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‘Where are they now?’ Category

  1. Blast from the past: Update from Brittany

    February 27, 2013 by Start From Scratch

    Find out what SFS participant Brittany has been up to!

    1)   First of all, many participants talk about showing off their new skills after they finish the program; have you hosted a dinner party yet? How was it?

    I have absolutely loved being able to show off the recipes I learned at Start from Scratch. I have hosted friends over for a few dinner parties and pulled out the skills and recipes I learned at the program. I also love getting to share some of the useful tips — like showing people how to properly hold a knife and how to cut an onion in the most efficient way!

    2)   Describe your relationship to food and cooking before Start from Scratch (SFS).

    I have always been extremely passionate about cooking, but prior to SFS, I found it hard to fit into a busy schedule and a limited budget. I loved to try new things, but rarely made the time because it seemed like a lot of work for no guaranteed payoff. I usually stuck to the usual recipes that I new by heart and that were guaranteed to make any palate happy.

    3)   What have you changed about your cooking habits since SFS?

    After taking the class during one of the busiest times of my undergraduate degree, I realized that if you want to, it is easy to find the time and to make amazing food for a reasonable price. Since taking SFS, I am easily inspired to try any recipe. I’m willing to take more risks and try cooking new things, with new ingredients. The class really showed me how easy it is to make some of the most complicated looking and tasting recipes! I also find that I am more organized in the kitchen – I have a better concept of timing and orchestrating a meal so that you can successfully pull off multiple different dishes at once.

    4)   What has SFS done to change your perception of food and cooking?

    Like I have said, SFS has made me understand that cooking is a lot of show and good presentation, without nearly as much work as I thought it would be! As a student, I some times felt like there was no way I could afford or make some of the complicated recipes I salivated over on Pinterest or blogs, but now I feel like I have an increased understanding that makes it so any recipe is possible.

    5)   Tell us about your most memorable SFS moment.

    I think one of the most memorable moments for me in SFS was doing a tour of the Kingsland Farmers Market with Connie DeSousa from Charcut. At restaurants, I am always wondering where the ingredients are sourced from and it was refreshing to learn that Charcut sourced the majority of its products locally, and at places where I could buy them too. She gave our group some insider tips on the best stand to stop at and find the freshest, tastiest ingredients.

    6) What are your favourite recipes to cook/bake now and why?

    This past summer I traveled to Asia and specifically, to India. There I volunteered for a month and met an amazing woman who cooked the best Indian/Nepali food. She taught me how to make curries and momos, a Tibetan dumpling) and many other local specialties. When I left, they sent me home with some of the basic ingredients and I have been experimenting with this new exotic way of cooking since then. It has been especially fun going to very unique, ethnic grocery stores to source some of the odd ingredients I need!

    7)   What skill from SFS has come in most handy?

    It seems simple, but I think one of the most useful skills I learned in SFS is what the best way to cut an onion is. I am a huge soup cooker, especially French Onion, meaning that knowing how best to cut an onion is absolutely invaluable. It is a very simply procedure, but this technique has honestly saved me many a tear when I am cutting onion after onion for any savory recipe!

    8)   What would you say to students considering applying for SFS?

    I have already told everyone I know to apply for SFS, many of which are in the program right now! I honestly cannot say enough good about this program. Dan, my teacher in the program, is so much fun and has more skills and tips to teach than there is time for. The guests who help teach you how to cut, make bread and more are so passionate about their areas of expertise, you can’t help but get excited. I came into the program with a pretty good grasp of cooking in general, but I learned so much and had such a fun time. The class is truly for everyone and one of the best things I did while in school. Do it!


  2. Blast from the Past: Update from Naween

    January 23, 2013 by Start From Scratch

    It’s time to take another trip back in time to meet Naween, who was also a Start From Scratch original.

    And soon you will meet our new SFS participants! We can’t wait to start the 2013 winter session!

    1) First of all, many participants talk about showing off their new skills after they finish the program; have you hosted a dinner party yet? How was it?

    I had the opportunity to host my siblings for a dinner night in and actually used a couple of the same recipes we learned in SFS. Since I am not the usual cook in the house, there was hesitation regarding the chicken but once established that it was, in fact, cooked (Very well if I do say so myself!) we had a fabulous time. Also, my cooking rep earned some brownie points.

    2) Describe your relationship to food and cooking before Start from Scratch (SFS).

    Prior to SFS, I was somewhat intimidated to try my hand in the kitchen and so my ability to cook was stagnant at best. By learning the basics through SFS, I felt more confident whipping up my own recipes.

    3) What have you changed about your cooking habits since SFS?

    Nachos will, forever and always, be my greatest weakness. But I have graduated to cooking with whole food ingredients, meat and healthy grains like quinoa and brown rice thanks to the basic recipes I learned in SFS.

    4) What has SFS done to change your perception of food and cooking?

    The cooking basics or “must-knows” that I learned through SFS helped me understand that cooking food can be fun, fulfilling and dynamic. It’s not rocket science, but it is a science and a simple tweak like a new herb or spice could create a totally different dish.

    5) Tell us about your most memorable SFS moment.

    Kingsland Farmers Market tour led by Connie from CHARCUT. I can still taste those juicy tomatoes..

    6) What are your favourite recipes to cook/bake now and why?

    I am in love with cold quinoa salads. They’re easy to make and change up to keep the flavor interesting, they’re great for packing lunches and best of all, super healthy.

    7) What skill from SFS has come in most handy?

    CHICKEN! I can now make chicken.

    8) What would you say to students considering applying for SFS?

    DO IT! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Once a week, you get to hang out with friends and eat delicious food while learning. Aside from polishing up whatever your cooking reputation is, Dan Clapson and SFS introduce a whole new world – The tasty and dynamic Foodie world and it’s only getting better in Calgary.


  3. Where are they now? — Lydia Dickenson

    August 10, 2012 by Start From Scratch

    Want to know what the Start From Scratch program is like? Here’s a Q&A with past participant Lydia!

     
    1) Have you hosted a dinner party yet? How was it?

    I went to a friends house one evening to teach them to make the roast chicken and vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes and pear & cranberry crisp that I learned at SFS. It was all delicious! They then cooked Easter dinner for their family using those recipes.

    2) Describe your relationship to food and cooking before SFS.

    Prior to SFS I basically ate junk food and fast food and definitely didn’t cook hardly any of it myself. When I did cook, I had a couple go-to recipes that I would make, but nothing adventurous. I’m a comfort-food lover at heart and would make the same things over and over.

    3) What have you changed about your cooking habits since SFS?

    Everything! I cook healthy food, I cook for fun sometimes, and I try new recipes. I am unafraid of spices and adding more, more, and more of them to recipes (thanks, Jacinthe!). I have also learned to enjoy making some spicy food – a big step for me!

    4) What has SFS done to change your perception of food and cooking?

    I always thought that cooking was a gift that people either had or didn’t. It’s not true. You can learn to cook. I learned to be more adventurous in the kitchen thanks to SFS and it has paid off.

    5) Tell us about your most memorable SFS moment.

    Hands down, the moment the mushroom risotto touched my taste buds. Oh my god.

    6) What are your favourite recipes to cook/bake now and why?

    I love the roasted chicken and veggies because of its simplicity. I also love the quinoa chocolate cake because it’s ridiculously delicious.

    7) What skill from SFS has come in most handy?

    Chopping vegetables properly, seasoning abundantly, and “DON’T SCRAPE THE KNIFE ON THE CUTTING BOARD”!

    8) What would you say to students considering applying for SFS?

    I 100% recommend this program to any student. The SFS leaders are knowledgeable, personable, and SFS will become one of your favourite nights of the week. Balancing school and adding one more thing in can be tough, but SFS is completely worth it.


  4. What are they up to now? – Kim Mikalson

    August 7, 2012 by Start From Scratch

    Ever wonder what happens to the Start from Scratch participants once the classes end? We do! SFS graduate Kim Mikalson, tells us how the program has changed her perceptions of food and cooking.

    1)   First of all, many participants talk about showing off their new skills after they finish the program; have you hosted a dinner party yet? How was it?

    I think the first “dinner party” I hosted was actually Easter dinner for my family. I made roasted chicken, roasted vegetables, and one of the most delicious and easiest desserts (apple crisp with the apple as a bowl). All of these recipes I learned in SFS and they were amazing. The dinner was a hit!

    2)   Describe your relationship to food and cooking before Start from Scratch (SFS).

    My relationship with food and cooking has changed and evolved since before SFS. I was not an adventurous cook before the program but now I am always looking for new recipes and different exotic ingredients to try cooking with. I really liked the exposure to different ingredients in the program — it really helped to push me outside of my boundary of safe ingredients. I also have learned that recipes can be changed and you can easily use what you have in the fridge to substitute into the recipe.
     
    3)   What have you changed about your cooking habits since SFS?

    I now put a lot more thought into the meals I am having and try and plan out what I am going to make for the week. SFS also taught me how to take ingredients left over in your fridge and turn them into something delicious.

    4)   What has SFS done to change your perception of food and cooking?

    After participating in SFS, I am more confident in my cooking abilities and am excited and eager to try new ingredients and new types of food. I think the biggest change in my perception was realizing that food and cooking can be easy and fun! It was also great to meet some local food bloogers/ chefs through the program and now I have a list of restaurants I want to try!

    5)   Tell us about your most memorable SFS moment.

    There are so many memorable moments in SFS! I know for myself and a lot of the other participants that cooking class was the highlight of their week. If I had to pick a moment it would be when Christina had to butcher a chicken in our class. Her facial expression was priceless! Another great moment was when we made the meatloaf snake! There are really just too many great moments. Every class was filled with so much laughter, good food, and great times!
     
    6)   What are your favourite recipes to cook/bake now and why?

    My favourite recipes to cook/bake are roast chicken and vegetables because it is so easy but so delicious! I also like to make soup from scratch because it is perfect on cold chilly days and they are great for leftovers. I also love how versatile soup is; you start with the same basics but by changing it a little you can come up with some delicious and interesting soups.
     
    7)   What skill from SFS has come in most handy?

    The skill that I has been the most handy for me is learning different cutting techniques. I never knew how to properly cut things before the program and it is amazing what a difference that can make! I don’t dread cutting peppers any more!
     
    8)   What would you say to students considering applying for SFS?

    I would say to APPLY!! SFS is such an amazing program! Not only do you learn how to cook and eat incredible food (that you made!), you meet some amazing people and gain some really great friendships. It was such an incredible experience and I highly suggest applying! I have nothing bad to say about the program and I can’t thank Dan and Jacinthe enough for taking the time to teach us.

    So, get out and apply! You won’t regret it!


  5. Where are They Now: Chatting with Peter

    September 7, 2011 by Start From Scratch

    Peter, a physics major at the U of C, and hasn’t eaten Kraft Dinner since the class … enough said. We’re proud of him! :)

    Before the class what were your eating habits like? I made Kraft Dinner a couple times a week and I bought a lot of food from restaurants. That was about it. I would cook about once every two months or so.

    How do you see cooking differently after the class? There was more out there then I thought there was. If I made anything it would be something very simple but now I can spice things up a bit more. And its cheaper then I thought.

    What about the experience would lead you to recommend it to others? It’s fun, you get to meet new people and eat food every week.

    You went on a few excursions to different restaurants in the city. Which was the highlight for you? The farmers’ market we went to and the Home Tasting Room. It was more like a wine tasting thing. So they got a wine guy to come in and there were a bunch of different food items and a bunch of different wines to go with them. Just to experience what different wines tasted like with different dishes.

    How would you describe how you attitude toward food has changed? Its easier then I thought. It takes less time and is simpler. It’s definitely a milestone in a bachelor’s life to learn how to cook and make food that tastes good, rather then making food that you have to eat because you made it.

    Interview by Hilary Sinclair.

    Hilary is a second year journalism student attending Concordia University in Montreal. She once tried to have a picnic, but her attempt was unsuccessful after she was attacked by a thousand ants.


  6. Where Are They Now: Chatting with Alyssa

    August 17, 2011 by Start From Scratch

    Alyssa is a 24-year-old University of Calgary student, majoring in communications, who now sees cooking as a fulfilling activity to share. You can find Alyssa tweeting her heart out as the ‘U Calgary foodie’ at @UCalgaryFoodie!

    Describe your cooking and eating habits before you participated in the program? I love toast. It’s like my favorite thing to eat. It’s so easy and cheap so I would do that all the time. I was single so, I’m not going to bother cooking for more then myself, its just too much energy. If I did cook it would be like a quesadilla, something simple.

    Have you seen any changes in how often you cook? Honestly, I prefer to eat at home now. I find it a lot more meaningful, which sounds really lame. But you put and lot of effort and love into it, I really appreciate it a lot more. It’s a fun activity. I love it.

    Have you noticed that your cooking habits have changed since Start from Scratch? Yeah! Well, a big part of it has been that I’m in a relationship so it’s an activity in itself to cook.  The class was just a good opportunity to learn how to have fun with it. Just learning simple things that you never knew how to do before. [For example] I learned how to cut an onion and not get teary-eyed over it.

    What was your favorite dish that you prepared in the class? Mine would be those date things. It was like a homemade version of a fruit-to-go.

    You went on a few excursions to different restaurants in the city. What was the highlight for you? The Home Tasting Room. We saw, Andrew McLeod, a professional sommelier and he taught us things that we had no clue about. We felt really fancy and it was fun. I had bison tartar. Like raw bison, which is incredible and I never thought I would like it.

    How would you describe how you attitude toward food has changed?  I feel like I have turned a new leaf. It’s a new thing. I love it. It changed my life. I just cook more and I appreciate food more…and it was awesome being part of a scandal. :)

    Interview by Hilary Sinclair.

    Hilary is a second year journalism student attending Concordia University in Montreal. She likes food almost as much as Dan does.