• October 2015

Foodie Alert: Dig Into the Business of Cooking Well

Are you hungry to eat healthy? Do you want your kids to learn to cook well? Do you have a secret desire to become a professional chef? Or are you stumped by how to boil water?

Whether you live to eat or eat to live, in this issue of Be Inkandescent magazine, we aim to provide you with plenty of food for thought.

We begin with a Q&A with Ann Butler, CEO and founder of Edible Education. The former high school cooking teacher took her skills to new heights in 2011 when she began teaching after-school classes in schools and in her new commercial kitchen in Midlothian, VA (a suburb of Richmond), as well as launching what is now the most popular C.H.E.F. summer camp in the region.

Having graduated 20,000 students — and counting — from her programs in the last four years, last year she began a catering service for schools and other institutions that don’t have a chef or food service staff. Instead of serving chicken nuggets and pizza, her team whips up nutritious breakfasts and lunches — and works with teachers to educate kids and adults about what they are eating.

This fall, Butler launched Edible Education TV, where kids are the celebrity chefs who prepare the dishes and teach other children to make healthy meals in 10 minutes or less. She’s also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s annual Food Revolution Day, a partner in the James Beard Foundation’s Better Burger Project, and the assigned chef of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Chefs Move to Schools” program for the Richmond Public Schools.

But the pièce de résistance of Butler’s growing, kid-focused food empire is her patent-pending brainchild, Kitchen a la Cart.™ This mobile cooking station comes complete with a running hot-and-cold-water sink, a kid-safe cooktop stove, an oven, a blender, a food processor, and all the utensils and tools you need to whip up everything from an apple tart to zucchini pizza. Schools across the nation, military organizations, and backyard chefs are flocking to buy the kitchen on wheels to teach cooking in classrooms, roll into remote villages, or tailgate at football games and NASCAR races. Scroll down to read all about it!

Are your creative juices flowing?

Then you won’t want to miss the other tasty tidbits in this issue, including:

  • How food becomes art when the pictures are taken by freelance food writer, stylist, and photographer Béatrice Peltre.

And that’s just for starters! We leave you with this parting thought from world-renowned chef James Beard: “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”

Bon appétit! — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine • Founder, Inkandescent Public Relations

Illustrations by MichaelGibbs.com

Kids Can Cook! Just Ask Ann Butler


“It’s a funny thing, cooking and eating. We do it three times a day … you would think more of us would know how to do that for ourselves,” says the owner of Edible Education, Chef Ann Butler. Her strategy is to teach kids to cook, and teach them when they’re young. “If kids get to cut it, cook it, and taste it — they’ll eat it. Everybody’s happy when they are eating real food!”

By Hope Katz Gibbs
Publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine

At Edible Education, founder and CEO Ann Butler’s mission is to empower kids with the culinary skills they need to create simple, healthy, recipes made with real food. The award-winning cooking teacher launched her company in 2011 and in the years since has worked with more than 20,000 kids in dozens and dozens of schools.

This is just the beginning of her big dream. We visited Butler at her corporate headquarters — an industrial kitchen called Source Kitchen & Market, which is located just outside of Richmond, VA. Here, other chefs rent space to cook up their creations, and area residents come in to host parties.

This is also where Butler houses her original patent-pending creation, Kitchen a la Cart,™ a comprehensive cooking system that’s literally on wheels. When it goes into classrooms, it helps transform teachers into culinary instructors. The fully stocked cart — complete with a hot/cold running-water sink, a kid-friendly stove that only heats up the magnetic pan that comes with the cart so kids don’t get burned, an oven, a blender, a food processor, and more. The cart is so versatile that it is now also popular with backyard chefs and football game tailgaters, the military, and even a NASCAR chef.

Butler’s focus on education is where her heart is. She was one of the first US ambassadors for Jamie Oliver’s annual Food Revolution Day, which is held in May each year. She also worked this year with the James Beard Foundation on its Better Burger Project,™ — and Butler been the assigned chef to more than 30 Richmond public schools with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chef Move to Schools program.

To teach, feed, and reach so many students, Edible Education employs more than a dozen chefs who all go out into the schools. The company’s reach extends beyond the public school classroom; for example, this summer Edible Education’s C.H.E.F. program worked with more than 600 students in Virginia, including nearly 100 at 4H. (Camp C.H.E.F. provides Culinary fun, Healthy lessons, Exercise, and Farming.)

Scroll down for our interview with the queen of cooking with kids.

Be Inkandescent: Take us back to the beginning of this sweet business. You came up with this idea in December 2011 after leaving your job as a high school Culinary Arts teacher. What was the impetus that led you to create a cooking school for kids outside school?

Ann Butler: High school kids are very smart and very eager to learn; however, they eat garbage. If I had to see one more kid walk through the door with Doritos and a Red Bull for breakfast, I seriously was going to pull my hair out. But the research shows that if you get to those kids at a younger age, you can actually make a difference, and that’s what we set out to do.

Be Inkandescent: That’s right. The Centers for Disease Control found that if children are exposed to 50 hours of food education by the time they’re 12, it changes the way they think about food for the rest of their lives. So, obviously it’s best to work with them young, in elementary school and even preschool. Tell us how you’re making this research come to life for thousands of kids.

Ann Butler: Once you get into the school system and you’re working with the kids, you don’t really need any studies — you can see it on their faces. Give the kids a cutting board; a safety knife; the opportunity to smell, touch, and taste the food; and have them cook it, and they absolutely will eat it! Once they are involved in the process, they have an ownership over the food and they are curious about what it tastes like. It’s really not very difficult to get kids to try the new foods.

Be Inkandescent: Tell us some of the stories you have from working with kids who are learning to work with food. You must regularly witness amazing things.

Ann Butler: We’ve had a 5th grader who had never eaten a strawberry before. We also had a 3rd grader who had never eaten a carrot because that child’s mom did not like the color orange. But my favorite story took place a couple of years ago, when we were doing a Parks and Recreation summer program with groups of 25 kids and three chefs who rotated through stations. It was omelet day, which requires eggs, so I had set up an Egg Education Station. A 7th grade student came in with a teacher’s aide because the student had autism and needed the aide to help him with daily tasks. He came over to my station and when it was time to crack the eggs, I gave every child an egg, including the 7th grader. His aide said, “Oh, no, I’ll crack his eggs for him.” I told her, “It’s okay — he can do it over again if he makes a mistake!” When he successfully cracked the egg himself, he immediately looked at me, and said, “Do you have a TV show?” When I said I didn’t yet, he said “I think I would like to have a TV show,” all because he got to successfully crack an egg.

Don’t get up from the table yet! Click here to read more of our our Q&A — and find her 10 Tips for Teaching Kids to Cook.

Ann Butler's 10 Tips for Teaching Kids to Cook

When you first see Ann Butler’s Kitchen a la Cart,™ it’s tough not to be blown away — or to see its many uses. It’s completely outfitted with everything you might need to cook with, and it can easily be wheeled into a classroom, or stationed in your backyard, or at tailgate parties. It not only has a childproof magnetic induction burner that turns off when the pan is lifted off the burner so that only the pan gets hot, but it also has a sink with hot and cold running water, an oven, and all the tools and small appliances you need to create delicious, nutritious meals throughout the school year.

How did Edible Education’s Ann Butler come up with this incredible product? Scroll down to find out. And don’t miss her 10 Tips for Teaching Kids to Cook.

BeInkandescent: What inspired you to create your Kitchen a la Cart?™

Ann Butler: In my commercial kitchen, one of the owners of the food trucks that uses our space to be compliant with the health ordinances taught a class to potential food truck owners. His goal was to generate business for his company, Joe The Cart Guy, which builds food trucks. I listened to his presentation and thought, wait a second … he could build me a food cart that I could send into schools. Now I’m trying to figure out how can I scale this so that Edible Education can not only be in central Virginia, but in Idaho, California, and Russia. The cart is what can get our information out there!

Be Inkandescent: You intend for schools around the country to buy the cart and the Edible Education curriculum. What’s your vision for how schools will use it?

Ann Butler: There are simple 3- to 4-minute videos that teachers can watch on EdibleEducationTV.com. We also provide the curriculum in electronic and printed form. A lot of teachers want to write in the book when they made a recipe, the students’ reaction to it, and how they will expand on the curriculum in their lesson.

The Edible Education curriculum is aligned with course standards, and we are getting them benchmark-aligned as well. The curriculum gives teachers of different subjects an opportunity to use food in their lessons. How hard is it to teach fractions when you’re making pizzas? Plus, students following a recipe learn teamwork — with 12 students around the cart and a teacher leading that group, the students following a recipe have to work as a team to be successful.

BeInkandescent: Along with reading recipes, following instructions, and sequencing, the cooking process develops 21st century workplace skills. You’re also enabling kids to be creative. And though you noted that it’s fine to “wing it” for many thing, baking is science — it’s chemistry.

Ann Butler: Creativity is crucial, and it is limited in our educational system. There is a kind of right and wrong in cooking, and the kids learn quickly what makes it wrong if they don’t follow the instructions. We have had students think salt was sugar, so they would add a cup of salt instead of sugar. They only make that mistake once.

Be Inkandescent: It’s empowering to cook, and to feed yourself well.

Ann Butler: It’s a funny thing about cooking and eating. We do it three times a day … you would think more of us would know how to do that for ourselves.

Be Inkandescent: Excellent point — and the perfect time for you to share tips on how to teach kids to cook.

What are Ann’s secrets? Scroll down to find out!

Ann Butler’s 10 Tips for Teaching Kids to Cook

  1. To easily extract an egg yolk, break the egg into a bowl. Use an empty plastic water bottle to suck up the yolks by slightly crushing the water bottle to create suction. Place the bottle directly over the yolk and release. Then you can “squirt” the yolk into a separate bowl, leaving the egg whites behind.
  2. Create stunning desserts with stylish glassware. Anything in a martini glass looks good — mashed potatoes, chocolate pudding, or a simple mixture of crushed graham cracker, cream cheese, and honey with fresh berries.
  3. Need an easy breakfast? Line silicone cupcake liners with 2 wonton wrappers and pour in some scrambled eggs with a little cheese and spinach — Wonton Mini Quiche. Bake until the egg is set, about 15 minutes — kids love them!
  4. A sweeter frog? Assemble green apples, green grapes, and mash some marshmallow eyes for a healthy version of a sweet frog.
  5. Top tomato, pumpkin, or squash soup with a spiderweb design using a pastry bag with Greek yogurt. No pastry bag? Snip off one corner of a Ziploc bag and “pipe” four concentric circles (circles of gradually larger sizes that all have the same center) into your bowl of soup. Using a regular dinner knife, start in the center of the bowl and “cut” your way out of the circles to the edge of the bowl to create a web effect.
  6. Be lazy and healthier on your next batch of potato salad — don’t peel the potatoes! Right under the skin is the most nutritious part of the vegetable, and no peeling equals saved time.
  7. Need a healthy snack in a hurry? Pop your own popcorn and experiment with different toppings — taco seasoning, Parmesan, or my favorite — drizzled honey with cinnamon and cranberries.
  8. Keep a clean kitchen — wash your sponges in the dishwasher once a week.
  9. Cut calories and increase versatility — use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Greek yogurt can also be used in smoothies, for cooking cream-based sauces, and in breakfast parfaits. Always purchase unflavored yogurt and add your own fruit and sweeteners.
  10. Need a more nutritious rice? Lightly steam cauliflower and pulse in a food processor — it’s the same consistency. Add your “rice” to pasta dishes, soups, and stews as a hidden fiber bonus.

For more information: Check out the new Edible Education website at www.edibleedu.com and Edible Education TV on YouTube at www.EdibleEducationTV.com.

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”

– Arthur Rubinstein

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.”

– J. Kristnhamurti, The First and Last Freedom

The gem cannot be polished without friction; nor man perfected without trials.”

– Chinese proverb

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”

– Francesca Reigle

I’m not afraid of storms,
for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

– Louisa May Alcott

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

– Thomas Carlyle

I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.”

– John D. Rockefeller

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

– E.B. White

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow.”

– Langston Hughes

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”

– J.K. Rowling

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

A person who learns to juggle six balls will be more skilled than the person who never tries to juggle more than three.”

– Marilyn vos Savant

As each woman realizes her power, she transforms the world.”

– Patrice Wynne, WomanSpirit Sourcebook

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.
 Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

– Ella Fitzgerald

Anything not worth doing well is not worth doing.”

– Warren Buffett

When I was younger I thought success was being a star, driving nice cars, having groupies. But today I think the most important thing is to live your life with integrity.

– Ellen DeGeneres

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”

– Albert Schweitzer

The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.”

– Voltaire

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

– Jimi Hendrix

He who knows he has enough is rich.”

– Tao Te Ching

To follow, without halt, one aim: There’s the secret of success.”

– Anna Pavlova

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. 
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.”

– Mary Jean Irion

Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.”

– Anthony Trollope

If you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.”

– Oprah Winfrey

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

Do you have the desire to create something new; the strength of conviction to believe your creation will be successful, and the reservoir of energy necessary to thrust it into the marketplace?”

– Steven Schussler

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver

Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”

– Carlos Castaneda

But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind, I seen a lot of women, but she never escaped my mind, and I just grew, tangled up in blue.”

– Bob Dylan

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

The awakening to the mystery of life is a revolutionary event; in it an old world is destroyed so that a new and better one may take its place.”

– J.J. Van Der Leeuw, The Conquest of Illusion

I may not be able to change what takes place, but I can always choose to change my thinking.”

– Michelle Sedas

As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

– Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Don’t wait for someone else to lead you to your right life; that privilege—and responsibility—is yours alone.”

– Martha Beck

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in your room.”

– A wisdomism

Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.”

– Benjamin Disraeli

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

– Steve Jobs, Apple, Inc.

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

No matter how difficult and painful it may be, nothing sounds as good to the soul as the truth.”

– Martha Beck, from "Leaving the Saints"

I’ve come to confirm that one’s title, even that of president, says little about how well one’s life has been led. No matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, to learn, and to achieve.”

– Barack Obama

There is little success where there is little laughter.”

– Andrew Carnegie

If it isn’t good, let it die. If it doesn’t die, make it good.”

– Ajahn Chah

Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”

– Madam C.J. Walker

Never never never never give up.”

– Winston Churchill

Ripeness is all.”

– William Shakespeare


The Favorite Cookbooks of Be Inkandescent's Favorite Foodies

What are your favorite go-to cookbooks? For insight and inspiration, we asked six culinary experts for their selections.


Cooking School

Kitchen a la Cart™ Takes Meals on Wheels to a New Level

Want to cook — anywhere — especially at school? Ann Butler’s Kitchen a la Cart™ transforms teachers into culinary instructors.


Fine Art

Wine Labels as Art

Who hasn’t bought wine because of the label? Illustrator Michael Gibbs shares favorites.



Jump on Board Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Why did Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver launch Food Revolution Day? And how can you become part of this concept that each May takes the world by storm?



Prepare to Make a Better Burger

Love mushrooms? Love burger meat? Marry the two, lower the fat content, increase your nutrition intake, and let your kids take the lead. All good!



The Future of Food and Diet

“A shift toward healthier diets would involve not only changes in the food supply, but also technological advances, economic considerations, demographics, social factors, and environmental consequences,” explains futurist Michael Vidikan, founder of FutureInFocus.com.



October Happiness: Pay Attention!

Author Gretchen Rubin explains how mindfulness can boost happiness.



National History Day Provides 60,000 Kids With Food for Thought

Have your kids heard of National History Day? It’s a great way for them to delve into the past and learn about ideas and events that shaped the present.



Oct. 17: Light the Night With the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Annual Walk

“At the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, we are taking steps to end cancer. Literally,” says the organization’s Megan Schowengerdt, who invites us on Oct. 17 to join the Light The Night Walk.



Ronald McDonald House Celebrates Its 41st Birthday This Month

The charity’s main mission is to provide space for families with sick children to rest and refresh nearby. This year the Richmond Ronald McDonald House is launching Happy Wheels, named for the hospitality cart that stocks snacks and small comforts for children and families in local hospitals’ Pediatric and Neonatal Units.


Hope Katz Gibbs
Art Director
Michael Glenwood Gibbs
Website developer
Max Kukoy
Managing Editor
Kathleen McCarthy
Associate Editor
Mary Tostanoski
Editorial Interns
Meet our 2015 team

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Are You Ready to Go Meat-Free Every Monday?

If you want to make the planet as healthy as you want your body to be — school yourself in the groundbreaking research by World Bank analysts, and Sir Paul McCartney, who are embracing Meat Free Monday.



Food Becomes Art in the Hands of Béatrice Peltre

The author of “La Tartine Gourmande” creates images of food that are a feast for the eyes.


PR Rules

PR for Restaurants: Does It Have to Be So Hard?

Restaurants are notoriously tough businesses — 60 percent don’t make it past the first year, and 80 percent go under in five years. Here’s how good PR can help keep customers coming in.



A Month of Food for Thought

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ― Charles M. Schulz


Inkandescent Radio

For the Best Burger in Richmond, and a Superb Selection of Belgian Beer — Try Brux'l Cafe

Named the “Best Burger of 2014” by Richmond Region Tourism’s Burger Beatdown, Brux’l Cafe has become one of the hottest new bistros in town. Listen to our podcast interview with the owners, Chef Xavier Meers and his wife, Stephanie Danis, to learn why.



Holistic Doc Andrew Weil Hopes to Feed You Well With "True Food"

Seasonable, sustainable, simple, pure. Those are the words that internationally renowned holistic doc Andrew Weil believes will transform how we think about food.



Medicare Part B Costs Are on the Rise

“Part B premiums are expected to increase by more than 50 percent,” explains CFP® Michael Egan. What will that mean for you?


Speakers Bureau

Ann Butler Is Cooking!

A former high school Culinary Arts teacher, Ann Butler started Edible Education to teach America’s kids to cook, eat, enjoy real food — and change lives.


Inkandescent TV

What Did James and Dolley Madison Serve to Guests?

Authors of “The Presidents’ Cookbook” explain: “No president’s wife before her was so thoroughly in charge of the nation’s social life as Dolley Madison. The cuisine was French as well as English-Virginian, the wines were the finest French vintages, the hospitality was as open and cordial as Thomas Jefferson’s.”


Truly Amazing Women™

Lori Corcoran Makes Great Wine

The longtime dream of growing grapes and having her own vineyard started taking shape in 2001. That was the year Lori Corcoran and her husband, Jim, started prepping the fields on their Waterford, Virginia, property. They were embarking on a trial planting of grapes that they had ordered from Sonoma Grapevines.


To learn more about becoming a client of Inkandescent Public Relations, or becoming a Be Inkandescent Magazine columnist. send an email to publisher and founder Hope Katz Gibbs at hope@inkandescentpr.com.

Here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent success!