At Converse and Cook, we have 4 streams of programming. Throughout all our programs a common theme of building community through food is present.
Cooking Socials: Formally known as our cooking classes. These 2-3 hour classes are run for groups of 16-20 participants. 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. Due to the current pandemic, we are running any in-person cooking socials for the foreseeable future. However, if you are an organization interested in partnering with us to have us host a cooking social in your space post the pandemic please email us at email@example.com We have some funding and may be able to provide this program to your community members for free.
- Some key aspects of our cooking socials:
- We use team cooking which is different from traditional classes where there are one lead instructor and pairs of people all cooking the same dish. At our socials participants are broken into teams of 4-5 where each team cooks a part of the dinner (entree, main, dessert) for the rest of the group eat.
- There is one facilitator who is responsible for putting together the menu and a number of support volunteers who help the teams follow instructions. Often the menu is tailored to reflect the facilitator’s culture or interests that they want to share with the broader community and the Converse and Cook volunteers work with the facilitator to support their leadership skills so that they can facilitate the class.
- Everyone has varying skill levels, and all skill levels are welcomed. The non-hierarchical structure of the class allows for people to learn together/from each other by swapping “tips and tricks” from their own kitchen hacks
- Our target population for these socials include everyone from post-secondary students, community members, people with disabilities, English language learners etc.
- Depending on the population of our classes we have volunteers trained in different skills like supportive listening, dietetics, newcomer health etc. who can help support the specific needs of the population.
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 with the University of Alberta Community. 100% of proceeds from our cookbook sales go back into running Converse and Cook programming in the communities that we worked with to create the cookbook. We are currently compiling a time capsule cookbook about comfort food in Edmonton. For more details see here.
Food Literacy Workshops: Working with clinicians, 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.
Online programs: The realities of the COVID-19 pandemic mean that we cannot do any in-person programs right now. As such we’ve pivoted to online programming which includes events like our food conversation circles for English Language Learners to help international students learn about Canadian cuisine and work on their English skills, virtual food socials where we play games and discuss food trends, recipe swaps, food photography workshop and more. To stay up-to-date or join our future events see our event page here.
If you work with an organization or a group of youth/adults who could benefit from any of our programmings please get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to run some programming for you. In addition, we sometimes have funding to cover costs.