This Spring, by the numbers

We had a busy spring in the kitchen! Over 19 weeks from January to May we held 164 classes with 915 participants. That adds up to a lot of meals and smiles! We’re grateful to all of our partners, instructors and volunteers who helped to make this semester a success.

We held 104 CHEF Kids classes with 172 students this spring. Our CHEF Kids unit themes were TexMex, Cooking Around the World, and Asian Cuisine. CHEF Kids classes occur after school for elementary and middle school students. One of our favorite recipes was Turkey Lettuce Wraps! Our partners for these classes included: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia, Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries, City of Promise, Community Attention, Community Housing Partners and Piedmont Housing Alliance.

26 CHEF Families classes were held with 125 parents and children. Our CHEF Families programs are held with ReadyKids and Young Lives. These classes introduce nutrition tips specific for families with young children, such as tips for picky eaters and age appropriate table manners. Our favorite CHEF Families recipe was Red Lentil Curry which was also a recipe for Holiday Giving.

618 students from both Charlottesville City and Albemarle County elementary schools come to the kitchen for a field trip in our CHEF for a Day classes. These field trip experience are for students in pre-kindergarten through third grade classes where students make a simple but healthy and delicious recipe. Our curriculum includes skills like reading a recipe, measuring ingredients and trying a new food.

To make all of our programs run smoothly we had the help of 46 volunteers from the community and Madison House. They helped us wash countless dishes, helped kids with their knife skills and hopefully had fun, too! We can’t wait to see what the kids cook up this summer!

Read more

Summer means healthy produce!

Summer is coming! Step outside and you can already feel it in the air (and maybe your sweat glands). While we may not love the summer humidity, we love the summer produce! Here in Virginia, there are lots of great, local fruits and vegetables, but at PB&J we have to ask what the healthiest choice is. We went to Ms. Amy Curtis (our resident Registered Dietitian) to give us a break down of the health benefits of some of the fruits and vegetables that grow in the summer. 

Fruits and veggies are packed with nutrients that are great for your body. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps your body heal. Vitamin A supports your immune system and helps your eyeballs see! Potassium is an electrolyte that helps with almost all of your body’s functions. And of course there’s fiber, which helps support your digestive system (stomach and intestines) and keeps you feeling full longer.  

But which summer produce is good for which nutrient? Well, Ms. Amy put together some lists for us! She tells us that an excellent source of a nutrient is one that gives you 20% or more of your recommended daily value of that nutrient, while a good source gives you 10-19% of your daily value. 

Excellent Sources of Vitamin C:Good Sources of Vitamin C:
Bell Pepper 
Leafy Greens 
Yellow Squash
Sweet Corn 
Green Beans 
Excellent Sources of Vitamin AGood Sources of Potassium:
Leafy Greens 
Sweet Corn 
Sweet Corn 
Excellent Sources of Fiber :Good Sources of Fiber :
Green Beans 
Sweet Corn 
Read more

Introducing our Fall Interns!

Fall 2018 Interns

It’s fall in C-ville! The weather is cooling, the leaves are turning, and programming is in full swing at PB&J. All of our programming relies heavily on volunteer support to be successful, and some of the most crucial volunteers are our trusty interns!

This fall we are welcoming quite the dynamic duo in Claire Prioleau and Martha Anne Sperandio. Claire is a 3rd year at UVA’s Curry School, majoring in Youth and Social innovation, from Fort Worth, TX. She volunteered in classes all of last year, and is a poised, strong leader. Martha Anne is a 4th year at UVA, majoring in Global Public Health & Anthropology, from Glen Allen, VA. She has worked on food equity in Richmond and other places, and this is her first time volunteering with PB&J and brings a positive spirit to all that she does.

Thanks to Claire and Martha Anne for you energy and effort! You really make PB&J go!

Read more


The PB&J Fund has concluded our pilot partnership with CAYIP (Community Attention Youth Internship Program).  Six teen interns joined us for four weeks of intensive culinary training, while also providing much needed operational support and helping out in classes with younger students.  Aliyah, Cedric, Donshea, Patrick, Pyi, and Nykala brought great energy and curiosity into our space and we’re grateful for their efforts!

The interns received safety training, learned a variety of knife skills, practiced setting up food prep stations, deboned a variety of meats, studied how to develop and balance flavors, and were introduced to the expectations of working in a professional kitchen.  All left more confident in their culinary skills and four who achieved perfect attendance also went home with their very own professional chef’s knife.

Each intern was fortunate enough to gain real world experience through the generous support of partner restaurants.  We are deeply grateful to Brasserie Saison, Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar, The Alley Light, and The Pie Chest for opening up their hearts and kitchens to provide such a unique learning experience for the interns.  We’re thrilled to announce that one of our interns landed a permanent part-time job with her partner restaurant!

“My favorite part of the experience was learning different ways to cook. About myself, I learned that I can work under pressure,” said one intern, Aliyah Cobbs. “The whole experience was really fun. “

Their time with us culminated with a culinary cook-off.  Teams were challenged to come up with a recipe from scratch, pulling from all they had learned over their time in the kitchen.  The final creations of shrimp lettuce wraps and roasted chicken with risotto were excellent and both teams had much to be proud of.

Many thanks to our very own CHEF Kids Program Manager John Robinson and Executive Chef Antwon Brinson for all their efforts to develop a thoughtful curriculum, create a fun and meaningful learning environment, and motivate these young folks to follow their dreams.  

Read more

We want you! 👉

Looking for a fun and meaningful volunteer opportunity during the next academic year?  The PB&J Fund is looking for somebody to work 5-8 hours per week supporting data collection, facility operations and classroom preparation. This is an unpaid internship but a great learning and service experience to have on your resume. 

Hours are flexible on weekdays and during normal business hours.  Ideal candidate has reliable transportation, is an energetic self-starter who can also work well with direction, and is excited to support PB&J Fund’s work with youth and families.  For more info, please contact Ryan Jacoby at ryan@pbandjfund.org or (434) 244-3317. 

Read more


We are thrilled to be piloting a new program this summer in partnership with CAYIP (Community Attention Youth Internship Program).  We have six interns joining us for four weeks – each week they’ll be led through intensive culinary training by our own CHEF Kids Program Manager John Robinson and Executive Chef Antwon Brinson, while also providing general operational support (e.g. setting up for classes, volunteering in youth programming, etc.).  

The culinary curriculum includes safety training, knife skills, how to set up food prep stations, practice cooking with different vegetables and meats, and much more.  Plus, our instructors will be supporting CAYIP’s soft skills development such as communication, interviewing, and teambuilding.

Additionally, each intern will spend time working with a partner restaurant getting practical, real world “back of house” experience.  We’re extremely fortunate to have the support of four area restaurants – Brasserie Saison, Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar, The Alley Light, and The Pie Chest are all opening up their kitchens to provide a unique learning experience for the interns.  

Each of these young men and women self-identified as having a particular interest in culinary arts and/or the food service industry.  The intent of this unique program is to build on these aspirations, empowering them with the culinary skills and professional knowledge needed to gain quality employment with opportunities for advancement.  

Please be sure to follow us over the rest of the summer on FB and Instagram for pics and updates as our interns move through the program!

Read more

Welcome Summer Interns!

Summer programming is in full swing and it’s wonderful to have the kitchen filled with children, laughter, and curious chefs!  Our jerk chicken and lemony kale salad, with a side of summer cantaloupe, were a big hit last week.
We want to give a special shout out to our fabulous summer interns.  Alexandra, Carlin, and Elly are giving a lot of time to PB&J this summer, helping to ensure that we’re fully supported during classes and providing critical operational support behind the scenes.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and stay tuned throughout the summer for more updates on what’s happening at PB&J, including an exciting pilot program for teens!

Read more

A wrap on National Nutrition Month!

We are wrapping up National Nutrition Month here at PB&J. This year’s theme was “Go Further with Food,” which is a celebration of healthy choices that build ongoing energy throughout the day and also limit food waste. In honor of this, we had Make-Your-Own Omelette stations set up for our students in the kitchen last week. Omelettes are a great protein packed breakfast option, and also a creative way to use up some of your leftovers! Simply chop up any roasted veggies from last night’s dinner, add a little reduced-fat cheese and just like that you’ve got a healthy breakfast!


Serves 1


  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • Non-stick cooking spray

TOPPINGS: turkey bacon, onions, spinach, diced tomato, reduced-fat shredded cheese, mushrooms, diced green pepper.


  1. Crack eggs into a bowl.
  2. Add salt and pepper, blending with a fork.
  3. Heat a 10-inch non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Pour eggs into center of pan. Using a rubber spatula or tilting the pan, move egg mixture around until the excess liquid touches each part of the pan. Let omelet sit in pan for 10 seconds without touching.
  5. Shake pan to loosen the omelet.
  6. Add toppings.
  7. Using your spatula, fold omelet in half.
Read more

Jam session!

Looking for something more healthful to sweeten up your sandwiches, toast, (or oatmeal)? Try our sumptuous strawberry jam!

Strawberry Jam

Adapted from Epicurious

Yield: 2 cups



  • 1 pint strawberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Wash strawberries and lemons.
  2. Cut green tops off of strawberries and cut strawberries into slices.
  3. Cut lemon in half and squeeze out lemon juice into a bowl. Place a mesh strainer over the bowl before squeezing the lemon to catch the seeds.
  4. Place a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat.
  5. Add sliced strawberries, ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the pan.
  6. Bring mixture to a rolling boil. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon and mash the strawberries slightly with a potato masher.
  7. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Test jam by putting a teaspoon of jam on a plate and swirling the plate around gently. If the jam runs, cook for 2-5 minutes longer.
  9. Transfer jam to clean glass jars and cool. Refrigerate after completely cooled.
Read more

Happy Heart Day!

This Valentine’s Day, we here at PB&J wanted to take the chance to acknowledge American Heart Month!<3 One recipe we’ll be cooking this month is a heart-healthy, delicious, romantic classic, just ask Lady & the Tramp.

Our spaghetti and meatballs starts with whole grain pasta, an excellent source of dietary fiber. Fiber helps to improve blood cholesterol levels, which helps your circulatory system and heart stay happy and healthy! We add olive oil, which is high in heart friendly unsaturated fat. We use lots of tomatoes which are high in vitamin E which also helps to balance cholesterol. And for our meatballs, we chose very lean beef. All the protein, but low fat means strong bodies and a healthier heart!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

3 Ingredient Tomato Sauce & Spaghetti

Adapted from Marcella Hazan

Serves: 8 (2 oz pasta, ¼ cup sauce, 3 meatballs each)


1-pound whole wheat spaghetti, cooked

For the sauce:

28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes and their juices

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, peeled and cut in half


  1. Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the oil and the onion halves in a saucepan.

  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 30-45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon.

  3. Discard the onion.

Roasted Meatballs


½ cup panko bread crumbs

¼ cup 1% milk

2 pounds lean ground beef

½ small onion, small dice

2 large eggs, scrambled

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Non-stick cooking spray


  1. Soak the bread crumbs in the milk while you prepare the other ingredients.

  2. Put the beef into a large bowl. Add the onion, eggs, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Put the soaked bread crumbs into the bowl and mix it all together well with your (clean) hands.

  3. Form the mixture into 24 meatballs using the red ice cream scoop.

  4. Place meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

  5. Serve with sauce and spaghetti.

Read more