UR's Registered Dietitian Madeline Nathe makes pesto gnocchi during a Demonstration Kitchen "Cooking Basics" class. 

UR's Demonstration Kitchen Turns Three

March 21, 2024
Registered Dietitian Madeline Nathe has run UR's Demonstration Kitchen since its
inception and is excited about the program's continued enhancement.

The Demonstration Kitchen, located in the heart of the University of Richmond’s Well- Being Center, is marking its third anniversary, fostering a love for culinary arts and nutrition among the campus community. Nestled between Organic Krush and the Zen Garden, this innovative kitchen has been a hub for students, faculty, and staff eager to enhance their cooking skills and learn about making informed dietary choices since its grand opening in 2021.

Registered Dietitian Madeline Nathe has run the Demonstration Kitchen since its inception and is excited about the program's continued enhancement. “After starting small with short demonstrations due to COVID restrictions, we’ve grown into our current full-scale, hands-on operation,” Nathe said. I love being able to connect with students and employees about food, cooking, and nutrition.”

In 2023, Nathe started embedding cooking techniques like sautéing and knife skills into each class, with themes like “Get Local”, “Keep it Simple”, and “Comfort Foods.” Nathe carefully designs the courses for each semester based on student feedback, including requests for more pasta, Asian cuisine, and meal prep classes (a pasta primavera dish and spring rolls will each be featured in April 2024).

Numerous local vendors and esteemed chefs from the greater Richmond area regularly visit campus to share their knowledge with intimate groups of Spiders in a casual, class-like setting. Restaurateurs and cheese mongers Joshua Franklin and Brittany Anderson led the first guest chef events in the Demonstration Kitchen in 2022. Together, they sampled and explained goat cheese, taleggio, blue cheese, and robiola flavor profiles in approachable, hands-on sessions. Another popular class was with UR’s local sushi vendor, Samurai Sushi, where students learned how to prepare and assemble various rolls properly.

Nathe plans to continue collaborating with local vendors and bringing in food professionals to share their talents and passions with students. She aspires to host chefs from the Heilman Dining Center and UR’s retail dining locations, partner with local bakeries, and offer tickets to food-related events in and around metro Richmond.

In addition to special events, free, 45-minute Demonstration Kitchen classes are open to
a limited number of students on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Fridays at noon weekly.
Students can review the class topics and register in advance online.