Editor's note: This story was originally published on April 23, 2014.


Rosen College recently took up a new initiative to partner with the Children of the Nations nonprofit organization. Its mission: to teach underprivileged children how to cook.

Rosen College alumna Jenna Denard brought the issue to the college's attention and a plan was put in place to help create a cookbook project for the countries in need. The college plans to aid the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Malawi with their regional recipes.

Each section of the book will be dedicated to those specific countries and the recipes native to their lands.

"I sent info to speak with the culinary professor where we met in December and shared Children of the Nations and how the organization worked and brainstormed ideas," said Denard, a 2007 graduate with a degree in hospitality management.

One of the professors headlining the effort is chef instructor Jay Judy, who has his Catering and Banquet Organization class helping with the project.

The class will create a first draft and combine a list of native ingredients that are easily accessible by region. Once that research is complete, the professors will sift through the duplicates and submit the best creations.

Rosen College chef instructor Jason Fridrich also has helped with the development of these recipes. He said his classes have been writing reports on the region, researching nutritious meals and providing a picture of the meal to accompany each recipe.

"Each country was decided on by our founder, Chris Clark, who is a fifth-generation missionary who started in Sierra Leone and was referred to the other places by different people," Denard said.

Upon completion, the cookbooks will be distributed by Children of the Nations staff in each country that will teach the children first how to cook, and then how to implement the recipes created.

"This is the driving force used to teach a few recipes from staff in each country to help teach the students how to cook," Denard said.

The semester-long project has been a collective effort, spanning the food preparation classes, including Denard's more advanced students.

Rosen students are also learning about cuisines and ingredients they would normally not be exposed to in their regular curriculum.

"It opens up their eyes to other communities and cultures, as we're a melting pot, and it is always a positive," Fridrich said.

Judy also agrees with this sentiment as a way of teaching his students in different ways.

"Creating recipes is a little different, especially with this outlet, but reaching those in the greatest need is one of the best ways to spend our time," Judy said.

The income generated by the book helps the nonprofit organization and also provides a means of learning about different cultures' cuisines for the general public.

"We will have a section of the book with our staff picking out their favorite recipes as well as the section provided by the Rosen students," Denard said.

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