Burlington Food Shelf Cooks Up a Culinary Future

What a difference 13 weeks can make.

For instance: In 2015, the free Community Kitchen Academy in Burlington shifted Kasama Rascoe’s culinary dreams into high gear.

The training- and nutrition -outreach program, established jointly by Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf and Vermont Food Bank, is still running strong.

So is Rascoe, 33, now a full-time chef, mother, wife and entrepreneur.

She traces her trajectory to her childhood in southern Thailand. When she was about 10 years old, unsupervised in her family’s kitchen, she and a playmate regularly commandeered ingredients and fired up the stove.

“I would say, ‘Okay, let’s make something fun.’ We created our menu. Fried rice — anything, really,” Rascoe said. “Sometimes the eggs were still runny, but we ate them.”

Rascoe earned a business degree in Thailand, learned Mandarin and worked for a year in China, where she did some serious restaurant-hopping.

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