March 8, 2016
Eat ‘Yo Veggies: New Ottawa cooking school shines spotlight on humble plants
Ottawa, March 8, 2016 – Pamela Tourigny has a simple message for people who are seeking to start down the path of improving their health and diet: “Eat veggies. And eat a lot of them,” she says.
Tourigny is not a nutritionist, dietitian or physician, but she’s a long-time advocate for improving human health through food. She’s the co-founder of Ottawa Veg Fest, founder of Vegan Eats Ottawa, and is now unveiling her newest project, Eat Your Veggies Institute (EYVI).
EYVI is a pop-up cooking school that focuses on – you guessed it! – healthy cooking and conspicuous consumption of vegetables and other plant matter. Its tagline – Eat, Learn Share – sums up what people can expect at its classes.
“People are busy. They don’t have a lot of time to cook, they don’t know what to cook, and when they do it often ends up being food that isn’t really great for them, which leaves them tired and perpetuates the cycle,” Tourigny says.
She wasn’t always such a vocal proponent for Big Vegetable – Tourigny grew up rurally, eating almost exclusively foods like canned stew and soup, microwave dinners, fast food, and boxed pasta. “I remember doing everything I could to avoid vegetables, and I was a huge fan of McDonalds. I didn’t even try broccoli, cauliflower or avocados until well into my 20s.”
It was only upon becoming vegan nearly 12 years ago that she realized she needed to up her game to avoid becoming the stereotype that was much more widely held then – the unhealthy, nutrient deficient vegan.
“The science of nutrition is too complex for most people. But we can all learn how to create simple, nourishing, and delicious plant-based meals for ourselves and our families,” Tourigny says. “I personally would be happy to never cook again, but my health is important to me so I’ve mastered the art of packing as much nutrition and taste as possible into very simple recipes.”
Classes at EYVI will be taught at rotating venues around Ottawa, by a roster of instructors that include chefs, nutritionists, food producers, and other food-related professionals. Some classes will be hands-on, while others will be more demo-based. All will aim to be fun, informative, and to cultivate a supportive community.
The first classes will kick off in April. A schedule of those first classes will be released later this week. The number and frequency of future classes will depend on demand.