What is
Cooking in the Dark?

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This new Rocky Mountain PBS Channel 6 half-hour show stars Dr. Claudia Folska, the first blind woman elected to public office in Colorado.  A popular keynote speaker and an elected Director of RTD, Folska got her dual doctorate in Urban Planning from CU Denver and in Cognitive Science from CU Boulder, working with CU President’s Teaching Scholars Clayton Lewis and Michael Eisenberg.

This Colorado-based program is a cooking show like no other, focusing on ecology, sustainability, family-owned farms and ranches, culinary and cultural diversity, political economy of food, food justice, and voices of youth and disability.  The name of the show refers not primarily to Folska’s own blindness but to the fact that the rest of us are also “cooking in the dark” if we don’t know where our ingredients come from or how they were produced.

The show seeks to bridge the growing divide between rural and urban Coloradans by exploring the inherent connections between them.  In the first segment of a typical episode, Claudia visits an organic, family-owned Colorado farm or ranch to gather ingredients; in the second, she works with a noted local chef to experiment with recipes; and in the final segment, she works with young people using the recipes to prepare a yummy meal at home.

Distinguished Coloradans appear on the show to share their expertise about food as a connector of communities, including State Senator and cattleman Larry Crowder and former Colorado Supreme Court justice and water expert Gregory Hobbs.  The show is sponsored by the CU Denver Department of Political Science, Department of Communication, and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  CU President’s Teaching Scholars Michael Cummings of Political Science and Lisa Keranen of Communication, as well as political economist Sasha Breger Bush, serve as consultants for the multidisciplinary show, which benefits from student interns from Political Science, Communication, Environmental Science, and English.

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"Connecting Communities Through Yummy Food"