Maria Garza from The Cultural Kitchen loves to cook. And she really loves helping others develop that passion in the kitchen.
And this fall, Garza will be sharing some fabulous recipes at the Shenkman Arts Centre. It’s a great opportunity to get a babysitter and spend some time together as a couple or with friends.
“These classes are ideal for parents,” says Garza. “No texting, no distractions – just hands-on cooking delicious food.”
Garza has been teaching cooking classes for over 20 years. She’s taught at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Algonquin College and through the City of Ottawa.
“My first career was actually as a graphic artist,” says Garza, “but jobs were hard to come by and the Ottawa School Board was looking for cooking instructors, so I applied.”
Although she didn’t have any formal training, Garza says all her family were cooks and she’d certainly picked up a few tips.
“Once I started teaching cooking, I realized how much I loved it,” she says. “So then I did start taking specialty classes, like learning about regional dishes in Mexico and Italy. And I worked for a while at an Italian restaurant here in Ottawa.”
Garza enjoys teaching authentic and traditional food, and keeps her technique true to a country’s recipe. “I stay true to the tradition of where the food comes from,” says Garza. “And I find it really interesting how culture affects food.”
Garza has come up with three different tastes. On Oct. 2, the class will feature a Taste of Tuscany, the Nov. 20 class will be a Taste of Spain, and on Jan. 22, 2018, Garza will introduce a Taste of Greece.
“I really think cooking and enjoying food is such a social thing,” she says. “I like the ‘slow-food’ movement. And these classes will not only help you learn how to cook, but provide what I think will be good, quality time for parents.
“And besides, who can resist a Spanish Tortilla or Yogurt Chocolate Mousse?”
For more information, contact the Shenkman Arts Centre at 613-580-2787 or at www.shenkmanarts.ca. Class size is limited, so sign up early. Registration for fall and winter classes opens Aug. 16.