Contract Position: Farmers’ Market Cooking Demonstrations

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About the Ecology Center

The Ecology Center is a 43-year-old nonprofit organization, located in Berkeley, California, that focuses on the environmental impacts of urban residents. We address issues through educating, creating community momentum, building infrastructure to make change easy, and spreading positive solutions through convening and advocacy. Our core issues include waste and consumerism, food and farming, climate change prevention and resiliency, and sustainable living. For more information, please visit

Project Summary

For many years the Ecology Center Farmers’ Market Program has conducted on-site cooking demos at our farmers’ markets in order to provide the community with meal ideas that are healthy, ethically-sourced, affordable, and simple to prepare. In 2014 we seek to contract this project to an individual, organization, or company whose values align with those of the Ecology Center’s. With the support of the Farmers’ Market Special Events Coordinator, this project will entail the scheduling, menu planning, set-up, on-site demo, clean-up, and evaluation of each event. This project also entails assisting the Ecology Center in advertising and distributing promotional materials for each demo.

We are looking for dynamic proposals for a program that includes 8-12 on-site cooking demos between each of our 4 market locations for the months of May-October, with an average of 100 samples and recipes given over the course of 3 hours. Proposals should address staffing, budget, measures of success, and include sample menus along with any other relevant information. Demos happen outdoors and in all weather, so please cover how you will address weather-related challenges.

To be considered, proposals must address the following:

Meals that are healthy: The Ecology Center has been at the heart of the good food movement since its inception. We strive to promote the consumption of nutritious foods and use our cooking demos to showcase how easily these foods can be crafted into meals the whole family can enjoy.

Meals that are ethically-sourced: We purchase ingredients for our farmers’ market cooking demos from the farmers who are on-site at market. This means that our menus are seasonal, local, and can be created with what’s available at each location. We give back to the people who grow our food by purchasing their produce for the demos, and we give back to our community by having these foods available on-site for purchase.

Meals that are affordable: A major component of the work we do within the Ecology Center Farmers’ Market Program is making healthy, local food accessible to everyone. Our farmers’ markets service a diverse community of people from all income brackets. At our markets we accept the socially just currencies provided by EBT (formerly known as Food Stamps), WIC, FVRx, and Market Match, and so our menus must be affordable.

Meals that are simple and easy to prepare: We also love chicken cordon bleu, but cooking demonstrations must be realistic about what the average working family can accomplish in one night’s dinner. Farmers’ Market shoppers should always be able to pick up a free, easy-to-follow copy of the recipe being demonstrated.

Additional considerations

Cooking demos with a high level of audience participation have historically been the most successful. Preference will be given to proposals lead by dynamic individuals interested in engaging with the public whenever possible.


  • Cooking and menu-planning skills
  • The ability to effectively communicate with and teach those of varied learning abilities
  • Eagerness and willingness to engage the public and answer any and all questions relating to the demo
  • Promotion and display skills
  • The proven ability to work independently and exercise good judgment in a variety of environments and situations
  • Possess broad knowledge of sustainable food systems and other social and environmental issues
  • Flexibility and creativity, ability to “think on your feet” and find appropriate solutions to unique challenges
  • Strong verbal and written communications skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Must have access to all equipment necessary for each demo and be able to transport it to and from market (some equipment available from the Ecology Center upon discussion)
  • Access to kitchen for washing all dishes from each demo

Proposals should be submitted via email to dani [at]
Submissions will be accepted until the position is filled.