In this vocational education keynote, chef and restaurateur Barbara Lynch advocates a return to the basics. In a generation of Americans who cannot cook, Lynch hopes for everyone to return to the kitchen. Most of this keynote focuses on telling a story of a home economics class that helped to changed her life and inspired her. Yet, in contemporary society, these classes have been removed from the curriculum of most schools, denying a generation access to learning a basic skill of life.
Lynch believes in making cooking accessible for everyone, and that it should not be thought of as a chore. In a country filled with obesity, too many people do not know how to shop or prepare their own meals in a way that is nutritious. Learning critical cooking skills can help people not only feel good and healthy, but save money and cut down on waste. Cooking brings together individuals, families and communities, as it is not age or gender-specific and has real value in the world.