July 22' update: But what about cooking classes?

Hi, It’s Jed. 

More and more we’re getting asked, ‘when are you going to restart cooking classes?’.

I realize that many people depended on us for cooking education and entertainment but after 10 years of teaching, with hundreds of thousands of people through our kitchens, I’ve decided that I want to change how we do things.

This is for a few reasons:

  • The economics don’t work anymore. I always tried to deliver classes for value but the cost of all inputs are dramatically rising and this puts pressure on what we can/should charge for a cooking class.

  • Staffing is strained, and there are a lot of jobs out there. This is putting pressure on the ability to hire for all positions, especially teaching chefs/instructors

  • Most importantly, I’m excited to teach in a new way. I’ve been studying the food system for a long time and because I ran a business that sold cooking classes I got a pretty good sense of what people were willing to invest their time and money into. I’m more interested in teaching people how to gather and prepare food that could be perceived as healthy over that which is just plain tasty.  You see, our most popular classes were full of fat, marginally processed ingredients, sugar and salt. I do not want to go forward teaching people how to eat like a typical North American as it’s clear where that lifestyle is taking us.

So what now?

I’ve spent a lot of time understanding the complexities of our food system. What has been known for quite a while is that a diet similar to a Mediterranean diet (based on the food available in your area) is probably the most health-promoting lifestyle known. Fortunately the consensus among all ‘health promoters’ is that processed foods, and any 1 macronutrient in excessive amounts, is not ideal for health.

Michael Pollen hit the nail on the head when he wrote, “Eat food, not too much, and mostly plants”.

As you may know, I’ve been working on improving my understanding of engaging videos.   I can see through the analytics what people like and what they don’t.  This has allowed me to develop a business plan to restart classes. At first, this will be digital, where I develop a library of plant-forward micro classes that will help anyone who is willing/wanting to cook in a plant-forward way.

To be clear, my goal is not to try and convert people into Vegans. From a health perspective, the science does not show us that 100% plants based, or veganism, is the healthiest way to live. Many of the healthiest and longest-lived people eat some animal products, just not that much and mostly from the sea. 

That said, I don’t believe that it’s my calling to teach people how to cook salmon or tuna. There are others out there doing a much better job at that than I ever could/would. My passion is to help you rely on plants as the foundation of your cooking. There are entire populations that do this incredibly well and are shown to have the best health outcomes on the planet.

As we transition to an updated format I’m devoting my energy to building content and will not be rebuilding the in-store cooking class program at this time. Depending upon what develops we may or may not be back to live classes in 2022. 

It was rewarding to see so many people enjoying something that I dreamt up but that also encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and follow my passion to do it again.  I'm really excited for the future and hope you join us.

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