Core Structure

The goal here at Cooking Crew is to complete the essentials for each session, and reach as far as possible insofar as concluding all aspects of the program on time.  The central components of Cooking Crew are cooking, learning about the food being served, cleaning, serving others, creating artwork, writing articles, practicing healthy exercises, documenting experiences and (most importantly) being safe and having fun.  For a cooking program to be successful, the program needs stability through caring mentors, enthusiastic students, and central administrators.

Despite the many components of Cooking Crew, several methods have been implemented in order to ensure program stability during periods of mentor transitions.  One of the methods is called the “Spine Sheet” and is a breakdown of the general backbone of the program, written out on a single sheet with helpful links for user-friendly navigation and understanding.  This sheet provides the basics so that new mentors and supports can quickly become familiar with the central components of the program in order to establish the basics before branching out to work with the other enrichment components that the program has operated with before.  The sheet is below, but a printable Google Doc version can be found by clicking here.

Effective Cooking Crew Practices

Team Meeting

  • Wash hands, aprons/hats, team score, individual points (red, blue, black), pin ceremony (using individual points sheets), the day’s recipe (example), and start up tasks (below) should all be addressed

Set up

  • Cleaning system (4-bin), wash produce, create recipe flowchart (link needed)

    • Completion of ALL of these tasks before cooking can commence


  • Dish(es) must be prepared in a timely manner, adhere to specific recipe flowchart as closely as possible


  • Service stations should be set up as soon as the first team is nearing preparation completion in order to assure a smooth transition from cooking to plating and serving (example)


  • Wash all used dishes with 4-bin system

    • Dry all dishes and organize storage area

  • Empty 4-bin bins

    • Wash and clean dish bins

  • Sweep team area (example)

  • Wipe down tables

    • Must be completed before young chefs are able to begin eating

  • Clean service dishes

Paper Collection

Items that can occur during or outside of cooking crew (must happen each week)

  • Recipe creation (youth voice)

  • Conversion of student-written recipes to workable recipes input into proper templates with correct quantities (i.e. from this to this)

  • Point tallying

  • Newsletter creation with updated scores (template here)

  • Necessary printing (here – suggested quantities are listed in the notes section beneath each slide)

Scored projects that can occuring during or outside of cooking crew (optional)

  • Art/Journalism/Documentary (includes Food Facts, which can be completed under any mentor, but has been done in conjunction with journalist mentors previously) (here)

  • Fitness (examples here)

Finally, we always know when Cooking Crew has been successful by the reception the food and young chefs receive, such as the following: