by Susan Ellis
"It's important to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible," she says.
And now she's looking to spread the word further with her Sushi, Yall: A Southern Sushi Project, which has a goal of "800 kids, 35 workshops, 15 towns, 1 heck of a sushi trail left behind."
Baggett wants to take her classes beyond the Memphis region and to help fund the classes at schools that don't have the budget. Through Kickstarter.com, Baggett is seeking to raise $15,000 by August 29th to cover costs for teaching materials, cooking equipment, food, and other expenses. If the amount is not raised by the 29th, donors receive their money back.
All donors, from $5 to $500, get something back. Give $5 and receive sushi recipes. The gifts rise by increments and include a bamboo mat and an internet chat with Baggett. A $500 donation gets you a very unique gift: a poster of your name in sushi created by Baggett.
Baggett says the donor rewards does make giving more attractive, but that it serves another purpose as well: to educate adults.
"On a basic level, it's a great instructional tool," she says.
But, Baggett notes, her best students are the kids.
"I find children are a lot better at following instructions," she says. "They make really good-looking sushi."