Cooking from Scratch!

5 Sep

I’m super excited to be teaching for Start From Scratch this September. It’s been out there for a little while, but thought I’d post about it here too.

Start From Scratch is a cooking initiative for Calgary university students. It aims to illuminate how simple, cost effective and healthy cooking can be compared to boxed/prepared products. The program runs for 10 weeks (Tuesday class start September 27, 2011; Thursday classes start September 29, 2011) and is completely free thanks to some very generous sponsors.

Here’s a little bit about what we’ll be doing each week:

Week 1: Breaking The Ice

Pastas, sauces and lasagna…because we’ve got to start somewhere, right? Starting with basic pasta and then going to the next level. Kind of like Super Mario.

Week 2: Good Morning Sunshine!

Quit skipping breakfast! Quick morning snacks to grab on the way out the door so you can stay awake in that 9 a.m. chemistry class. Aviv Fried, better known as The Sidewalk Citizen Baker, will be here to bake some great stuff with us.

Week 3: Couch Change Classics

We’re generally pretty budget friendly here at Start From Scratch, but these to-go recipes are for those ‘rummaging in the couch for spare change’ kind of times. Hey, we’ve all been there! You’ll learn how to stretch your dollars without sacrificing taste.

Week 4: This Little Piggy…Came From The Local Market

Do we smell a field trip to the farmers’ market? Yes, yes we do. We’ll be heading over to the Calgary Farmers’ Market to get inspired about sourcing, and utilizing, ingredients from local suppliers. Amanda Middleton from Spragg’s Meat Shop will be coming by the class as well for a butchering demo! Let’s get chopping!

Week 5: Cooking For The Fam

Our ode to the parents. How to say: ‘Thanks Mom and Dad for cooking for me for the past 18+ years.’ We’ll be preparing a quick and easy family dinner with guest appearances from local foodies Julie Van Rosendaal and Cheryl Arkison!

Week 6: Use Your Grain

Five minute rice is so, like, five minutes ago? We’ll cook up dishes with some grains that you might not have heard of or used before. As well, gluten-free cooking will be touched on. When we’re not getting our grain on, Kevin Kent from Knife Wear will be teaching us how to chop like chefs, and Wendy from will give you the low down on cheap student eats around the city!

Week 7: Overseas-Inspired Party Fare

Worry no more about having your friends over for a party…Simple appetizers from around the world – Mediterranean, Indian, and Asian-inspired recipes will be explored in this class.

Week 8: You Had Me At ‘Hell, That Looks Good!’

Cooking an impressive romantic (or seemingly fancy) four course dinner on a budget is possible. We’ll show you how with a little help from Home Tasting Room’s executive chef, Geoff Rogers!

Week 9: Beer, Wine, Why Not?

You probably drink it on the weekends, so why not use it for a weeknight dinner too? We’ll cook up some one-of-a-kind dishes using everyone’s favourite pilsner, Steam Whistle. Charcut’s beer steward, Kirk, will be coming by to pair some beers with the food. What a guy! Trust us – this is one fun class.

Week 10: Ending On A Sweet Note

‘Parting is such sweet sorrow’. Yes, Shakespeare, yes it is. We may even shed a tear…or two. The only appropriate way to end ten great weeks of culinary adventuring is to indulge your sweet tooth, wouldn’t you say?

If you or someone you know is a University of Calgary or Mount Royal University student and is interested in applying for this program, please visit

It’s going to be a blast!

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