April 13, 2021Print | PDF
Student Affairs staff at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus recently brought students together to connect and learn new culinary skills during a month-long, online cooking club.
Thirty students from Laurier’s Brantford and Waterloo campuses participated in the “Crock-Pot Kitchen Party,” an online social group organized by Andrea Dalimonte, student care coordinator in the Dean of Students Office, and Sarah Syrett, wellness education coordinator. Dalimonte and Syrett created the group to raise awareness about food insecurity, sustainability and wellness.
During four Monday evenings in March, students joined a Zoom call with a different Laurier guest chef each week, who led the group through a live cooking demonstration. Each session covered a different culinary topic and all meals created included adaptations to meet different dietary needs.
Laurier’s Student Life Levy funded the Crock-Pot Kitchen Party, providing each student with a crock pot, a $50 grocery gift card, shopping lists and a recipe booklet. A lottery system was used to select participants, as more than 30 students applied to participate in the program.
“The Crock-Pot Kitchen Party was a great way to engage students socially during an isolating time and introduce them to food concepts and skills in the kitchen,” says Dalimonte. “The response was incredible and we hope to offer a similar program in the future because it works well in a virtual environment.”
Sharna Emrith, a third-year Health Administration student and Crock-Pot Kitchen Party participant, says she found the program uplifting and inspiring.
"It was so much fun to cook while listening to someone lead you through it,” says Emrith. “Having social interaction and access to some great recipes has made things feel less isolating during this time.”
Crock-Pot Kitchen Party recordings are available online for interested Laurier students. Log in to Zoom using Laurier single sign-on. The following chefs and recipes are included: