NewsHillsborough County


Harvest Hope Park's free cooking class teaches kids to love and cook their own veggies

University Area CDC offers free cooking classes
Posted at 5:03 AM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 07:29:21-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Future chef Maiza prefers cheese to vegetables.

"I really like cheese," she says.

But the 10-year-old's palette could change today at the Harvest Hope Park Community Garden in Tampa's University Area.

Thanks to WellFed Community, the University CDC and more, Maiza is getting a free cooking lesson -- salsa, as a matter of fact, made from the ingredients in the robust garden.

WellFed's Chef Dhalia is leading the class, which is called "Cooking With 5 Senses."

"I want you to use all five senses -- see, touch, taste, smell, hear -- to find all the different stuff in the garden we're going to use for salsa," she says.

University Area CDC head Sarah Combs says the program is intended to "get kids excited about eating well" and establishing healthy habits.

There's also classes available for adults.

Volunteers to the garden can "work" for access to free fruits and vegetables.

After the kids gather their vegetables for salsa, Chef Dhalia and others help them prepare it.

Maiza gives the finished product a try.

"This is really good," she smiles.

Better than cheese?

She laughs: "Yes!"