The Culinary Institute of America is hosting the cooking classes, which teaches older veterans the ins and outs of fine cooking while allowing them to spend time with other veterans who understand the obstacles they have had to face in the past.
The Wounded Warrior Project, based out of Florida, operates a number of similar programs for veterans young and old living in the United States. While their efforts are not limited to cooking school campuses, the cooking classes at the Culinary Institute of America provides a four-day course in the culinary arts. During their time in the cooking classes, the veterans learn about knife work, cooking methods, food preparations, and cooking styles through lectures before heading to the kitchen to practice what they’ve learned.
The Wounded Warriors Project helps veterans return to normal life and connects former service members to each other, providing the opportunity for unique bonds that they may otherwise be missing in their lives. It is easy for veterans to disappear into what most of us consider normal society, but the memories of their service and especially the traumatic injuries that they and their friends endured are an ever-present part of their lives. Having other people around who shared these experiences and spending time with them can help ease some of the emotional stress of being a veteran.
Veterans were groups together into four teams at the cooking school. There they were required to work as a team in order to created a unique meal based on a provided recipe, bringing back some memories and conversations about what the military life was like for them. The cooking classes also focused on how wounded veterans can get around the kitchen, even if they are wheelchair bound or injured in a way that limits their ability to move around freely.