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Botany Hall Kitchen

Pittsburgh, PA


# of people served (in person and virtual) since joining TKC

Member since 2021

A Botanical Garden that Cooks

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has been growing plants and educating the public for over 125 years. Its historic 1901 Botany Hall was renovated to add a teaching kitchen using green building techniques and re-opened in May 2018 with a mission to empower people with tangible cooking skills and relevant nutrition knowledge. Participants prepare food together, sometimes harvesting directly from Phipps’ Edible Garden. Classes enrich adults’ abilities to prepare healthy, vegetable-rich meals at home. Phipps also partners with the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and their local hospital systems to host Culinary Medicine programming for their students and doctors. Phipps offers children preschool through teens opportunities to learn more about food and plants in the kitchen and in the community. And virtual classes are available to all. 

As these groups gain confidence in the kitchen, Phipps also aims to inspire curiosity and excitement around nature and the science of growing our own food. Education serves to foster sustainable lifestyles with courses including backyard gardening and zero-waste cooking. By installing rooftop edible gardens, they educate children, teen interns, and visitors about gardening skills and the origin of our food. The award-winning Homegrown backyard gardening program has installed over 300 raised bed vegetable gardens in food-insecure neighborhood households and provides gardening and cooking support for two years. Phipps shows that when the botanical community joins forces with medicine and culinary arts to address societal health challenges, we can build a culture of health for all.


Key Data

  • Over 150 high school students participating in semester or year-long classes in the teaching kitchen
  • Over 1,000 Kindergarten through 8th grade students participating in a hands-on, healthy eating class in the space
  • “Rescued” over 150 pounds of produce from the school’s greenhouse


1 researcher, 2 educators, 1 kitchen manager

Built-in kitchen in a community setting

Press and Publications

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Med School Cookbook is Just What the Doctors Ordered,” April 2021

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “How to Cook with Your Family During the Holidays Via Zoom,” December 2020. 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Phipps Offers Virtual Classes for Novice Cooks,” May 2020

Pittsburgh City Paper, “Eat, Art, Love: The Frick, Carnegie Museums, and Phipps Take Dining to New Levels,” February 2019

The Pitt News, “Cooking at the conservatory: Phipps offers cooking classes,” August 2018

Trib Live, “Kids’ cooking classes teaching next generation of chefs,” August 2018

The Post-Gazette, “Everyone has to eat: Cooking up healthy dishes at Phipps’s new teaching kitchen,” August 2018

Save the Date:
TKC Symposium &
Annual Members Meeting

November 13-15, 2024
Salt Lake City, UT

Learn more about teaching kitchen innovation.