Bite of Brainfood Blog

Wait, you can eat cabbage flowers??


 Yes, and they are delicious! So are chive flowers, as students and teachers recently discovered, and both edible flowers made appearances in our springtime salad earlier this week. This past Tuesday and Wednesday, dozens of Kitchen All Stars and MVPs ventured into the Brainfood garden for the first time.

There was a lot going on in this vibrant green space: Touring the raised beds with farmer Kate. Harvesting herbs, radishes, greens, and cabbage (and nibbling on the delicate yellow cabbage flowers while harvesting). Conducting a human scavenger hunt to learn more about their peers from different Brainfood sites. Planting our inaugural fruit tree (a fig!) at the Mount Vernon site. And, of course, lots of cooking and eating. It is an adventure perhaps better told in photos than in words....


Sharing Stories and Planting Seeds: The Changemakers Panel

There aren’t many people who’ve been lucky enough to move to a place where they’ve already planted a garden.  But when we finally packed up our office into boxes and made the move to our third site last September, it was the Youth Garden that greeted us and made the space feel like home.  As we struggled to detangle our rat’s nest of cables and cords, our sweet potato vines gracefully sprawled over the raised beds in a green gush of heart shaped leaves.  While we frantically tossed folders and binders on any available flat surface (but mostly on the floor), attentive okra pods reminded us of nature’s ability to economize on space.  And as we separated spoons from whisks in our new kitchen space, Thai pumpkins silently swelled, filling in the spaces and pushing aside the thick warped stalks that bore them.

Though we didn’t quite match the ambitious pace of our garden, we’ve settled into our new home this spring.  This last week also marked a milestone for us, as we hosted our second panel of food advocates  who gathered to share their stories about fighting for change in the food system.  The common thread that connected our panelists was a love of good, sustainable food that ultimately led them to leadership roles in very different fields.

Sarah Lange, you will be missed!

A few words from Maeve Rafferty, Program Coordinator....

Have you been on our staff bio page?  If so, you’ve probably noticed that along with having some difficult to pronounce first and last names, there are just a few of us here at Brainfood.   Which means our interns who come to us from a whole slew of interests and expertise, get put to work -because we need them.  They are invaluable members of our team. 
It also means that on any given day; you could wear a lot of different hats.  Which I have to admit, I really love. 

To Asia We Go!

 Our six week series of international foods has begun!

Brainfood Gives Thanks for Farmers

Written by: Maeve Rafferty, Program Coordinator

I can eat strawberries any month of the year

I can always request guacamole on the side of my Chipotle burrito (despite an avocados inability to grow in The District).

I can sift through cooking blogs, magazines and books to make that recipe I love for brussels sprouts hoping to make my students fall in love with them too. 

All I have to do is walk to Safeway.  It’s all quite simple really. 

So often I forget to think how truly remarkable that is. 

Community MVPs Coating Ceremony 2013

Blog post by Sarah Lange, Spring Intern

A big “Congratulations!” is in order for 11 of our Community MVPs who received their chef coats on Tuesday.

Springing into the Garden!

The sun was shining and the clouds broke for us as we dug in to our first garden work day of the season. We were so excited to get back into the garden as the first full growing season at the Brainfood Youth Garden begins. 


Open Kitchen Celebration 2013

This past week, Brainfood Kitchen All Stars had their spring Open Kitchen celebration. Similar to our Holiday Celebration in December, the students choose and cooked all the dishes served. This event was a time for our remarkable students to enjoy an afternoon with their fellow students, family and friends in celebrating their accomplishments at Brainfood this year.

It's all about technique

Yesterday, chef David Shewmaker joined Brainfood at our Columbia Heights location. After nearly 30 years of work in kitchens around the country, David had quite a few tricks up his chef's coat sleeve.


Community MVPs Take Their Show On The Road

Blog post by Sarah Lange, Spring Intern

What comes to mind when you think of a typical 2nd grade classroom? Probably not portable burners, cutting boards, or tomatillos. But that is just what our Community MVPs used to transform a classroom into a kitchen when they traveled to Smothers Elementary School for a mobile cooking workshop with The Literacy Lab last Thursday.  


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