Cooking class a blast in Dunrobin

DUNROBIN – It’s only week two of the Dunrobin Community Association’s special needs life skills cooking class, and already 10 budding chefs are making appetizers, meals and deserts and having a great time doing so.

Ashley Innes shakes her freezer bag ice cream during the DCA's special needs cooking class last Sunday. Photo by Jake Davies
Ashley Innes shakes her freezer bag ice cream during the DCA’s special needs cooking class last Sunday. Photo by Jake Davies

“We’re making zip-lock bag ice cream,” DCA board member and director of special needs programming Tracey Taffiner told West Carleton Online from the very busy main hall of the Dunrobin Community Centre on Sunday morning (March 31). “They love it. We’ve made Chinese stir fries, salads, pasta, energy bars. We keep it varied and we try to introduce new tastes. They can be picky eaters, but when they make it themselves, they always try it.”

The DCA also runs extremely popular special needs programming in sports such as soccer, outdoor hockey, ball hockey, tennis and basketball as well as the cooking program for children, youth and adults living with disabilities. 

The programing is not-for-profit and completely volunteer-run making the programs affordable and fun. The cooking program, entering its fourth year, is so popular parents come from as far as Orleans and Winchester to participate in the six-week program.

“It’s worth the drive, they tell me,” Taffinder said. “Participants are given a recipe, they get their equipment, make their food, wash and replace, and then go on to the next station to try a new recipe. It expands their palette. Some of these guys have been here since the beginning.”

Ashley Innes, 19, has participated in the program since 2016.

“It’s really fun,” she says taking a break from shaking her zip-loc bag of ice cream using recently RBC-donated cooking utensils. “It’s a really cool place and the people that I know are here.”

Innes is really enjoying the food as well.

“We made some really good nachos with chili on top,” she said when asked about her favourite recipe so far.

And when the cooking is over, the class heads to the table for a delicious meal and some socializing with good friends.

The cooking program runs Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. A new session will start up May 22. Ball hockey starts up Saturday, April 27 from 9 to 10 a.m. Basketball and tennis kicks off April 10 on Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. and soccer starts Wednesday, May 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information, or to register, click here.