“Are you actually Allergic to Salad?”

We get this question often. “Is that a dessert club?” someone asked me once. No. In fact, quite the reverse–we lead classes on nutritional and seasonal based cooking. We do make sweet things sometimes, but that is far from the focus. Kids don’t often need encouragement to love ice cream and candy.

What we do is strive to cultivate is the mindset that eating healthy and eating tasty are not mutually exclusive. The underlying construct that health food is necessary but unpleasant, while unhealthy equals delicious is very deeply ingrained. Most of us still carry it with us as adults.

But in a class last week where 95% of my students declared from the get-go that their favorite food was either pizza or burgers, I had a line for seconds of the steamed broccoli with olive oil and sea salt that we prepared. The secret? The broccoli wasn’t overcooked, and the students had the opportunity to see a broccoli plant growing in person and to get involved in the cooking process. Vegetables are delicious when they’re cooked well, and being engaged in the preparation increases the appetite.

This is not to say that we live on green salad alone, or that we are against sweets. In fact, the first class in our summer series took place at Brooklyn based ice cream mavens Ample Hills. This shop, which specializes in whimsical, intricate flavors and makes almost all of their add-ins at their factory in Gowanus, is living proof that not all ice cream is created equal.

While the scoops served up at Ample Hills do not qualify as health food by any stretch of the imagination, their cream base is crafted from locally sourced milk and eggs with minimal additives and organic mix-ins. The result is a palpable improvement on what you might find in a carton–silky textured, fresh, and well rounded.

We love sweets and vegetables with a similar passion. Join us next week at The Brooklyn Grange for a taste of (very) local summer produce and incomparable views of the Manhattan skyline.


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