PACTCooking is designed to give at-risk youth, ages 13-21, an opportunity to obtain practical culinary skills and learn about nutrition and food safety, while also give back to the community. It provides a team-building, skills-based learning environment and a strong community-service component.
As with all PACT Life & Job Skills projects, passionate and motivated students who complete the introductory course are then encouraged to participate in a continuity of programming – taking part in a more advanced/entrepreneurial course which potentially leads to higher education, start-up businesses and entry level jobs.
All PACTCooking classes will be held at our downtown Queen West location at Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street in the lower level Sketch program area (MAP).
In the introductory eight-week PACTCooking course, youth are introduced to different cuisines from around the world and especially those that reflect and celebrate their own ethnic backgrounds and heritage. The project culminates with a graduation dinner that allows them to create a menu and cook a meal for individuals in their community that could use the friendship and warmth.
The program requires a commitment of 2.5 hour classes, one-night-a-week for eight consecutive weeks except holidays.
This 8-week, more advanced curriculum allows youth to continue to build leadership and confidence while learning more advanced culinary skills such as cutting, cooking over the stove, sampling and adjusting recipes and kitchen teamwork.
PACTCooking is led by Taylor Salisbury, who plays a multi-faceted role from developing program curriculum to providing youth support and facilitating both PACTCooking and the Summer Garden Camp.
As well bringing a teaching ideology that stems from a strength-based perspective, Taylor is committed to promoting safety, inclusion, affirmation and gratitude while helping youth develop their skills and confidence. She received a BSc in Psychology and an Advanced Diploma in Child and Youth Care.
PACTCooking would not have been possible without the leadership and support of Marjorie Agnew, owner of Toronto specialty kitchen store, The Main Course.
For more information about PACTCooking or to make a referral, please contact Ben Marshall at 416-656-8824 or firstname.lastname@example.org.