Former high school Culinary Arts teacher Ann Butler couldn’t stand seeing her students down a Red Bull and some Doritos for breakfast. She knew CDC studies showed that teaching kids 12 and under how to prepare healthy foods would set them on a path of wellness, and change the way they felt about food.
So in 2011, she founded Edible Education, a cooking school for kids that not only offers after-school programs and popular summer camps, but includes workshops in schools, a catering service to schools and other institutions, team-building workshops for corporations, and a partnership with a commercial kitchen called Source in Midlothian, VA, where chefs can rent out the industrial cooking space to prepare their own foodie products.
In the fall of 2015, she launched Kitchen a la Cart™ — a mobile kitchen that wheels into classrooms, backyards, tailgating parties, NASCAR tracks, military outposts, and more. It comes complete with a sink that runs hot and cold water, a child-proof stove that heats up only when a magnetic pan touches the burner, an oven, a blender, a food processor, and all the utensils you need.
Butler’s reputation as a top-notch cooking teacher has garnered her attention from some of the country’s top chefs:
- Butler’s Edible Education is one of Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools partners — being one of 20 invited to the first Chefs Move training seminar in 2012.
*She is Jamie Oliver’s appointed Richmond Ambassador for the Food Revolution Day annual event; their video received 1.3 million twitter hits in 2014.
- She is also a 2014 recipient of the National Association of Women Business Owners’ “Rising Star” award and a recognized USDA Community Partner.
* She was a partner in the James Beard Foundation’s 2015 Better Burger™ project.
“Four years and 20,000 students later, I invite everyone to join me and the 16 chefs of Edible Education to experience the ease and fun of food preparation so your students can enjoy the success of preparing simple foods and getting excited about real food,” she says.
Ann Butler’s Speaking Topics
- Cauliflower Is the New Kale
- “Chopped” Team-Building Competition
- Creative Line Displays for Increasing Sales
- Eating Healthy in a Hurry
- Getting Teachers to Think Like Business Owners
- Heart-Healthy Cooking
- Low-Glycemic Cooking