Food Systems


Cuyama Kitchen Project

Blue Sky Center’s mobile catering trailer will be permitted, renovated, and branded as the Cuyama Kitchen thanks to funding from the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Capital Improvement Grant, which was awarded to Blue Sky Center in early 2018. This multi-use kitchen will be permitted as a certified commercial kitchen facility and fully outfitted with the necessary equipment for pop-up restaurant operations, catering, entrepreneurial food ventures, food demonstrations, as well as culinary and nutritional programming for the Cuyama Valley community.

As a community space, the Cuyama Kitchen hopes to host several pop-up restaurant nights throughout spring and summer 2018. The kitchen will feature local and regional chefs, and members of the community will be invited to gather around the table and share a meal at Blue Sky Center.

The Cuyama Kitchen may be used as a commercial kitchen by food entrepreneurs and cottage industry-type enterprises to incubate and accelerate new and existing food ventures. This certified commercial kitchen facility will allow local food-related businesses to flourish and retail products with minimal associated risk/cost.

In collaboration with the Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center, the Cuyama Kitchen can serve as a food demonstration and tasting space, with the goal of showing community members how to utilize sometimes unfamiliar ingredients to create healthy and delicious meals using food bank distribution ingredients.

Blue Sky Center, in partnership with the Cuyama Joint Unified School District, is piloting a free seven-week culinary after-school program for secondary school students. The program will be facilitated by Blue Sky Center’s Food Action Coordinator, Chef Molly Quigley, and local volunteers. Teens Love Cooking hopes to equip students with foundational kitchen skills and cooking knowledge in order to help them make healthy food choices. The program will run mid-February through April at the Blue Sky Center, with a culminating feast for family and friends to share the skills learned over the seven-week course. We are currently seeking design and business professionals to assist with the development of Cuyama Kitchen. Visit the Collaborate page to get in touch.

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Culinary and Nutritional Programming

In addition to the Teens Love Cooking pilot program, Blue Sky Center is developing a series of culinary and nutritional programs for the larger Cuyama Valley community with funding from the Santa Barbara Foundation’s LEAF Grant Initiative. These programs aim to engage with local leaders in the culinary and nutrition industry with the goal of bringing the community together, building food resilience, and developing the local economy around food. Blue Sky Center hopes to offer these programs to young children, families, adults, and food entrepreneurs.

We are currently seeking motivated and socially engaged individuals to spearhead programming around topics including, but not limited to: small food business start-ups, youth garden and food education, culinary summer camps, family oriented culinary classes, healthy cooking and nutrition classes, and culinary career prep. Visit the Collaborate page to get in touch.