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4 people preparing a meal

At Pink Hill, everybody really does get in

the kitchen to cook a delicious meal. Participants learn new cooking techniques, healthy recipes, and get to try out new kitchen equipment.

Everybody in the Kitchen

Pink Hill, NC

Lenoir County

Once a month, 20 people gather at the Pink Hill Wellness and Education Center for a free healthy cooking class. Participants sit around six tables, each equipped with the necessary equipment to cook five pre-determined recipes. This gives everyone a true hands-on kitchen experience.

Workshop Example: All Time Favorite Meal

The workshop called “All Time Favorite Meal” focuses on nutritious versions of popular dishes. The evening starts with a chicken pot pie tasting, which is prepared by the instructors beforehand. As people enjoy their appetizer, the instructor reviews the class format and recipes. Assistants pass out pre-assembled trays of ingredients for the next recipe, Chicken Noodle Soup. Each table has an Instant Pot, a programmable pressure cooker, which is used to cook their soup. The instructor and assistants give general directions, then float between tables to help people prepare their meal. Everyone gets hands-on experience with a new kitchen gadget, while learning about a healthier version of this classic comfort food.

Participants assembled three additional dishes. Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, a quick and healthy vegetarian option, featured sweet potatoes that were pre-baked before the class.  Each table traded their Instant Pot for a hot plate, where they cooked beans with onion, tomatoes, and seasonings to make a delicious filling. The last two recipes were a Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad and Stuffed Baked Apples for dessert. In a few short hours, everyone got hands-on experience making five new recipes.

Here are some steps you can take to start your own cooking classes:

  • Find a Site: A teaching kitchen is an ideal location for cooking classes. If one is not available, you can still hold classes using portable kitchen equipment like hot plates, slow cookers, instant pots, and toasters.

  • Gather Information and Recipes­: Pink Hill worked with local dietitians and doctors’ offices to identify potential recipes and class topics. You can also reach out to your county’s  Family and Consumer Science Program for free resources.

  • Get Feedback: After each class, Pink Hill sends out a survey to participants to learn about their experience. After one participant asked for more demonstrations with fresh herbs, they developed an entire class devoted to cooking with herbs.




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