Pace Magazine

Serving Up Success

Alyssa Cressotti
January 18, 2024
Pace students wearing aprons and working at a counter top in the teaching kitchen.

The freshest ingredients, the sizzle of pans, wafting aromas—not the first things that typically come to mind when you think of a classroom. At Pace, the seemingly disparate worlds of the art of cooking and the science of nourishment seamlessly converge, creating an educational experience that is as delectable as it is enlightening.

The Pace University Teaching Kitchen, housed within the College of Health Professions’ Nutrition and Dietetics Department, is not merely a place where recipes are followed, but a space dedicated to developing a culture of wellbeing and nourishing the community through culinary mastery.

The Pace University Teaching Kitchen is on a mission to redefine the narrative around culinary education and recently securing a mini-grant through Pace’s Center for Wellbeing was pivotal for the program.

“We’re using the grant to expand programs focused on cooking on a budget and the importance of eating meals together, while continuing our core focus of educating future registered dietitians on the importance of culinary nutrition and food as medicine,” explains Department Chair and Clinical Associate Professor in the Nutrition and Dietetics program Jessica Tosto, MS, RD, CDN, CSP, CNSC.

Over the past year, the Teaching Kitchen has undergone a remarkable transformation, spreading its influence far beyond the confines of the ZWILLING Cooking Studio, located off-campus in the town of Pleasantville, where students participate in hands-on learning activities. The team has recently added an on-campus mobile teaching kitchen, which has brought the magic of culinary education to members of the Pace Community, breaking down barriers and making good eating accessible. This year alone, the number of cooking activities on campus has tripled—with special sessions for Pace student-athletes, faculty, and staff.

But it doesn't stop there. The group was recently accepted as an organization member with the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative (TKC), a 501c3 global nonprofit dedicated to using teaching kitchen facilities as catalysts of enhanced personal and public health across medical, corporate, school, and community settings.

“We are thrilled to be accepted into the TKC as an organization member,” says Tosto. “Joining the TKC allows us to expand our network of innovative, like-minded colleagues, share resources, and collaborate on research and best practices in the field of culinary nutrition and achieve our mission.”

At Pace, our Teaching Kitchen isn’t just a place where food is prepared. Instead, consider it a sanctuary that embodies the ethos of wellbeing, community, and culinary artistry—a place where the mission is not just spoken but lived, one delicious dish at a time.

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