Story by Sofia Jahn and John Paradise, Camp Delicious! Alumns
Hi! Sofia Jahn and John Paradise here to talk about our amazing experience cooking for the Neighborhood Resilience Project (NRP) on January 19, 2022.
First, a little about Neighborhood Resilience Project: The organization is based in the Hill District and part of their mission is to serve the local community in need through food, educational opportunities, and trauma intervention. We chose to work with NRP because we wanted to bring public awareness to their mission.
We are cousins who love to cook and found Luminari almost by accident! We attended Camp Delicious! in 2021 and loved our time there. We really liked that we were allowed to express our creativity in the kitchen and that we were taught to use serious kitchen equipment even though we are kids. We got to meet people in Pittsburgh’s food community who are making a difference and learned a lot about local food insecurity.
After camp, when we heard that NRP hosted a weekly hot dinner at their headquarters, we knew we could help out. We prepared a special hot meal for 60 people that included homemade Bolognese sauce with rigatoni, buttered noodles with fresh grated cheese and pepper, garlic bread with homemade compound butter, salad, snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies. As Camp Delicious! Director Chef Erika Bruce says, “feed others with dignity.”
We reflected a little afterwards:
John: I would like to thank Luminari for the camp they provided that gave us the resources to execute our community dinner effectively and efficiently. We were able to apply proper food prep skills, knife skills, specific timing and cleanup techniques that we learned at Camp Delicious! to this project and will use them in the future.
Sofia: We had a great time overall during the preparation and were grateful to have worked with Erika Bruce. She volunteered her time to help us get what we needed and was a real mentor to us. Thank you, Chef Erika! I look forward to doing Camp Delicious! again next summer and gaining more skills for hosting our future community dinners at NRP.
We encourage everyone to learn more about NRP and their important work by visiting their website at
www.neighborhoodresilience.org, and we hope our story inspired you to look around your own community by getting involved, lending a hand and making a difference.