Girl Scouts Learn Food Science with RXBAR and Ingredion

Leading up to this Thursday’s event—Smart Cookies: Savoring Science—local Girl Scouts joined two of our partners for a unique, two-part experience in culinary science and entrepreneurship with RXBAR and Ingredion Incorporated!

Join us at Smart Cookies: Savoring Science, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s premiere cocktail fundraiser where you’ll get to meet the Girl Scouts firsthand as they showcase what they learned.

Girl Scouts Carlie and Ava making their own RXBAR!


On Wednesday, Aug. 14, Girl Scouts Carlie and Ava visited RXBAR‘s offices in Chicago’s River North neighborhood to learn about the science of cooking and food development, hear directly from food scientists, and meet mentors who modeled potential career paths in the industry.

The experience with RXBAR was exclusively women-run so Carlie and Ava met one-on-one with female food scientists Leann Barden (Research Manager) and Eliana Pinilla-Ryha (VP of R&I) who broke down the “science” behind our favorite protein bars and opened their eyes to a new world of food! On top of that the girls were even able to make their own RXBARs to take home!

Through the partnership with RXBAR, we are exposing Girl Scouts to a career area they may not have thought of before. The partnership helped us spark girls’ interest in culinary arts and further develop entrepreneurial leadership skills in the world’s future leaders.

A group of Girl Scouts enjoying the beautiful day at The Hatchery and Garfield Park’s Neighborhood Market.


Ingredion Chef Nelson Serrano-Bahri and two culinary entrepreneurs hosted Girl Scouts on Saturday, Sept. 14 at The Hatchery Chicago. They led a day of interactive learning that included using science to break down how a chocolate chip cookie is made. This included testing ingredient adjustments to see what would happen if you left out eggs or baking soda.

Girl Scouts then toured The Hatchery, heard from chefs about the challenges of launching a new business, and worked in the chef kitchens to learn first-hand how the organization cultivates culinary talent.

Then girls worked in small groups to engage directly with each during four sessions:

Chef Nelson Serrano-Bahri of Ingredion Incorporated

Chef Serrano-Bahri used chocolate chip cookies as a way to hypothesize and test what happens when you introduce a variable in the cooking process; for example: what happens when one ingredient changes or is substituted (e.g. creating a sugar-free cookie or gluten-free cookie) and does the chemistry and final product of the cookie change with each adjustment. At the conclusion of the program, Girl Scouts compared the four final baked products to understand how the baking changes impacts the taste and texture of the cookie.

Tathy of Gifted Breads

Gifted Breads owner Tathy talked about her experience changing careers into the culinary industry after leaving her job as a corporate lawyer. She started Gifted Breads, a gluten-free bread company because she as Celiac disease and couldn’t find quality bread in Chicago; using her experience as an example, Tathy talked about changing careers to meet a gap in the market and how she worked through the challenges of entering an industry outside of her professional training. Girl Scouts sampled Gifted Breads’ baguettes in Tathy’s food-production kitchen at The Hatchery while learning to be industrious, resourceful, and persistent.

Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice of the Pies

Girls learned from Justice of the Pie owner, Maya-Camille Broussard, in her food-production kitchen at The Hatchery about her experience as a female entrepreneur and the biggest challenges of owning her own business. She created a dialogue where the girls could speak comfortably and confidently about what they wanted to be when they’re older—and what they can do to get there—all while sampling a custom-made Tagalong pie.

Garfield Park Neighborhood Market

The fourth station was a tour of the Garfield Park Neighborhood Market at The Hatchery. Girls went to each vendor, learning from the local community entrepreneurs and members of The Hatchery who were selling their locally sourced and handmade goods, with items ranging from fresh vegetables to mini cheesecakes and cupcakes to jewelry.

Join Us at Smart Cookies: Savoring Science

At Girl Scouts GCNWI, we want to continue to provide programs that inspire Girl Scouts to be leaders now and for the next generation through mentoring programs like these that show girls how think outside the box, meet the needs they see in the world, and be examples of breaking barriers to their peers and colleagues.

We need your support! Join us Thursday, Sept. 19 at Smart Cookies: Savoring Science, where Girl Scouts can show off what they learned in their exploration of food science and tell you how they are making the world a better place.

Join us for bites, beverages, an amazing silent auction, and much more!

Preview our silent auction before the event this Thursday Sept. 19!

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