Who or What is Converse and Cook?
Converse and Cook is a non-profit organization located in Edmonton, Alberta , CRA number is 725856488RC0001, founded by Mishma Mukith and Juanita Gnanapragasam, both alumni from the University of Alberta, as a way to get people in our community more engaged with the food that they eat and with each other.
Food is much more than a nutritious substance, it connects us with each other, ourselves, and the world around us. Just think about how many of your favourite holidays, experiences, and even knowledge about the world is tied to food?
Recognizing that food is a gateway to building bridges in our community, we started ‘Converse and Cook’ to help alleviate barriers people have to finding culturally relevant and nutritious foods. Some of our programming includes running grocery busses, cooking classes, and creating resources on food safety and preparation. Throughout all the programming we run, we encourage people to talk and get to know each other. In fact, ask any of our participants because they’ll tell you that’s the best part of our work!
Together with volunteers and various support from other non-profits and organizations we are reducing barriers to culturally nutritious meals and helping people become more connected to food.
Mishma and Juanita would also like to thank Breanna Weseen who helped shape our cooking class programming. In addition a big thank you the Charlotte Wray who is currently donating a lot of her personal time on our cookbook projects.
- Cooking Socials: Formally known as our cooking classes. These 2-3 hour classes are run for groups of 16-20 partciapnts. During this time we break participants into small groups to prepare and cook a meal together. At the end of the night we all eat together. Throughout the social we facilitate conversation and ensure everyone is learning and having fun.
- Community Cookbooks: We work with community members to tell the story of their community through food. Cookbooks are compiled of recipes and stories. See here for a previous cookbook we did at the University of Alberta.
- Food Literacy Workshops: Working with clinicans, dietitians, and community members we create and deliver workshops on a variety of topics. Some of our past workshops have included: Meal planning on Limited Time and Budget, What is Healthy Eating, and Busting Food Myths.
If you work with an organization or a group of youth/adults who could benefit from any of our programming please get in touch by emailing us at email@example.com. We’d be happy to run some programming for you. In addition, we sometimes have funding to cover costs for cooking socials.
Sponsors and Partners
Interested in partnering with us or sponsoring future programming? Click here to read more about our past sponsors and partners and figure out how you can help out 🙂
Converse and Cook Updates
Research into the accessibility of culturally relevant and nutritious meals for International students was done
January 4, 2016
In 2016 research was conducted at the University of Alberta by Juanita Gnanapragasam and Dr. Naomi Krogman on the importance of maintaining ethnic diets and the accessibility of culturally relevant nutritious meals for newcomer students at the University of Alberta. The results of this research…Read more
Pilot Cooking Classes happened with the support of CSL and SFWG
September 4, 2017
Based off the research findings we recognized that there was a gap of knowledge around basic cooking skills and cooking ethnic meals. In order to address this the Sustainable Food Working Group (SFWG) helped us co-mentor 8 Community Service Learning (CSL) students in piloting two cooking classes…Read more
Piloting more cooking classes and grocery buses thanks to UAlberta Alumni
January 22, 2018
It was clear from the research that transportation was a huge barrier for students to access culturally relevant and nutritious foods. Hence, a grant from the University of Alberta’s Alumni Student Council allowed us to pilot several grocery buses that took students to and…Read more
A new partnership with the Campus Food Bank+our logo
July 2, 2018
As Converse and Cook started to take off we realized that there was a huge need for this type of programming in the City of Edmonton and beyond. In order to grow Converse and Cook to various communities outside the University of Alberta that meant…Read more
We got non-profit status
November 14, 2018
Recognizing we were going to need funding to be able to run programming in the City of Edmonton and beyond we applied for non-profit status back in September and finally got approved today 🙂Read more
Looking into 2019
November 15, 2018
If there’s one thing we learnt about our programming is that there is more demand that capacity, particularity when it comes to our cooking classes. As such we’ve applied and were successful for another UAlberta Alumni Student Council grant where we’ll be working on making…Read more
Our First Community Service Student finishes her non-credit hours with us.
December 21, 2018
Breanna Weseen has been a student volunteer with Converse and Cook since the very beginning and has helped us grow to the program we are today. In Fall 2018 she did her Community Service hours with us helping us develop a guidebook that supports…Read more
Our programming at the University of Alberta is officially handed off the Campus Food Bank
December 21, 2018
We got our start at the University of Alberta but now it’s time to hand things off so that we can move on to supporting programming in the City of Edmonton and beyond. If you’re a student at the UofA you can visit https://campusfoodbank.com/ to…Read more
We got funding for a cookbook!
March 15, 2019
Thanks to the University of Alberta Alumni Student Council we received a grant in early 2019 to re-create a Unversity of Alberta Campus-wide cookbook. Our hope is to take a Humans of New York spin to this cookbook where we feature both stories and recipes….Read more
Rising Youth Grant and Branching out to ELS programs
June 30, 2019
It’s been a while since we’ve posted an update and that’s because we’ve been busy hosting more community pop-up pot lucks, compiling our cookbook and now hosting cooking classes with a new purpose. Our cookbook is well on its way. We’ve done close to 20…Read more
Our Cookbook is Published!
November 30, 2019
Our new cookbook Our Stories Our Food: A University of Alberta Cookbook just launched. This book features stories and recipes from faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the University of Alberta. If you’d like a copy you can visit the SUB UofA North Campus Bookstore starting Friday…Read more