I’ve been hosting cooking classes for three years already. I started with adults and then moved to kids. I believe teaching new generation useful skills is very important and I’m happy to be a part of it. In Georgia, as well as in many European countries, cooking is passed from grandmothers and mothers to their granddaughters and daughters. You don’t need to go to the culinary school to learn how to cook for your family; you remember the smell, the flavor, the colors of those dishes. If you are a creative person like me, you play with your ingredients and tweak the old recipes, make your own, create something new using the knowledge and skills taught by your parents. Even though my daughters (who are now 20 and 18) never really stood next to me and learned how to cook, they saw me cooking every night and now can prepare healthy, delicious and beautiful looking meals for themselves.
Believe it or not, last year I did the classes in my kitchen which is the smallest kitchen you can imagine. First, I decided to do it on the patio and use the grill (I have a table and 5 chairs so I could fit 5 kids there). We made some pizza on the grill but it was hard to make everything out there especially when it started to get really hot so I decide to move inside. It wasn’t the most comfortable kitchen and working space, but we managed to make meatballs from scratch including grinding our own meat, homemade raviolis, fresh pasta, sushi, lasagna, Greek dolmades, cinnamon buns, potato salad, chicken parmigiana, and even bath bombs.
This year, I was a little resistant to host classes again. It’s not that I don’t want to do more classes; I love those kids and sharing them my knowledge. The only issue is not having a good kitchen, but after one of my old students asked me to give a private class to her and her two friends teaching French onion soup and coffee cake, I decided to continue my classes and make it work. Another reason that pushed me was the desire to help some of the kids in Georgia. I just read an article about a young kid who lives with his mom in one room apartment that they rent. He is the sweetest and smartest kid, winner of about 80 different competitions. He sells his prizes to help his mom to pay the rent. They live on welfare which is ridiculously small in Georgia, sometimes they only have a loaf of bread and tea. This 13-year-old kid worries about his mom’s health (she has hearth problems) and paying the rent so that they don’t stay homeless. His honest smile and dreaming eyes just melted my heart and I decide to continue cooking classes for kids this summer and donate all the money to his family and many others who struggle and suffer in Georgia.