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Food Wise
A Christian based charity delivering food provision, training and education to local communities
By Linda Aston on 06/01/16 | Category - Cookery Courses

Linda Aston, food coach, explains how FoodWise TLC cookery classes are about more than just cooking with stories from our first three courses.

Relaxed Learning Environment

Our first course was held at The Lighthouse in Woking. This venue is used for all sorts of community activities, so there is a great atmosphere as soon as you walk through the door. The first class was small and proved a great opportunity to pilot the course. Our ‘food rookies’ as I like to call them, came into the kitchen not really knowing what to expect, but by the end of that first class they had been put at their ease and were clearly enjoying what they were doing. Of course I want people to learn new cooking skills, but it is even more important that they are relaxed and don’t feel under pressure. No minimum level of cooking skills is required and I aim to give course participants as much or as little assistance as they require. On this first course, at one end of the spectrum one of the rookies couldn’t cut an onion, while another was able to follow the recipe unaided.


Caring Conversations

Our second course was held at St Pauls in Maybury. The group was made up of Asian ladies, who were already accomplished cooks. They wanted to experiment with a wider range of dishes to feed their children. Every FoodWise course is adapted to the needs of our food rookies, so the planned menus for this group included vegetarian family meals, such as cannelloni and pasta bake. This time it was my turn to learn a valuable lesson! My first recipe used aubergine, which it turned out these ladies only use for medicinal purposes. They were very gracious about my mistake and it was certainly a conversation starter that led to a better understanding of each other’s cultural heritage. Some of the best conversations are had over coffee at the end of each session before meals are packed up to take home - an extra meal that costs our food rookies nothing is always welcome.


Childcare Covered

The third course, run at St Michaels in Sheerwater, was a group of young mums. Here the challenge was childcare. Extra volunteers looked after the children to allow these mums to focus on the cooking and enjoy quality time knowing their children were happily playing. We are so grateful to our host partners who not only provide cooking facilities, but other invaluable support that enables us to run FoodWise courses. Long after the FoodWise course is over local volunteers continue to provide on-going support for people who want it.


As you can see no two FoodWise courses are ever the same, but food, fun and friendship are guaranteed.


This month we have courses running at The Lighthouse in Woking, New Life Church in Old Woking and Westborough United Reformed Church. Sign up for a course or speak to me about setting one up near you. (Linda on 07891 168432 or email

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