The WELL offers healthy cooking demonstrations


Students listen to Scott Brown and Janice Garcia talk about nutrition, diet and how to cook. The Well, The Cove, Oct. 15, 2015

Nancy Rebolledo

Grab a friend and register for a cooking demo class in the Cove at the WELL. Throughout the semester, presentations will be taking place at least twice a month for those who are interested in learning how to cook new and healthy dishes.

The cooking demo is part of the Health and Wellness Program; it is used to promote healthy cooking and show foods’ nutritional value, and of course the audience can sample the food. In the audience there were people will all kinds of majors, from mathematics to philosophy.

Last week’s cooking demo, titled “Fall Favorites,” consisted of three recipes, including vegetarian quinoa chili, pumpkin oat chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin spice hot chocolate.

The cooking demo is set up like a live cooking show on TV: the chefs, senior nutrition major Janice Garcia and senior dietetics major Scott Brown, stand behind a kitchen set up, equipped with all things kitchen.

Their ingredients are all over the counter, separating them from the audience. Over the stove is a mirror, and from the audience one can see in its reflection exactly what and how something is being cooked.

“I’m really passionate about food, I love to cook, I love to eat and I also like to entertain,” said Brown. He and Garcia kept the conversations flowing while at the same time walking the class through each dish’s cooking process.

“It is wonderful,” said business major Kenya Corona. “A great way for students to experiment with different types of vegetables they’ve never tried before.”

Garcia and Brown, following the TV style, stayed connected with the audience. “Learning about nutrition, I feel is very passive when you’re just sitting in a classroom,” said Garcia. “I like being able to talk about it with people instead.”

The instructors ask the audience questions, like why substitute regular flour with whole wheat flour and tell them how it is actually cheaper to buy food in bulk, to keep the audience engaged and informed.

“I feel like I’m a food nerd,” said Garcia.

The cooking instructors also allowed for hands-on learning. Some students were picked to assist Garcia or Brown with whatever ingredient needed to be poured, stirred or scooped next.

Garcia and Brown are part of an internship on campus that allows those who are interested in health and nutrition to take the class and in turn have opportunities to present healthy cooking demonstrations to audiences on campus. The interns can present to just about anyone, including preschoolers, as some as Garcia’s classmates have done.

There will be more cooking demonstrations this semester. On Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. there will be a Halloween-themed “Spooky Snacks” demo and soon after, a Thanksgiving and a “Winter Wonder” demonstration.

Students like junior dietetics major Breanne Quintero said she would like to see more ethnic-centric foods. “It brings different varieties to the classes,” said Quintero.

Brown said college is a good time to start better eating habits, and what better way to do that than to attend free healthy cooking demonstrations on campus.