• Tom Douglas and Premera Blue Cross Present ‘Made from Scratch’ Kids’ Cooking Classes

    Top Seattle chef and leading local health plan mix one part gourmet flair and one part nutritional guidance to create cooking classes for youngsters that nourish a love of healthy food

    SEATTLE, WA – (June 9, 2009) – Acclaimed Seattle chef Tom Douglas, his daughter Loretta Douglas and Premera Blue Cross have teamed up to create Made from Scratch, a summer series of four cooking classes for children ages 8 through 12. This joint venture aims to cultivate within children a love of healthy food and an understanding of nutrition and the food chain, and to teach them basic food preparation techniques. The partnership between Premera and Tom Douglas Restaurants is the product of a shared commitment to expand awareness of the importance and enjoyment of healthy lifestyles.

    “It goes without saying that I love food, but a huge passion of mine is to teach kids that the best tasting food is also great for our bodies,” said Chef Tom Douglas. “Partnering with Premera Blue Cross allows me and Loretta to bring these lessons into the kitchen and teach aspiring young cooks how to make healthy choices, like cooking from scratch and using local, fresh ingredients whenever possible.”

    “Making the right choices for healthy living is so important,” said Dr. Roki Chauhan, Premera’s Chief Medical Officer. “We know that at least 25% of the cost of healthcare today is entirely preventable with better lifestyle choices. More importantly, making the right choices leads to healthier, more enjoyable lives. Teaching kids that healthy living can taste great and can also be fun - that is an invaluable lesson early in life.”

    Kids will learn firsthand several fundamental nutrition lessons in each Made from Scratch class: how and why they should include fruits and vegetables into every meal; the importance of integrating low-fat dairy products and lean meats and proteins into every meal; where their food comes from and the benefits of preparing their own food; and finally, good food (and food that is good for our bodies) tastes really good. Each child will receive a binder with recipes from the class, healthy eating tips and links to recipe websites so they can continue to prepare healthy meals at home.

    Made from Scratch classes include:

    • The Best Hamburger Ever – Saturday, June 20, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kids will learn everything from how to grind meat and shape their own patties to how to bake fries and whole wheat buns and select cheeses, condiments and toppings. Nutritional lessons will include why baking is healthier than frying, the benefit of whole grains and lean meat, and why a homemade burger with these ingredients is a healthier choice than a fast-food burger. The session will also include a discussion about other burger options, including veggie burgers and turkey burgers as a substitute for lean beef. Balancing out a meal with healthy side dishes is another key component to these classes, which means kids will also spend time talking about and tasting healthy side dishes to accompany the “best burger ever.”
    • Mac n’ Cheese – Saturday, July 11, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This session begins with a field trip to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Pike Place Market to learn how cheese is made. Back at Palace Kitchen, kids will do a taste comparison between homemade and processed mac n’ cheese, learn about pasta shapes and sizes, as well as discover the nutritional value of the ingredients, including whole wheat options. This session will help build awareness of the nutritional pros and cons of cheese, from the protein content to saturated fat, and explain how to create a balanced meal by including healthy and tasty vegetable side dishes.
    • Pizza – Saturday, July 25, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A pizza class wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Serious Pie, where kids will see the stone-encased applewood burning pizza ovens and watch the chefs in action. Kids will learn about yeast and how to slice vegetables and pepperoni, in addition to making their own pizza dough, tomato sauce and pesto. The session will include lessons on why it’s important to think about using lean meats, vegetables and whole grain pizza crust, as well as side dishes to help add a healthy balance to this kid-favorite food.
    • Fruits, Vegetables and Ice Cream – Saturday, August 8, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. With the guiding philosophy that fruits and vegetables are “great as food, great as art,” kids will make food sculptures, toss salads, sauté vegetables and create their own dried chips, fruit popsicles, fresh pressed juices and fresh homemade ice cream. They’ll visit the Belltown P-Patch community garden, enjoy blind tastings of different fruits and vegetables, and learn how it’s easy and necessary to integrate them into meals.

    All Made from Scratch classes are taught by the Tom Douglas Restaurants team of chefs at the Palace Kitchen. Each class is $30 per child including lunch and snacks, and class size is limited to 20 children. To reserve a space, please contact Loretta Douglas at LorettaD@tomdouglas.com or (206) 448-2001.

    Naomi Zeitlin / Lori Meyers
    Richmond Public Relations
    phone: (206) 682-6979 / fax: (206) 682-7062
    naomiz@richmondpr.com/ lorim@richmondpr.com 

    About Premera Blue Cross

    Our mission is to provide peace of mind to our members about their healthcare coverage. We provide health insurance and related services to more than 1.5 million people. Premera Blue Cross has operated in Washington since 1933, and Alaska since 1957. Premera Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Premera Blue Cross is a member of a family of companies based in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, that provide health, life, vision, dental, and long-term care insurance, and other related services. 

    About Tom Douglas Restaurants

    As a chef, cookbook author and restaurateur, Tom Douglas has been an integral member of the Seattle food community for more than 20 years. His first restaurant, Dahlia Lounge, opened in 1989, followed by Etta’s in 1995, Palace Kitchen in 1996, Lola in 2004, and Serious Pie in 2006. He is one of the Pacific Northwest’s most recognized food personalities and was named the “Best Northwest Chef” by the James Beard Foundation in 1994, recognized as the 2008 Restaurateur of the Year by bon appetit magazine, and nominated for the James Beard 2008 and 2009 ‘Outstanding Restaurateur’ award. Dahlia Lounge was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as one of the five best restaurants in the country in May 2006. Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen was awarded “Best Americana” cookbook by the James Beard Foundation in 2001. Other books include Tom’s Big Dinners and I Love Crab Cakes! (Morrow/HarperCollins). Tom Douglas’ product line includes the Rub with Love spice rubs, sauces and snack mix.