Come and Cook classes are run by Karen Browne.
I am passionate about cooking and also keeping healthy. Cooking has always brought me joy, satisfaction and fulfilled a personal need for creativity. I left primary school teaching and began my own cooking business while living in London (2002-2010) because I wanted to share my skills and love of cooking with others.
Originally, I was providing practical kids’ cookery parties, and this evolved into teaching about healthy food, mostly in primary schools.
During this time, School Dinners hit the headlines because they were exposed as having poor nutritional value. This exposure brought further interest from schools that realised practical healthy food experiences needed to be held in order for early intervention in children’s health to occur.
I travelled widely, demonstrating and setting up practical experiences to teach basic cookery skills and provide food experiences for children, parents and teachers in greater London, employed by local councils, the NHS and individual schools. Teaching and demonstrating cooking was the most rewarding time of my working years. Some of the range of cooking experiences I was involved in have been;
- Facilitating cooking workshops for parents in the London Borough of Brent (2009-10)
This was a collaboration between the local council and the NHS. It focussed on tackling childhood obesity by providing weekly cooking sessions for parents. Parents were involved in cooking meals that were healthy, budget-friendly as well as ethnically and religiously inclusive.
- Teacher Training workshops (2004-2009)
These cooking workshops were run to inspire and present easy ideas for teachers to incorporate food and cooking within a classroom setting.
- In-school Cooking Workshops (2003-2009)
These were the most popular workshops and I ran them within the classroom setting and brought in all of the cooking equipment and ingredients. They were themed on Healthy Lunchboxes, Healthy Breakfasts and Healthy Snacks. In this format of hour-long sessions, I was cooking and demonstrating with up to 120 children per day.
I left London in 2010 to raise my young family back in Australia. As a passionate home cook, I love to involve my children now in the kitchen and prepare most of our meals from scratch, always learning new recipes and cooking techniques.