2023-24 Fellow: Sarai Blankenbaker

10th, 11th, & 12th Grade Culinary Teacher in Chicago, IL – Roosevelt High School

2023-24 Fellow: Sarai Blankenbaker has taught for 7 years. She first became interested in the Pilot Light Fellowship when she realized that the program guides people to unite through the knowledge of food. Sarai saw the opportunity to develop a network that truly cares about people, plants, animals, and everything that surrounds us. She is looking forward to showcasing her students’ learnings. Additionally, she is excited for her students to enjoy the adventure of Food Education. She hopes they share their knowledge with their friends, families and community. Additionally, she hopes they can understand the political, social & biological power of food, our cultures, and history.

Favorite Food Education Standard: FES #2: Foods Have Sources and Origins.

We do not teach enough about how colonization, migration, laws, climate change, and religion have influenced our traditional and cultural dishes.

A Favorite Food Memory or Recipe: 

I have too many favorite food memories to focus on one. I am blessed to have my grandfather show me how to enjoy fresh seafood, the markets, and the goat birria. His dementia has a hold on those memories, but they are still in our spirits.

Why I Became a Fellow: 

The most exciting thing about joining the Food Education Fellowship is the chance to develop a network of passionate educators. I’m excited to connect with my cohort based on food and sharing our knowledge with the future of our societies. I hope that, in the future, we can see more urban gardens all over our cities, and our students are connected with our land. 

2023-24 Fellow Sarai Blankenbaker
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