IWM: Carolyn Cohen

We spoke with Carolyn Cohen, chef and owner of Delicious Dish Cooking School. We found out how to keep things simple and tasty in the kitchen, the most fun and delicious bridal shower, and the biggest roadblock to eating well (and the solution!).

Everyone has their own interpretation of healthy eating. What does healthy eating mean to you?

Healthy eating, means eating foods that make you feel like you are living your best life. Eating healthy can include indulging sometimes, but mostly eating for your optimal self.

Why do you think so many people struggle with eating well?

I think that people have difficulty meal planing and prep. I think people don’t necessarily know how to make eating healthy simple, easy and fast. It takes a little organization and some time in the kitchen. People think about eating when they are hungry, not before. That’s where I come in!

Why do people love your cooking classes?

People love my classes because I simplify things. I take the “chef” out of cooking and show people how they can be a regular, normal busy person who also cooks at home and makes delicious meals. Because I am NOT a trained chef, people identify with me. I have a science background and I’m an Occupational Therapist, so by nature and OT, I’ve always loved to help people optimize themselves in their life, and that’s what I do with cooking and food too. I have been working in the food industry for almost 20 years. People tell me that I single-handedly taught them how to cook, how to enjoy being in the kitchen, taken the fear out of cooking and have made it easy to replicate at home. People know that I don’t cook “restaurant style”, I cook family style, foods and recipes that are easy to replicate in their own kitchen.  I talk about shopping, cleaning, prepping and lots of tips!

What is a Delicious Dish Bridal Shower?

Oh I love bridal showers. Everybody is so excited and most people don’t really know what they are about to experience.  I run a shower like a regular demo style cooking class.  The ladies come in, enjoy a few apps and a glass of wine, they watch a whole meal being prepared and then they sit down at a beautifully decorated dining room table to enjoy the meal and each other. We choose a menu that the bride will love and we talk a lot about starting a new kitchen.

Who taught you how to cook?

I am mostly self taught but my entire HUGE family cooks.  My maternal grandmother was a real balabusta, a true family cook and made sure that all of her 4 children, 15 grandchildren and 24 plus great grandchildren knew the importance of home cooking and family gatherings.

Do your kids cook?

Yes!  My kids are all in university and take great pride in making dinner and organizing their meals.

Have you always had a healthy relationship with food?

I have, yes.  I’ve always believed that food is nourishment and what we put in our bodies will effect how we feel.  I’ve always been very interested in the science of food, both how it affects our bodies and how ingredients work with each other.

What’s your go to dish to make for dinner guests?

It changes with whatever I’m working on at the moment. I use my guests as recipe testers. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t!

What’s your favourite place to grab takeout in Toronto?

The truth is, I never do take out. I love going out for food and sitting in a restaurant, but if I’m eating at home, Ill put something together. Don’t get me wrong, I love NOT cooking sometimes!

Who would you love to cook for?

Nigella Lawson, and I wish I could have cooked for Anthony Bourdain.

When can we expect a cookbook from you?

Working on it! I need a foreman!!

For more information visit deliciousdish.ca, and check out her upcoming events here. Tweet with her @deliciousdishTO, Like her on Facebook, and Follow her on Instagram too!