New kitchen house for cooking courses opens at downtown Edmonton library

Edmonton Public Library introduces an interactive space for teaching food literacy and nutrition.

A new, interactive space for teaching food literacy and nutrition to Edmontonians has just opened at the downtown Stanley A. Milner Library (EPL).

The Kitchen is a 2,100-square foot hybrid commercial and home kitchen–a place to offer online and in-person cooking classes for patrons to gain hands-on experience in cooking, nutrition and sustainability.

“We want to provide a wide range of classes to a wide range of skills and interests and really make cooking accessible to people,” said Tina Thomas, EPL’s executive director of customer experience.

The hybrid kitchen gives learners the opportunity to try commercial grade appliances, like a deep fryer, that Thomas said most people wouldn’t have in their homes. But, she adds, there are also regular kitchen appliances that students can use.

“You might not have a food processor, you might not have a mandolin, you might not have a stand mixer, you might try it here and realize, ‘My cooking would be so much better if I bought some of these tools,'” said Thomas.

Sherry Norton’s sons, aged 12 and 14, have been taking classes during the pandemic.

“They were looking for things to do and this was perfect,” said Norton. “Kids learn when they’re having fun. This is a valuable resource, and now with the new space it’s even better.”

“There’s also a need for community groups and cultural organizations who want to have a place where they can develop community over food,” said Thomas, adding The Kitchen will also be used for fundraisers and events. “This space will be available for all of that.”

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