Drawing a recipe – Latkes

Sarah Spencer, a graphic recorder and artist from Phoenix, Arizona, visited CHP to draw our recipe for latkes as an illustration for our cookbook.
Graphic recording is the art of listening and drawing a conversation or event in illustrations as it happens.
Jen brought all of the ingredients to the table. She read through the recipe to make sure we had all of our ingredients and equipment ready. Jen explained to the children in the culinary world this step is called “mise en place”, French for “everything in its place.”

Then the children got to work washing, cutting, using the food processor, to prepare the potato and onion mixture for frying.

Sarah drew pictures and a few descriptive words of each ingredient and then each step of cutting, shredding, draining and mixing as the children cooked.
Some children cooked while others sat at the table with paper and pens and drew while facing Sarah as she drew. Jen talked about how an occupation for artists is graphic recording.

Keyle Lotz-Andrews, our music teacher, arrived to the smell of frying latkes. Together with the children she sang the 8 nights of Hanukkah and the dreidel song.

At snack time while eating the latkes, Elaine pointed to the drawn steps with the children who were able to “read” the realistic pictures! It was an interactive discussion and literacy lesson with all the children participating, a goal for creating community around the snack table.

A big thank you to Sarah for coming to CHP and teaching us about graphic recording and sharing your artistic talents with us! You can see Sarah’s work at

By Jen Swezey

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