Culinary Enrichment Program

Creating healthy, delicious, easy to prepare meals

About Culinary

TERI's Culinary Department has created 365 days worth of healthy, delicious, easy to prepare menus for our group homes, on-going staff and student education, and use of our urban farm's organic fresh produce. The proof of this success can be seen in the cumulative weight loss of the organization. Since the director, Jana McMahon started with us, our resident obesity rate has dropped from 85% to 20% in 3 years!

The Culinary Department has developed a Brown Bag Lunch program for staff and students, supplying them with a healthful lunch at reasonable cost. The newest endeavor is TERI's Kilmer College Cooking School which launched last year. The Kilmer College Cooking School teaches cooking as a life skill complete with entire meal planning, shopping and creation of an entire dinner for each class. TERI's Kilmer College also has a Culinary Institute in the works with the intent of job creation in the culinary field. The Culinary Institute is forming relationships with partnered restaurants and healthy eateries with our internship program and certification in mind. The Kilmer College Cooking School and Culinary Institute are looking forward to enriching the lives of those with special needs and autism on our Campus of Life. TERI's Culinary Department also has a GFCF cooking show on The Autism Channel. Chef Jana McMahon and Jason Brummett, a TERI resident, share terrific recipes in an un-formatted, highly entertaining cooking show. Check it out...the food is super yummy and you never know what will happen next.

Student Spotlight


"I lost more than 30 pounds!"

Like many seniors, Melinda began to slow down a bit and gain weight while in her late sixties. Unlike other seniors, Melinda also contends with a developmental disability. Fortunately Melinda also lives in one of TERI’s residences, and as part of the TERI family, her support staff refused to sit by and accept her increasing physical limitations. TERI’s culture has always maintained that the health of each of our residents is a top priority. Now the team is kicking it up another notch by setting new, even higher standards to not only preserve but improve the well-being of those we serve. We are determined that our family thrives!

You can see the results in the newly revised house menus designed by TERI’s culinary director: simple, delicious recipes focused on the freshest, most wholesome ingredients that come directly from our own urban farms and hand raised livestock. In a matter of months Melinda lost 30 pounds! Today, Melinda’s routine includes regular exercise and lifting simple weights. She is more active and able to join in more activities, including fulfilling her dream of performing in TERI’s Theater Arts Program. Now at 70 years young, Melinda can look forward to many more dreams coming true.

Program Benefits

  • 365 days of healthy meals complete with easy to follow recipes available on TERI website for staff & community

  • Use of organic produce, eggs and meats from TERI's Urban Farms

  • Life skills training for the special needs community in San Diego County

  • Job creation for individuals with special needs via Southern California community partnerships

  • Global outreach via The Autism Channel, supporting families touched by autism and carrying on TERI's commitment to a healthy, purposeful culture for all


Chef Jana McMahon

Director of Culinary

Chef Jana McMahon’s interest in food started early… in the kitchen of her parents and at the ovens of her grandmothers. A degreed horticulturalist and cuisine savvy, her dishes utilize locally grown fresh product, simply yet elegantly prepared. Her 20 plus years of cooking experience spans from working “in the trenches” under accomplished Colorado chefs in several fine dining restaurants in Denver and Vail, partner in Glorious Food Catering in Maui, Executive Chef on board the Hawaiian Based, Yacht Kakela, to owner of a Maui based private chef service. Jana has appeared on The Travel Channel and Hawaiian Moving Company. She has created an allergy free cooking show currently available on THE AUTISM CHANNEL called “Cooking with Jana”. She is a Hawaii Master Gardener, a beekeeper, and grows organic produce and herbs for her client’s meals. She also has her own laying hens. She is a member of Slow Food, Chef’s Collaborative and South Maui Sustainability Group. – See more at:

Email Jana:

Watch a sampling of Jana’s cooking tips on our YouTube channel.