Learning to cook from scratch
Posted by Hain Celestial on | A Healthier Way of Life
By Alvin Rebick, FoodShare Kitchen and Good Food Program Senior Manager
At FoodShare Toronto, we operate a variety of Community Kitchens that bring people together to share the pleasures and challenges of healthy cooking. These kitchen programs support various groups who wish to, for any number of reasons, come together and learn the cooking process, in order to impact on their health, wellbeing and sense of community.
With the gracious support of organizations like Hain-Celestial we provide this exciting experience to a range of stakeholders. The results can be a revelation.
This year we were approached by the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto to teach healthy cooking to a group of youth who were preparing to leave care and start living on their own. What more important life skill than to learn how to shop and cook for yourself?
With the breadth of experience on our team, we chose two of our chefs, Jesus Gomez and Leonard Abel to engage and animate the cooking process for these young people. Jesus has a passion for great cooking and is a ‘chef’ in the true sense of the word. Leonard is an education facilitator and community kitchen leader ‘par excellence’ who understands how to teach large groups of people the joy of healthy cooking. We thought that having both influences would excite the youth and we were not disappointed.
Without exception, the participants were ‘pumped’ by their time in the kitchen. Learning to make complete meals from scratch, including healthy versions of all the foods they love like lasagnas, grilled burgers, and salad dressings was thrilling. A few of the participants were so inspired by Jesus that they are considering a culinary career and each and every one of the youth finished the week with a set of recipes, skills and the interest to make meals for themselves.
The group of leaders was so impressed with the response to the first set of community kitchens that they’re hoping to continue the program on an ongoing basis.
Working with these young people affirms FoodShare’s belief that learning to cook from scratch has a great impact of everyone’s life.