Food Skills

The Regent Park Community Food Centre offers a series of food skills programming including community kitchens, food demonstrations and specialized workshops for children, youth, adults, and seniors. Community members come together to learn basic and more refined cooking skills, nutrition and healthy food choices, meal planning and recipe-sharing.  We cook together, eat 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 preserve the local harvest to be utilized in the off-season. All Food Skills programming is free.



Cook Ahead Community Kitchen

10 week course, Fridays from 4-7 pm. Sign up required.

April-June and September-December, 2018

Cook Ahead aims to teach participants how to cook culturally diverse, delicious and nutritious foods in larger quantities that can be used for meal planning. We begin with the basics, and each week build on our newly acquired skills. By the end of the program, participants should feel confident in meal planning and have a greater sense of autonomy over cooking their own food at home. At Cook Ahead we combine practical skills and discussion including preventing and managing chronic disease, food and mood, and food systems and environmental sustainability.

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

Freezer Days

Monthly workshop series. Sign up required.

Fall 2018 workshops tba

This workshop series provides a space for different cultural groups to come together to teach, learn, socialize and cook traditional foods from scratch. Each month, a different local cook/chef teaches us two traditional recipes, from Dal Puri to Empanadas to Pierogi.

Do you have a recipe you’d like to teach? Please contact the Food Skills Coordinator, see below.

*Snacks provided and recipes and leftovers will be made to take home.

Kids Cook and Grow

6-8 week After School Program also offered as a workshop program in the summer.

This kids-centered cooking and gardening program is versatile and can be offered to children and youth in different contexts. Cook and Grow teaches kids and youth basic cooking and safety skills, encourages participants to cook more at home with family and with friends, boosts self-confidence and promotes healthy food options. We familiarize participants with local and alternative food systems, give participants hands-on experience with composting, worm-bin care, planting, harvesting and tasting greens and vegetables from the garden. In this program participants garden, cook, and eat together and become critical consumers.

*We work with schools, agencies and partner organizations. Please inquire about starting a new chapter.

Cooking Forward

8-week Pre-employment Program for youth ages 16-29. Sign up required.

Designed to prepare youth for entry level jobs in the culinary arts/hospitality industry, the course will be comprised of mostly hands-on and some discussion-focused workshops. Participants will learn about: knife skills and knife safety, how to work in a fast-paced environment, time-management, baking and pastry with a focus on how to follow recipes, and kitchen culture and kitchen hierarchy. We also cover labour laws and employee rights, and how youth can search for jobs in the culinary industry.

*Participants receive a food handler’s manual and will take the Food Handler’s test at the end of the program.

*Snacks provided and meals will be made during the program.

Supper Club Community Kitchen

DSC_0098 (2)Monthly drop-in program, 1st Thursday of the month, 3-5:30 PM. Sign up suggested.

In collaboration with Solidarity Suppers, this program is ideal for participants who have attended community kitchens in the past and are looking to enhance their skills and leadership in the kitchen, and is also open to new participants who would like to learn more about community kitchens. Participants can expect to make delicious and nutritious large-batch meals for themselves as well as members of the Solidarity Suppers Discussion Series.

*Snacks and meal provided.

The Safety First Drop-In Community Kitchen

Monthly drop-in program, 3rd Wednesday of the month, 4-7 PM. No sign up required.

In partnership with Street Health, this program runs as part of a weekly Harm Reduction program at the Regent Park Community Health Centre. Participants will have access to snacks, drinks, a full meal and leftovers to take home as well as harm reduction supplies. Each community kitchen is accompanied by discussion and educational materials about the link between harm reduction and nutrition.

Spring/Summer Workshop Series

From April-September 2018. Sign up required.

The purpose of this workshop series is to share our collective knowledge around delicious and creative ways to make and preserve food during the growing season. 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. Participants will also learn how to make pastry dough and fruit pies as well as how to pack a healthy picnic basket.

*Snacks will be provided and recipes and samples will be distributed at every workshop for participants to take home.

Food and the City Field Trip Series

Trips offered throughout the year. Please check our events calendar for more information on specific dates and times. Sign up required.

In our new field-trip series, we explore food, history and culture in Toronto. Our first stop on the tour was the St Lawrence Market where we learned the rich history behind the Market and surrounding neighbourhood and shared some delicious market snacks together.

Upcoming trips in 2018 will include Little India, Ontario farms, and Chinatown.

*Snacks, tokens and light meal provided.

Food Demonstrations

Food Demonstrations are an opportunity to engage drop-in participants  and other community groups with 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!

Past programs include: Breakfast Clubs, Pedal-Powered Bike Community Kitchen – in partnership with Charlies Free Wheels, we taught bicycle mechanics to youth and encouraged participants to build a bike-powered blender while cooking healthy foods, Eat Up Meet Up – a bi-weekly community kitchen run by Ryerson University Students, Peer-to-Peer Kitchen – expert cooks from the community learned how to facilitate community kitchens to share their knowledge and culture with others.

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.

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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