Grating cheese  
  • Shucking corn 
  • Melting ingredients using the microwave  
  • Cracking eggs  
  • Rolling cookie dough into small balls 
  • Greasing pans  
  • Cutting soft ingredients  

Pre-Teens (Ages 9-12) 

Although you can’t kick back your feet while your pre-teen cooks a three-course meal just yet, your child has now advanced their status to an assistant chef.  

Although you may still want to keep an eye on their progress, these tasks will give your 9 to 12-year-old monitored independence in the kitchen:

  • Reading recipe steps out loud 
  • Scrambling eggs 
  • Preheating oven and stove  
  • Kneading dough 
  • Peeling onions   
  • Toasting bread 
  • Cutting vegetables on cutting board 
  • Draining pasta  
  • Loading and unloading dishwasher  
  • Making pancakes, waffles and other simple breakfast foods 

Teenagers (Ages 13+) 

Your child has finally reached the age of total cooking independence. It’s time to let them show you what they’ve learned over the years.  But don’t forget: bonding with your teenager in the kitchen is still fun!  

So sit back, relax and let your teen perform these more advanced tasks:

  • Using all kitchen appliances including a food processor, blender and mixer 
  • Cutting with sharp knives 
  • Boiling pasta and vegetables  
  • Chopping garlic 
  • Grilling meat on BBQ 
  • Deep frying potatoes, chicken & more 
  • Baking deserts (by themselves!)  
  • Making bread from yeast 

– Haly Brill

Mobile Teaching Kitchen at Bartram’s Garden Farmers Market


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