Christina Oliver Photo
Zaryn Oliver shows off the results after her family participated in the pizza pretzel cooking class offered for free online through Cooking With Jax. Next class is April 19 at 1 pm.
COVID-19 has prompted a lot of people to spend more time in the kitchen, expanding their culinary horizons … and their waistlines.
Jacqueline Delisle, a food blogger based out of Hinton, says that humans have food memories – a food nostalgia – and she’s hoping to help feed that nostalgia with a series of free virtual cooking classes.
“This is an idea I have had for a long time, actually. I’ve wanted to do a cooking show and it’s just been sitting on the back burner for a while,” she said.
“With so many people finding comfort in their kitchen right now, I thought these classes would be a great way to bring the community together. I wanted it to be free and to be accessible.”
Delisle was involved in setting up a virtual wine tasting for The Wild Orchid Liquor Co. last month, and was also a guest mixologist.
She saw the opportunity to translate that technology into an online cooking experience as well. She started a couple of weeks ago with a make your own pasta class that drew 25 participants through Zoom.
“Pasta is such a comforting food and it’s really quick so I thought it would be a great place to start,” Delisle said.
Her next class featured local businessman Devlin Griffiths, who walked participants through making his pizza pretzels. It was a class that drew 108 registrations from around 70 families.
“I thought that local businesses needed some support and I wanted to incorporate them into the classes. I know that Devlin is a really great cook and so I started with him,” Delisle said.
“He’s been making pretzels for a wile now and every time he makes pizza pretzels he saves me one, and that’s not easy!”
Delisle started soliciting feedback from participants about what types of food they would like to see featured and there were a lot of suggestions – from gluten-free ideas, to paleo or just healthy food in general.
So next up she convinced Tracy Sheppard and Brian LaBerge to teach people to make Buddha Bowls and also the perfect steak on April 19. She has about eight guest cooks lined up for coming weeks.
The virtual cooking classes take place Sunday, which has always been synonymous with cooking or baking with Delisle, going back to her food blogging origins around a decade ago.
“I’ve gotten away from the blogging, but when I was it was always on Sunday,” she said.
“It’s a day where the world always slows down for me.”
Anybody looking to register for the free class can visit www.cookingwithjax.com and click on the classes tab near the top of the page. Classes start at 1 pm. Contact (780) 865-0962 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.