Everyone needs to eat, but not everyone knows how to cook. The Kitchen Literacy Project, a new grassroots program that began last month, has a mission to teach adults, teens and kids essential kitchen skills.

“I like to be in the kitchen cooking,” said ninth grader Khudadand Ahmaei.

“We are making roasted chicken quesadilla with chipotle marinade. A little bit of yellow rice and fresh pico de gallo,” said guest chef Jeff Lewis.

Last month, the Kitchen Literacy Project began teaching students how to cook.

“Central New York, Rochester, downstate — everyone eats, everyone cooks,” said Lewis.

The classes focus on essential skills like what makes a healthy meal and knife skills.

“I didn't know how to like cut onions and also tomatoes. Today, I have learned how to,” said 10th grader Amir Mukhtari.

Lewis has been a professional chef for 30 years. He is following in his father’s footsteps by teaching the students.

“My father, before he passed away, did teach at the Southwest Community Center and took part in a afterschool program to help kids learn how to make items like this,” said Lewis.

Jess Miller, the founder of Kitchen Literacy Project states that she has wanted to teach kids kitchen skills for free. That mission is supported by tickets sold to adult cooking classes. The Kitchen Literacy Project holds community classes on Sundays and Tuesdays, and those pay for the free classes the teens are taking. Their ticket price covers rent, instructors and food.

Guest chefs teach recipes and then at the end, everyone in the class takes a bag of ingredients home to try the meal with their family. And of course, students try a sample after their hard work.

“You know food is really expensive and getting more expensive every day. And if you're reliant upon fast food and takeout, then one, you know you're overspending, and two, you're not eating food that you know what's in it,” said Miller.