Dishing It: From Soup to Nuts


Ann Butler Is Cooking! And She's Teaching Kids Everywhere How to Prepare Real Food

Are you hungry to eat healthy? Do you want your kids to learn to cook well? Do you have a secret desire to become a professional chef? Have you always wanted to work in the restaurant business? Or, are you stumped about how to boil water? Do you live to eat, or eat to live?

Then you’ll want to meet Ann Butler, CEO and founder of Edible Education. The former high school cooking teacher took her skills to new heights in 2011 when she opened a commercial kitchen in Midlothian, VA (a suburb of Richmond), and began teaching after-school classes in schools and in her shop, as well as running what is now the most popular C.H.E.F. summer camp in the region.

Having graduated 20,000 students — and counting — from her programs in the last four years, last year she began a catering service for schools and other institutions that don’t have a chef or food service on site. Instead of chicken nuggets and pizza, her team whips up nutritious breakfasts and lunches — and works with teachers to educate kids and adults about what they are eating.

And the pièce de ré·sis·tance of Butler’s growing kid-focused food empire is her patent-pending brainchild, kitchen a la cart. This mobile cooking station comes complete with a running hot and cold water sink, a kid-safe cooktop stove, an oven, a blender, a food processor, and all the utensils and tools you need to whip up everything from an apple tart to zucchini pizza. Schools across the nation, military organizations, and backyard chefs are flocking to buy the kitchen on wheels to teach cooking in classrooms, roll into remote villages, or tailgate at Virginia Tech football games and Nascar. Really.

This fall, Butler launched Edible Education TV, where kids are the celebrity chefs who prepare the dishes and teach other children to make healthy meals in 10 minutes or less. She’s also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s annual Food Revolution Day, a partner in the James Beard Foundation’s Better Burger Project, and the assigned chef of Michelle Obama’s Chef’s Move to Schools program for the Richmond Public Schools.

In this podcast interview you’ll learn:

  • How Butler cooked up the idea of Edible Education one fall day in 2011.
  • How she became an ambassador to the stars of the cooking world.
  • What 20,000 kids have learned — and what they have taught her about the art of cooking well
  • And why kitchen a la cart is about to take America by storm!

Download the podcast now!

  • And look for more information on Edible Education’s new cooking show, and new website, in October 2015.
  • Butler will also be the cover girl on Be Inkandescent magazine in October, so don’t miss that!
  • In the meantime, check out her recipes for a Classic Hamburger, one made of mushrooms (that tastes like a meaty version), Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger, Sweet-Potato Fries, and a Fruity American Flag in our Cooking School column.

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