Michelle Horowitz from Urban Baby finishes mixing a batch of spinach balls with the Hawthorne All-Stars.

Last Tuesday, Urban Baby’s Michelle Horowitz came to cook with the Hawthorne All-Stars class at Farview Park. A previous public defender and chef, Michelle brings a lot of passion, knowledge, and healthy & delicious food to North Minneapolis. A resident of North, Michelle founded Urban Baby to “address health disparities in nutritionally at-risk communities, strengthen communities around food, and help create an equitable and sustainable food system.”

Despite the organization’s focus on working with parents and young children, Michelle offered up her time to come out and guest chef with the Hawthorne All-Stars. What was on the menu? Spinach Balls and Sweet Potato/Zucchini Pancakes with homemade ranch dressing.

One rule we have at Youth Farm is that you can’t call food yucky, nasty, icky, or disgusting. We tell youth it’s ok not to like a food, but they have to be able to explain why. As you might expect from most youth, there was a lot of initial skepticism about the menu. Michelle addressed this by introducing the term neophobia – the fear of trying new foods, and begged the question of how youth learned to try ice cream or pizza for the first time.

After cooking for nearly an hour, the veggie pancakes and spinach balls were finished, and the general consensus among the All-Stars was that despite their names, these two snacks were delicious and not all that hard to make.

Many thanks to Michelle Horowitz and Urban Baby their work in North Minneapolis and support of Youth Farm programming.