Grant gives housing clients chance to learn cooking from a pro

Thanks to a grant from the Younger Woman’s Club of Louisville up to 24 men in St. John Center’s Permanent Supported Housing program are learning to make simple, inexpensive and well-balanced meals in their own kitchens.

Nancy Russman, an award winning chef and director of the Culinary Arts Department at Jefferson Community and Technical College, oversees the program. The goal of the six-week course is to teach the men skills, and give them the knowledge, to cook for themselves. Foods used will be easily accessible to the men and healthy options will be presented.

“I am having a ball teaching this class. It’s obvious to me that the guys want to learn, mostly because they like to eat,” said Chef Nancy. “I get good questions too. One guy wanted to know why there is a ‘broil spot on the oven control,” he said. “I have never seen a recipe that says anything but bake! Got to love them!”

The men seem to be enjoying the classes too. “I’ve picked up some good pointers. I’ve already used some of the recipes I got here,” said Willard. “I’m learning my way around the kitchen so I know I will make some more dishes from class.”

“I like the idea of a cooking class. I want to learn how to cook things for myself in my own kitchen,” Bruce explained. “I know how to make hash browns now. They are really good.”

Topics covered in the classes include basic cooking techniques, proper handling and storage of food, cooking safety, and clean-up. Simple recipes will be provided that are tailored to a food stamp budget. Each man who attends all six classes will receive a $10 Kroger gift card to help him purchase the foods he will need to make meals in his own home.

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