Healthy Habits

Hosting a Virtual Cooking Club

Content provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team

From the Dietitian’s Desk
With Becca Rick, MS, RD

Food plays a significant role in daily life and represents much more than simply a source of nourishment.

Food is a source of connection, whether that means preparing a nostalgic meal that was eaten as a child or trying a new cuisine from a different country. It also represents traditions, memories, culture, and more. In a time when social connections may feel limited, consider starting a virtual cooking club to foster connection with others. This activity can improve cooking skills, provide delicious new recipes to enjoy, and create an outlet for connection with loved ones.

  1. Select a platform. Find a video conferencing platform that participants are familiar with and can access for free. Zoom, Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangouts are all appropriate options, though having the ability to share a screen on a platform like Zoom may be beneficial for sharing the recipe instructions.
  2. Invite your guests. Thanks to video conferencing capabilities, the group size can be as large or small as is desired. Maybe the cooking club is done to get to know others or maybe it’s a way for family or close friends to reconnect in a safe, distanced way.
  3. Choose the menu. There are several ways to go about choosing a recipe. The first route allows for one group member to share a recipe they are already familiar with and may have some familial or cultural significance. In this way, each group member takes a turn leading. The second option allows everyone to learn together by trying a new recipe and experimenting in the kitchen together. Alternatively, consider choosing a cookbook and working through a recipe each month. Be sure to inform the guests of the recipe ahead of time so they can be prepared with the ingredients.
  4. Start cooking. Take turns going through each step in the recipe instructions, working through the dish together as a group. Let this be a fun opportunity to get creative and learn together even if the recipe doesn’t turn out perfectly. Focus on the chance to connect and bond.
  5. Bon Appetit! Enjoy the meal together. Take time to enjoy a home-cooked meal together virtually! Sharing a meal with those you love is a special chance to bond and connect.
  6. Repeat! If all goes well, send out an email inviting everyone back. Choose a frequency (weekly, monthly, etc.) and stick to it so the group can get comfortable with the fun new routine.

Remember, the meal can be simple to include those at all levels or more advanced for those more experienced in the kitchen. Create an event that will be fun for all involved!

References
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-food-brings-cultures-together_b_5913e153e4b002274b9469c8
https://www.delish.com/entertaining/a31745625/how-to-host-a-virtual-dinner-party/
https://caroscity.blog/2020/04/29/hosting-a-virtual-cookbook-party/

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