OWNER OF THE EMPOWERED KITCHEN
The idea for Katrina Brink’s business, The Empowered Kitchen, came through her lifelong love of the environment, cooking, and good food plus a deep interest in world cultures. “I’ve always savored every last bite of my food…and was forever the last one sitting at the table. From a young age I was an avid recycler and lover of nature, so it all makes sense how this wild and crazy career path has turned out.”
With a background in the sustainable food movement, Katrina wanted to find a way to reduce food waste, so she started a business to teach cooking classes and did just that. Katrina started The Empowered Kitchen in 2014 and went through RMMFI’s Business Launch Boot Camp Class #10. She put the business on hold for a few years and really picked it back up in 2018, when she started teaching private meal prep classes in people’s homes and team building classes for corporate and nonprofit groups.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Katrina figured out some creative ways to pivot by offering private and group classes virtually, and they’ve been going great! “There’s something super empowering about teaching people how to cook well in their home environments, so they know they can do this for themselves.”
Katrina first became passionate about food sustainability during her time with AmeriCorps working in sustainable food and food policy in Pittsburgh. She then worked on a farm in Kansas City and did her master’s in Agriculture, Food and the Environment at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy in Boston. “I went into grad school thinking I would work in local food procurement for school districts and help start school garden programs but had other things that piqued my interest.” Katrina did a 3 month stint in Tanzania in the summer of 2012 for an internship with Helen Keller’s Enhanced Homestead Food Production Program to help women grow more nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables and cook with them for their families. After a beautiful summer of cultural immersion, she decided to bring that experience to her own community and devote her life and career to reducing food waste.
“We have a lot of work to do in this area in the United States, and all western cultures. We throw away or lose at least 40% of our food in the US from the farm, through manufacturing, distribution, in our restaurants and homes. Then you have to account for all of the resources and labor that went into growing the food, which ends up in our landfills and emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas.”
While it may have come in a roundabout way, these qualities and experiences have made Katrina an exceptional cooking teacher. The Empowered Kitchen is a place where people become great home cooks, learn how to meal prep, and reduce their food waste in their home kitchens. “There is so much we can do with food scraps, more efficient cooking, using our freezers properly, and preserving food in creative ways! It’s so fun, empowering, and delicious! You can save TONS of money, make incredible food, help preserve the environment, and make great memories with loved ones. What’s not to love?!!” Katrina’s enthusiasm and love for food shows when her face lights up talking about it.
Katrina is now offering virtual team building opportunities, private group classes for friends and families, and public virtual classes (which are posted on her class calendar). You can sign up for a la carte classes or do a whole series for a 10% discount. To book a class with Katrina or learn more about The Empowered Kitchen, visit her website or find her on Instagram and Facebook.