New online cooking classes offered by 2 Charlottetown businesses
Looking to up your home cooking game? You might want to try a made-in-P.E.I. online class
Want to learn how to make detailed, healthy recipes in the comfort of your own kitchen?
"Learning in the comfort of your own home has a definite appeal to the busy Islander who is health conscious and looking for guidance but doesn't have the time to commit to an evening or weekend in-person class," says Tracy Michael, a registered dietitian who owns Nourished Kitchen, a dietitian consulting business launched two years ago.
More people want immediate access at their fingertips, at a time that best suits them.— Tracy Michael
Michael offers cooking and nutrition classes in person and last fall began her online cooking classes.
"I know everyone couldn't afford to have the actual in-home personal chef service," said Jen McKenna, a Culinary Institute of Canada-trained chef and owner of Creative Kitchen. "I thought I'd do this to teach people how to eat healthier."
McKenna offers an in-home cooking service and in-person classes, but wanted to branch out and began offering online tutorials last fall.
Monthly subscription or per-class fee
The two women each offer their classes in a slightly different format.
Creative Kitchen's classes are run through a subscribers-only Facebook group. For $50 per month, McKenna posts five weekly meal ideas with recipes and grocery lists, plus two live weekly cooking demonstrations to show them how to cook some of the trickier recipes for that week. Customers can watch the videos live or watch them later.
McKenna said she has 20 monthly subscribers and is aiming for a goal of 100 customers in the next few months.
Keeping up with technology
Nourished Kitchen offers each recipe as a separate class online for $5 each — some are also grouped with three recipes for $10. Michael includes a detailed recipe, grocery list and her own original cooking tutorial video, which clients have access to in perpetuity.
Michael's list so far includes 16 courses, from salads to soups to pasta, muffins and slow-cooker recipes. She said she focuses on simple, healthy meals.
"I develop each course, record the cooking tutorial video, edit and publish completely on my own which is something I didn't learn in my training as a dietitian," Michael said.
'Out of my comfort zone'
Clients post questions, comments and photos of their own meals in her online comments.
"Technology is constantly moving and shifting the way we reach our intended audience, it's important for me to keep up with it as much as possible," she said.
"More people want immediate access at their fingertips, at a time that best suits them."
McKenna uses her cellphone to broadcast using Facebook live from her home kitchen.
"I just kind of pushed myself to do it and I'm on camera pretty much every day now," McKenna said. "I'm definitely getting out of my comfort zone!"
As well as recipes, both business offer a little "extra." Nourished Kitchen is now developing online courses on meal planning and a freezer cooking. Creative Kitchen is including special guests in its videos, recently featuring an expert on gut health.
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