Dr. Crystal Young Takes Chemistry to the Kitchen
Being able to tie her professional skills with the causes she supports has long been a dream for Dr. Crystal Young, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of St. Thomas. That dream is now a reality as she shares her love for chemistry in a Culinary Chemistry class she will be teaching to support Brazen Table, a non-profit who supports the victims of human and sex trafficking.
Young has been a supporter of Brazen Table for years, usually volunteering for set-up, tear down and washing dishes. This summer she has taken steps to align her skillset with their needs.
“A lot of times people are asked to donate their legal, social or medical services, which are tools that I don’t have in my tool chest,” Young said, “I am really happy to be able to unite my love for chemistry with this cause.”
The class is at 6:00 P.M. on Sat. August 24, at A 2nd Cup, 1111 E 11th St, Houston, TX 77009, and is part of a series titled Expand Your Palette, which also includes cooking classes focused on East Indian and Macedonian food.
The Culinary Chemistry class will focus on dishes that explain common things in chemistry like how does starch affect pasta and how does gluten affect bread.
“People are afraid of things like starch and gluten, but maybe if they understand what is in them and how they work, they won't be so terrified,” Young said. “Education is the first step in being more open to the world around you. Food is just chemistry you get to eat.”
In Support of Brazen Table
Brazen table is a 22-week culinary and jobs training program for female survivors of trafficking that aims to provide holistic care and case management while helping survivors develop technical and interpersonal skills to be successful in the workplace.
“Our goal is to serve survivors, but also to connect to the culinary community in Houston and help them understand their role in labor trafficking,” Said Kaylen Simpson, program manager for Brazen Table.
Brazen Table has graduated five women from the program, all of whom have found work or are in the next stages of their educational career.
“The difference being made in these women’s lives is astronomical,” Young said. “This program is monumental, and I am really excited to bring this part of myself to the fight.”