From our Youth and Partners

“Green Plate Special’s move to the Rainier Valley will be a tremendous asset to neighborhood youth and youth serving organizations. Treehouse youth have had new horizons open as they learned about food and food preparation. Urban youth who had never before sampled beets or kale learned that they loved them and loved to cook. Several have explored career pathways to become a chef. I am delighted to welcome them to the community.”

—Janis Avery, CEO Treehouse
September, 2013

“Dear Shabazz Moms and Dads…your daughters need your help! They are not eating lunch (86%) and now after our sessions with Green Plate Special and listening to a nutritionist and Ms. Laura, the girls are concerned about skipping an important meal and the long term ramifications it can have on their developing bodies.

These sessions with Green Plate Special have been some of the best we have done because the learning is immediate, yet has long term benefits. The girls now want to pack a lunch to bring to school and need you to grocery shop with that intent. All of the girls shared how they loved bringing their lunches to school when they were in K-4th grade- and then after that, it just wasn’t cool! Based on our new learning- we want to stay away from processed foods….and the girls can read nutrition labels. This may rule out Lunchables and Capri Sun (read the label), but rule in string cheese, rice crackers, bananas, grapes, nuts, dried fruits, apples, etc… They also want to commit to drinking more water.

They prepared great tasting pizza with lots of veggies and good meat toppings yesterday. Some even took home a dough ball (yes they made their own dough). Again, another shout-out to Ms. Laura and her crew for helping our girls grow into teenage-hood with knowledge focused on a healthier mind (set) and body.”

— Victoria Romero, Shabazz Director, Winter 2012

“I wanted to thank you both for working with our 7th graders. I was truly taken by what I saw Monday. I now understand why they come back so excited! During that conversation about policy, one of the things that came up was how educators are often told to give kids opportunities to feel success, if that doesn’t happen in the classroom. In prior years, that simply wasn’t always possible, however your project is that place for many kids.

Malcolm is one that comes to mind. He stands so tall every time he comes back from working with you. I’ve received very positive feedback regarding his participation and behavior. Unfortunately he is not doing as well in the regular classroom setting. Because your project is a place he is experiencing success, I was wondering (hoping) that he could participate both Mondays and Tuesdays. Its doing wonders for his confidence and self-esteem.”

— Nicole Johnson, 7th grade Science-Math, Madrona K-8, April 2012

From some of Ms. Johnson’s students at Madrona

“Dear Green Plate Special, Thanks for everything you did for me and letting me come two days a week. You are the best GreenPlateSpecial ever. I hope I can do it again next year.

— Malcolm

“Thank you for everything you showed me a lot this pass year. It took my mind off some things that were bad. I had a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it next year……I’ll still stop by and see how good you guys are doing.”

— Martenus

“At first I thought I wouldn’t like gardening and watching plants grow but that’s when I discovered I was wrong. All the information about cooking. There is surprisingly so much more to cooking then what I thought. The point is I had a great time doing everything.”

— Layawnna

“I loved when we were harvesting lettuce but my all time favorite was when we made vinaigrette during our test.”

“It was fun tasting the food we made and having lunch at the big table was really fun at it felt like thanksgiving without the ‘thanks-giving’”

— Shallom

“I finally know how make a great and wonderful salad without bacon, ham, or just meat. If it wasn’t for you guys I would not stop eating potato chips and ice cream. The most fun I ever had was when we made those soups. We sat down like we were family. That was the best time I ever had. I hope to see you next year maybe as a helper. This is the best fun I ever had since I was little.”

— Isaiah

“Thanks again for hosting a tremendous cooking class last week! Our students absolutely LOVED it! Many of them continued to talk about it for the remainder of the week, and I can tell they learned a great deal. We’re really looking forward to continuing to work with you in the future.”

— Alyssa Penner, Treehouse for Kids, Winter 2011

“I couldn’t sleep last night just thinking about our cooking class that day. It was so much fun and it felt good to eat that soup with so many vegetables in it. I hope we can do that again.”

— Student, Treehouse for Kids, Winter 2011

Chefs and Restauranteurs

“Somehow in all our industry (food) we have not developed a culture that is hospitable to humans. I think your approach brings so much to education. It touches the place where we live, how we live, and how we can create a better life. Working together in the garden, the kitchen and dining around the table.”

— Lora Lea and Rick Misterly, Quillisascut Farm School, Rice WA

“100% support, blessings, help in any way!!!. This is the best idea I’ve heard in years. I would do anything to support this project. It is that important”

— Joanne Herron, Co-Owner, Le Pichet & Cafe Presse

“I think that this is a great idea. Teaching people to eat well, especially young people who are everyday making critical decisions for there lives simply through what they eat and do, is of the first importance. I really applaud you for taking on this difficult job. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.”

— Jim Drohman, Chef and Co-Owner, Le Pichet & Cafe Presse

“There is everything good about this. Community starts at the home level and people need to connect to the ground and nature. Not just cultivating vegetables but cultivating human society.”

— Bruce Naftaly, Chef-Owner, Le Gourmand & Sambar

“Could anything be more local and seasonal than learning first how to grow your own veggies and then how to cook them? Could anything be better than improving our kids’ health and creating a stronger community at the same time? This is a great project and we give it our full hearted support.”

— Tom Douglas and Jackie Cross, Tom Douglas Restaurants

“You have my whole-hearted support. Let me know if I can help in any way. I’ve been thinking lately that it would do me good to spend some more time around children.”

— Christine Keff, Chef-Owner, Flying Fish

“It sounds like an amazing program, and I fully support it! Let me know how I can help down the road.”

— John Sundstrom, Chef-Owner, Lark restaurant & Licorous

“Your new project sounds fantastic, congratulations. I think the idea is sound, the project needed and if all goes well the outcome should be an incredible source for many people of different backgrounds but all with a basic need for learning how to sustainably feed themselves. Best of luck in your endeavor.”

—Thierry Rautureau, Chef-Owner, Rovers Restaurant & Luc

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