SAKG Kitchen Garden Program

SAKG Kitchen Garden program

The Stephanie Alexander

Kitchen Garden Foundation


The aim of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is to introduce pleasurable food education into as many Australian primary schools as possible. Our Program emphasises the flavours as well as the health benefits of fresh, seasonal food. Dishes cooked reflect the vegetables, herbs and fruits grown, season-by-season, by the children in their organic gardens.

Our Kitchen Specialist instructors emphasise balance and moderation, and endorse the concept of preparing fruit-based desserts ‘sometimes’ only. The Program is designed to be fully integrated into the primary school curriculum as it offers infinite possibilities to reinforce literacy, numeracy, science, cultural studies and all aspects of environmental sustainability.

In addition, the Program delivers observable social benefits to all students, including those with special needs.


Recipe Guidelines

Our preferred cooking fat is Australian-grown extra virgin olive oil in most recipes. W here butter is used in recipes, we recommend 100 per cent butter, not compound spreads or margarine. The aim is to have no more than 15 grams of butter per person in any recipe, preferably less. Our recipes encourage the use of low-fat styles of cheese

e.g. ricotta or feta. If cheese is used in a sauce we recommend no more than 25 grams per serve. Where milk is used in recipes we recommend fat-reduced milk orstandard milk, giving the Kitchen Specialist or home cook the option.

Whenever fried food is being cooked, ensure the food is well drained on kitchen paper. Fruit-based desserts either use fruit in its natural state (e.g. fruit salad) or are prepared using the minimum amount of sugar possible (e.g. poached in light sugar syrup).


The importance of hygiene

Knowledge of basic hygiene and maintenance in the kitchen is vital in the day-to-day running of the kitchen. The information provided here is a guide only, and we strongly recommend you consider a Food Handling course or make yourself aware of any Education Department requirements or local council rulings where they are applicable. Remember that the Kitchen Garden Program does not provide meals as such but rather tastings, the food is not being sold as it is in a canteen, and there are no commercial elements – so in most cases the school kitchen should simply reflect good home hygiene practice.

Personal hygiene

Personal hygiene, for you, your volunteers and your students, is important and easy to monitor. Ensure you have hand-washing stations in or very near to your kitchen, and that these are only used for hand-washing and no other purpose. Soap and hand-drying facilities are required. Everyone handling food should wash their hands thoroughly before the class begins, and then again during the class if they have touched their face or hair, sneezed or coughed, used the toilet or handled meats or fish (although this is not often in the Kitchen Garden Program). All children and adults should also wash their hands at the end of the class.

Long hair should be tied back before the class. Hairnets are not recommended in Kitchen Garden Program kitchens, as they detract from what should be a home-style environment.

Latex gloves are also not recommended when handling food. In many cases these gloves are too large for students, and actually reduce their ability to handle knives and other equipment, and good hand washing should provide the hygiene required in kitchens. However, some students like to use gloves just when peeling beetroot to prevent stains, or when handling chillies to stop the burn!