BUILDING LIVES
Food Skills

The Regent Park Community Food Centre offers a series of food skills programming including community kitchens, food demonstrations and specialized workshops for school-aged children, youth, adults, seniors, women and other groups. Food Skills aims to bring community members together to learn and teach basic, as well as more refined cooking skills, nutrition and healthy food choices, meal planning and sharing recipes. Aside from learning cooking skills and nutrition information, community members have the chance to cook together and then to sit down and enjoy a meal together, socialize with friends and meet new people. Food Skills incorporates local produce – grown in the community gardens and Ontario farms –  into all programming during the growing season and aims to preserve the local harvest to be utilized in the off-season. Lastly, all Food Skills programming is free, and participants will always be provided with a light snack and/or meal as well as food to take home.

Current and Upcoming Programs

Current Community Kitchens:

Cook Ahead Supper Club

This program will run Friday afternoons, from 4 to 6:30 or 7 pm, for 12 weeks in every season – Summer, Fall/Winter and Spring. Cook Ahead aims to teach how to cook delicious and nutritious foods in larger quantities that can be used for meal planning or be frozen for later use. In this 12-week program, we will begin with the basics, and each week we will build on our newly acquired skills progressively. By the end of the 12 weeks, participants should feel confident in meal planning and have a greater sense of autonomy over cooking their own food. This program aims to increase food security. Some of the weekly themes include: bread-making, how to create your own soup from scratch and how to make different types of stock out of food scraps and the various ways you can cook with stock and broth.

*Snacks will be provided and recipes and leftovers will be made to take home.
*Participants must sign-up to join this program.

Freezer Days

Beginning in July, during the first Tuesday afternoon of every month, from 3:30-6:30,different cultural groups will have the chance to cook traditional foods, and share favourite recipes and stories with community members. The purpose of this program is to provide a space for different cultural groups to get together, socialize and cook traditional foods once a month that can then be frozen and eaten throughout the month. The goal is to document the recipes that surface through the program and create a cookbook that will be available to the wider community by the end of the year. A ‘Freezer Day Potluck’ will be organized bi-yearly to feast together, inviting others to come and join in the celebration of delicious, traditional food and stories. *Snacks will be provided and a meal will be served at every session.

Schedule:

  • July 4th – Bangladeshi Food
  • August 1st  – Filipino Food
  • September 5 – Italian Food
  • October 3 – Latin American Food
  • November 7 – TBA
  • December 6 – Potluck

Kids Cook and Grow

Originally designed as an After School Program (ASP), this kids-centered cooking and gardening program is versatile and can be offered to children and youth in different contexts. This program aims to teach kids and youth about food security, food justice and anti-poverty. Cook and Grown teaches kids and youth how to build basic cooking and safety skills, encourages participants to cook more at home, with family and with friends, to boost self-confidence and dietary autonomy, to familiarize participants with local and alternative food systems, to give participants hands-on experience with composting, worm-bin care, planting, harvesting and tasting greens and vegetables from the garden and to cultivate critical consumers. In this program participants will garden, cook, and eat together.

*Please enquire about enrolling participants into this program, or starting a new chapter.

Past Community Kitchens:

Breakfast Cluba program for participants to cook a delicious, healthy breakfast together while providing a safe place to experiment with new foods

Pedal-Powered Bike Community KitchenIn partnerships with Charlies Free Wheels, this program taught bicycle mechanics to youth and encouraged participants to build a bike-powered blender while cooking healthy foods.

Eat Up Meet UpA bi-weekly community kitchen run by Ryerson University Students got the fall and winter semester. These kitchens created delicious vegan and vegetarian foods.

Peer-to-Peer KitchenExpert cooks from the community learn how to facilitate community kitchens to share their knowledge and culture with others. * Note – This program will run again in the winter 2017-2018.

Skill Building Workshops

Canning and Preserving Workshop Series

From June-October, collaborative workshops will be held with a focus on ‘preserving the spring/summer and fall bounty.’ Participants will learn how to can fruits and vegetables in safe and healthy ways, how to preserve fruits and vegetables in other ways such as fermentation, drying and freezing, and how to properly store foods that have been preserved to last the winter. The purpose of this workshop series is to teach people how to preserve foods in a cost-effect way with an emphasis on health and flavor. Snacks will be provided and recipes and samples will be distributed at every workshop for participants to take home.

Upcoming Workshops

Strawberry and Rhubarb Canning Workshop + How to Preserve Herbs for Tea and CookingThursday June 29th from 3pm-6pm.

From Farm to PantryThis month’s workshop will be organized with a farm-pick. Participants will learn how to preserve vegetables that are growing in abundance in Ontario in the month of July, such as beans, cucumbers, and beets. Expect pickling!  July, 17th from 4-6:30

Tomato Canning and Preserving Workshopparticipants will learn how to can tomatoes and the variety ways that canned tomatoes can be used creatively in cooking. We will also learn how to make freezer tomato sauce and salsa.  August, TBA

*Note – participants must sign-up for all workshops

Food Demonstrations

Food Demonstrations are an opportunity to engage drop in participants  and other community groups in new, healthy, and flavourful dishes. A short demonstration featuring the ‘food of the month’ will be cooked and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and sample the dish created. For more info on the food of the month, check out our event calendar!

Partner Organizations

The following organizations host their own community kitchen programming in the 40 Oaks kitchen space:

Please follow our newsletter and check the website regularly for updates about new workshops, food demos and community kitchens.

Read related articles:
Joy every time I took a bite
Video: CRC – Kid’s Kitchen When I Grow Up
Increasing Resilience through food
A Place for Food in Regent Park
Good Food as a Catalyst for Change in Regent Park
Healthy Creativity
Seniors Community Kitchen

For more information or to sign up for a Food Skills workshop, please contact:

Emma Palumbo
Food Skills Coordinator
416-363-4234 ext 241
emmap@tcrc.ca