Bringing back the kitchen party
By: Amy Crofts
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 06:00 am
Most people don’t consider throwing on your pajamas and breaking out the casserole dishes a wild Saturday night house party, but that’s how Lindsay Finnie-Carvalho does it, spatula and all.
The St. Albert resident is the owner of Nourish Me Cooking Classes, a company she started about a year ago from her home in Lacombe Park.
The mother of three offers home cooking parties for those looking to spice up their meals and bring the enjoyment of cooking back into the kitchen.
“I bring all the food, all the ingredients, all the equipment, it’s up to them if they want to show up in their pajamas or their clothes,” explains Finnie-Carvalho while sautéing diced onions for a pot of “curry in a hurry”, a one pot meal of sweet potatoes, cauliflower, grated carrot, green peas and roasted chicken with curry seasoning.
“We make a lot of food, eat some of it and hopefully their fridges are left stocked and with smiles on their faces.”
The idea for hosting home cooking parties came about after Finnie-Carvalho started teaching cooking classes at the St. Albert Community Hall. A friend suggested she do the classes from participants’ homes and making it a fun girls’ or guys’ night with cocktails.
Finnie-Carvalho hosts around five cooking parties per month. Much like the private cooking parties held by the Dinner Factory, a meal assembly store in St. Albert, the concept caters to groups of moms looking to stock their freezers, friends wanting to sharpen their culinary skills and students just learning how to cook, which might be something as basic as making a sandwich.
Home cooking parties are popping up around the Edmonton area, from workshops at local farms to trained chefs designing personalized menus for you in your own home (Sorrentino’s Restaurant Group) or in theirs (Get Cooking Edmonton).
Finnie-Carvalho says she believes the popularity of home cooking parties has grown with the changing direction of the food movement.
“I think we’ve realized as a society how damaging to our health it is as the focus moves further and further away from the kitchen and more into the factory.”
“As more research is being done and more health realities are coming into effect, people are starting to realize that you need to start eating at home more. It’s not only better for your heath, it’s better for your family and for your relationships.”
The trained microbiologist traded in preparing tissue cultures and extracting DNA in a hepatitis C research lab at the University of Alberta, for the laboratory in her kitchen.
“I don’t think it’s that big of stretch from the lab to the kitchen, because it’s all chemistry, it just happens to be yummy, edible chemistry.”
Through home cooking parties and cooking classes, Finnie-Carvalho hopes people will leave with greater cooking confidence, a larger culinary skill set and an infinite amount of recipes that can be adapted to their lifestyles.
Finnie-Carvalho’s next session of cooking classes start in November, while home cooking parties can be booked at anytime.