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.
Downtown Toronto Location: 180 Shaw Street, Lowest Level (MAP)
In this introductory eight-week course, youth learn to prepare different cuisines from around the world. Each week, the group prepares, cooks and shares a meal together as well makes extras that are donated to local food banks and feeding programs.
The project culminates with a graduation dinner that allows the youth to create a menu and cook a meal for individuals in their community that could use the friendship and warmth.
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 also works with PACT on developing programming, provides youth support and facilitates 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 Chef La-Toya Fagon and 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.