UH Multimedia Students Seasoning Their Skills with New Cooking Show

Valenti School Teams with Recipe for Success on Healthy Eating Web Series

It’s the recipe for a great partnership. University of Houston students in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication are teaming up with the nonprofit Recipe for Success Foundation to serve up a series of web videos about healthy eating.

The aspiring filmmakers and photographers in the multimedia storytelling class are spending the semester honing their production skills at the nonprofit’s Hope Farms on Scott Street in Houston’s Sunnyside community. The series, “Chefs in the Field,” features area chefs who cook simple, healthy dishes using vegetables and herbs picked fresh from the farm.

“This is really a great introduction for students to learn the technical aspects of videography, photography and graphic design, and to think about how to use those different tools to effectively communicate their stories,” said Temple Northup, class instructor and director of the Valenti School.

For students like Emilie Paz, working on both the pre- and post-production of this series is a wonderful opportunity to gain technical experience in a setting where everyone works together for a good cause.

“I love being able to expose the people behind the magic,” Paz said. “I love being able to have them tell their story and be able to produce that, then send it off to people who want to listen.”

For the past 13 years, Recipe for Success has been providing thousands of children in communities across the country with the educational tools needed to have healthier diets.

“Multimedia is a powerful tool in our effort to frame healthy eating as a deliciously fun adventure and inspire and teach simple tactics to make it a part of your life,” said Gracie Cavnar, founder of Recipe for Success Foundation. “That’s why I am so excited about this project. A video series that ties together freshly harvested food with simple recipes anyone can easily make for dinner, filmed on a beautiful urban farm with an engaging chef showing you how. This will have lasting impact for so many people.”

The students are shooting and editing the content into three episodes, each starring one of the chefs or chef teams, that will feature the chefs cooking as well as walking in the farm discussing the fresh ingredients being used. Northup and Cavnar hope the “Chefs in the Field” concept will be seen as a valuable resource to be aired on public television locally and potentially nationally to educate kids about healthy food choices. If successful, more episodes would be produced in the future.

“It’s a win-win for all parties involved. Our students get this invaluable experience of shooting in a really challenging location and creating a web series,” Northup added. “Recipe for Success gets the benefit of having a web series produced while providing an educational opportunity for our students.”