Edible Education Experience

Learning about God's Blueprint for Nutritional Living

OJA middle school students gain invaluable real-world skills through our partnership with the Edible Education Experience program. This collaboration allows students to engage in hands-on learning in gardening, cooking, and sustainable practices, fostering a deep understanding of nutrition and environmental stewardship. By participating in this program, OJA students develop practical skills, a passion for healthy living, and a connection to their community and the environment.

Teacher instructing students in the garden
Students reading a recipe


Students follow a thoughtfully crafted menu, learning to plan and prepare balanced meals.

Students cooking


By following detailed instructions, students develop essential cooking techniques and kitchen safety skills.

Students cooking


After preparing their dishes, students enjoy the food they make, gaining a sense of accomplishment and understanding the value of healthy eating.

EEE on King St
OJA Edible Education-04

A Brief History

In 2011, there was a meeting of the minds. From there, Edible Education Experience was born.

The collaboration began between community professionals and key educators to create a Nutritional Science Lab at Orlando Junior Academy, located across the street from what is now the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House & Culinary Garden.

OJA is a faith-based PreK-8th grade school with a long history of classroom gardening, and where more than 50% of its student body attends on scholarship.

As the program blossomed, an Advisory Committee formed. This led to the creation of Edible Education Experience as an independent 501(c)(3) with its own leadership, facility and programming.

Through a 2013 capital campaign, OJA donated the property and, after a visit by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation pledged a $250,000 grant to build the Kitchen House & Culinary Garden.

In 2014, Edible Education Experience, alongside Chef Lagasse and other community leaders, held a ceremonial ground-breaking. The design and permitting process commenced.

After a meeting at K Restaurant in College Park, AdventHealth for Children (then named Florida Hospital for Children) joined the campaign along with in-kind donations. Later, President/CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Region, Daryl Tol, pledged another $250,000 to the project, netting a fully funded capital project.

The Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House & Culinary Garden, an $800,000 facility, opened in April 2017.

The centrally located facility is a simple, yet beautiful, 3,500 sq. ft. kitchen house with four cooking stations that opens onto a veranda overlooking the garden that perfectly serves EEE’s mission to empower students and their communities through seed-to-table experiences.

Reference on the Edible Education Experience site here.
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