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Teaching Kitchen Collaborative

The TKC Organization membership has five main areas of focus and pursues collaborative work through committees. Individuals from Organization members have access to counterparts, allowing for professional growth and collaboration.

Led by volunteer members and supported by TKC staff, committees meet bimonthly to focus on five areas of expertise:


Best Practices: The committee focuses on finding, sharing, and building best practices for member teaching kitchens. Currently, the committee runs a bimonthly webinar for all TKC members on topics such as pivoting in-person courses to digital versions, how to create shared medical appointments to include culinary nutrition, and more. 

Culinary: The culinary committee is composed of chef educators from member organizations, and focuses on recipe development, course construction, and culinary instruction. 

Nutrition: Members on the nutrition committee focus on the development of the teaching kitchen model as part of nutrition education in member organizations, as well as dietary guidelines for TKC materials and members. 

Membership Strategy: The membership strategy committee focuses on current member engagement, member growth and diversity strategy, recruitment, and the review and approval of new member applications. 

Research: The research committee focuses on research opportunities for teaching kitchen programs, promoting new research opportunities for one or more member organizations. Currently, the committee is focused on implementing a multi-site research trial to demonstrate how teaching kitchens impact health behaviors, health outcomes, and costs of healthcare.

Committee Leadership

VP of Nutrition and Wellness, Compass Group

Deanne Brandstetter


Role as Committee Chair
As co-chair of the membership and member engagement committee, along with Anthony Imamura, I work in two primary areas. The first is to coordinate the new member recruitment, application and selection process. Helping new members to feel welcome and connected is another major area of focus. From a member engagement standpoint, we work to make sure all members feel connected, are engaged and see value in the benefits and resources provided them through TKC membership. Finally, we are working to be more inclusive and develop a tiered membership structure so that many more without institutional financial resources may engage with the TKC.

Goals of your committee

  1. Conduct an objective and inclusive new member selection process
  2. Connect new members with current TKC members working in similar or complimentary areas.
  3. Develop a tiered membership structure with specific member benefits at each level.

Links to primary affiliation and other appointments or positions
As Vice President of Nutrition and Wellness for Compass Group, North America, I have the honor of working with over 2200 Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to promote meals and dietary patterns that foster both personal and planetary health. I also serve as Treasurer-Elect, on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of nutrition and dietetics practitioners

Director, FamilyCook Productions

Lynn Fredericks

Role as Committee Chair
As co-lead of the Best Practices committee with Diane Imrie, we develop mechanisms for TKC members to share innovations, successes, and new areas of inquiry within the practice of Teaching Kitchens. Such innovations and achievements are shared through a series of webinars. By keeping an ‘ear to the ground’ we identify topics and speakers to share best practices through webinars offered to our members.   Our committee regularly checks in with the TKC membership through member meetings, advisory committee calls as well as occasional general member or committee specific surveys. We also encourage members to share their topic interests with us directly at any time. Combined, these efforts are designed to identify broad subject areas as well as ‘hot topics’ for webinars as was seen during the early months of the pandemic.

Goals of your committee
Our committee aims to be both comprehensive and inclusive.  Calls for topics are communicated every few months through member meetings and surveys. Calls for speakers for planned topics are distributed to all members. We also encourage speakers from beyond the membership to ensure that our members are exposed to innovations and thought leaders broadly. 

Links to primary affiliation and other appointments or positions
Please find a link to the organization that I lead, FamilyCook Productions here. In addition, you can view my bio here. A bibliography of my published articles is also available here.  Finally, I  am the author of two cookbooks: Cooking Time is Family Time (1999 Morrow) and Get Your Family Eating Right (2013 Fair Winds Press).

Melanya Kushla


Culinary Nutrition Education Consultant

Robin LaCroix


Healthy Teaching Kitchen National Co-Leader, Veterans Health Administration

Julia MacLaren


Wellness Kitchen Consultant, South Health Campus, Alberta Health Services

Director of Research, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Jennifer Massa


Role as Committee Chair
As co-lead of the research committee, along with Auden McClure, I work to promote all research activities of TKC members. We do this through providing feedback and counsel in all aspects of formulation of research ideas, conducting studies, analyzing data, writing manuscripts, and responding to reviewers. We also assist in grant writing and paper writing by offering critical feedback on development of these written materials. Lastly, we work on multi-site investigations asking questions about how the teaching kitchen as a health preventative intervention is associated with various health and wellness outcomes. 

Goals of your committee
Supporting teaching kitchen research activities of individual institutions within the TKC and helping to create collaborations within the TKC for multi-site research opportunities. To establish a body of scientific papers associated with teaching kitchens within the peer reviewed literature collection. 

Links to primary affiliation and other appointments or positions
Please find my primary affiliation with Harvard School of Public Health here as well as my position on the board of freshman advisors at Harvard College. In addition, you can find a list of my published articles here

Miranda Moore


Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine

Leah Pryor

Executive Chef Manager

Co-founder of the Culinary Medicine Program at University of Vermont Medical Center

Benjamin Ramsdell

Chef Educator

Christina Vollbrecht


Chef Educator, University of Vermont Medical Center

Olivia Weinstein


Director of Nutrition Innovation and Implementation, Boston Medical Center