This winter, Food Matters Manitoba (FMM) held a half day cooking workshop at a kitchen provided by Four Arrows on Arlington in partnership with Boys and Girls Club Winnipeg (BGC). The cooking workshop provided as a service by FMM was intended to give BGC staff cooking training so youth have nutritious meals prepared for their programs.

Ovie Lawrenchuk, cooking workshop facilitator, explains that the class began with a personalized BGC oral component.

“We outlined food safety and practices relevant to their work, such as utilizing food donations and working with a small budget,” he says.

BGC staff gathered around the tables that were used as stations equipped with all of the required ingredients and cookware needed to make the meal of the day – a mixed greens salad with freshly baked Bannock that accompanied the main course, a beef stew.

Lawrenchuk explains that the first station focused on incorporating nutritious vegetables into a mixed greens salad topped with a homemade dressing. Cutting boards and knives were placed on the salad station, along with gloves for food safety as participants chopped onions and cucumbers for the salad into large mixing bowls.

BGC staff then moved on to the second station to make the Bannock, says Lawrenchuk. The staff gathered around a long table where bowls, flour, a baking sheet, and all other necessary ingredients and cookware to make the Bannock were present.

Once the Bannock was prepped and put into the oven, BGC staff made their way over to the third and final section to prepare the beef stew, says Lawrenchuk.

This station was the largest and required numerous participants. Potatoes, carrots, herbs, etc. were all laid out on the stainless steel countertop and participants each had their role to play – chopping vegetables as they worked together to add ingredients to the stew.

Once the meal was finished, the BGC staff was able to sit and enjoy their meal together. “Afterwards we laid out everything the class had prepared buffet style and everyone got to sit down and enjoy,” says Lawrenchuk.

After the meal, it was time for BGC staff to head home. On the way out, Lawrenchuk notes that the staff were given booklets that provided essential food safety information, along with recipes ideal for their programs.

Thanks to FMM’s cooking workshop service, BGC staff left feeling confident in their ability to incorporate tailored, nourishing, and healthy meals into their programs for the BGC youth.