Master Cooks Clara Tolbert (left) and Donna Wrubel busy at their work, above.

This summer CitySeed is holding 12 senior cooking classes at three local senior
centers. The classes are designed to teach seniors how to prepare dishes that are
healthy, delicious and affordable. Over 88 attendees have participated in these
classes so far at Atwater, Dixwell/Newhallville and East Shore senior centers.
Recipes have included curried salmon cakes, breakfast stone fruit bowls highlighting
in-season peaches, fresh fruit smoothies and grilled Margherita Sandwiches!

From the pool of New Haven-based Master Cooks Corps cooking instructors, we
cultivated a core group of skilled chefs who serve as educators for the senior cooking
classes. Their curriculum and workshops focus on culturally-relevant recipes that
integrate fresh produce and highlight seasonal ingredients that are available through
our farmers markets. Master Cooks provides peer-based cooking education to
neighbors and community members, a unique approach that is based on the idea that
people are more open and engaged when the instructor is from a similar background
and culture.

We brought eight cooking classes to senior center sites in 2015, and 25 more in 2016.
We are excited to be able to repeat the series this year and have seen enthusiasm and
lots of smiles so far. The participants have been adventurous and open in classes —
even trying food items they’ve never heard of!  Based on feedback to date, we believe
these classes have been as rewarding for them as they have been for us!