Paterson’s Inclusive Cooking Program

Each Wednesday the Paterson Program staff and students have been learning how to prepare and cook easy to make (and eat!) meals. For the past two weeks, Paterson have been looking at inclusive cooking and baking, focusing on the importance of learning different ways to make food that can be eaten by people with special dietary requirements.

Together, a group of Paterson students made a batch of scrumptious gluten free chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel popcorn and a deconstructed Caesar salad. Students were mindful of the necessary precautions needed in preparing gluten-free food, ensuring that the ingredients and equipment used in the cooking process were free from any potential gluten contamination. For the Caesar salad, students opted for a deconstructed style of presentation, where students are able to pick and choose what ingredients from the Caesar salad they would like to eat.

Some combinations made included:

  • The Gluten Free Caesar Salad: Lettuce, egg, Caesar salad dressing (gluten-free of course), bacon, chicken and parmesan cheese
  • The Vegetarian: Lettuce, egg, Caesar salad dressing, croutons, parmesan cheese
  • The Lot: All ingredients available
  • The ‘I don’t like egg or bacon’: All ingredients minus the aforementioned disliked ingredients

By developing an awareness for the dietary needs of others, the Paterson students will be able to take these recipes home and prepare food for others, with the mindfulness to ensure that food is accessible for everyone.