Last week, I had the opportunity to observe a healthy cooking demonstration by Chef Chris Hall. Chris Hall went to culinary school, worked in several high-end restaurants, and has been a personal chef for clients in the Washington D.C. area. More recently he has created his own business called MyKitchen. He has built a licensed commercial kitchen in his home in Morgantown, where he provides cooking lessons and demonstrations. There are several different types of cooking classes such as Southern Italian, Indian Cuisine, Kids in the Kitchen, Sushi, and a multitude of others. The class I was able to observe was a 3-hour healthy cooking lesson called “Light, Fast, and Delicious”. In a class of around 8-10 students, Chef Chris began the lesson by introducing himself and speaking a little bit about his background. He then began explaining the fundamentals of the kitchen, where to find different types of equipment, and safety procedures. He then allowed students to pair up and choose one of the eight recipes he had provided. The recipes were all low-fat, healthy, and quick to prepare. These recipes included pork Diane, chicken marsala, chicken noodle soup, fruit smoothies, a fish dish, green chile chicken, jumbalaya, and a few others. I tasted all of the dishes and they were absolutely delicious…definitely not what you would expect from a “low-fat” meal. Chef Chris was extremely helpful and truly loves teaching others how to cook. Even if you have never set foot in the kitchen before, he does not mind teaching the basics. I really liked the atmosphere of MyKitchen. It felt like I was at my parents or grandparents house learning how to cook a recipe that had been handed down for generations. And because it was such a small class, everyone got to know each other and got to taste everyone elses healthy creations.
I thought the healthy cooking demonstration was a great learning experience and it inspired me to want to cook more. I also think that healthy cooking demonstrations should be utilized more in the community nutrition setting. As a dietitian, we always tell people what to eat…but not how to prepare it. I think there are major opportunities for educating the public on healthy cooking, just like MyKitchen has been doing.
Check out MyKitchen’s TV commercial at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxQx9ziqds0.