The School Garden Cookbook

Typesetting • Design • Illustration 

During my time with FoodCorps and Captain Planet Foundation, I was teaching public school children how to garden and cook. The focus: healthy eating. The idea: if kids grew and cooked their own food with a level of autonomy, they would make healthy eating decisions on their own. And it worked! 

But I was unhappy with the resources available during my first year of teaching. Recipes, even farm-to-school recipes, were often too complex, required ingredients that were uncommon, or just weren't culturally relevant to many of the students I was teaching. So, I conceptualized this cookbook from the ground up—it would feature extremely simple vegetarian recipes field tested in the classroom with teachers and students, it would let kids take the lead in the process of cooking, and it would be relevant to their interests.

My intention was to make it the perfect starting guide for teaching cooking in the classroom, so it had a list of pantry items, techniques for class management that I learned through the years, seasonal recipes, and even a wax-poetic ode to how happy I felt when students of mine would say, "Mr. Bang, I made that stir-fry for my grandma last night. I remembered the recipe and I did it all by myself, but this time I added chicken!" 

It’s a project that’s close to my heart because it brings together everyone to the table to contribute — teachers helped me work out recipes and lesson plans, students worked with me in the classroom to test recipes and give suggestions, and we all came together to talk about all the needs of everyone involved.

The book was designed within the branding guidelines of FoodCorps, and I made the illustrations, photographs, and style all approachable yet not too... "kiddie." Hundreds of copies have been printed, and teachers all over Georgia now have a copy to use in their classroom, and I even led over 5 full workshops with teachers on how to cook using the cookbook!

This was submitted for The Chelsy Tomashoff Memorial Scholarship for Print Design Excellence, a scholarship established by Thomas Group Printing that is open to any undergraduate or graduate student in design, art, or visual communications programs.