Meet Nini

In 2010, Chef Nini started teaching how to cook in Calgary. She acquired these skills at a very young age from her grandmother, mother and sisters who attended culinary schools. Her skills were also acquired as a result of her curiosity to prepare her own signature meals. At an early stage in life, she learnt that food is love.

Coming from an African decent, all of our family functions are centred around the kitchen. My grandmother as well as my parents introduced me to a variety of delicious and nutritious food. This created a passion for carrying on traditions, sharing food with others, and creating new dishes. I love going on an adventure in the kitchen and still do hence why I teach and eat global meals. My happy place is discovering and creating new recipes while I watch people enjoy it. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share my knowledge and love for food with families in my community.

I have lived a good part of my life in Calgary, Alberta and obtained two degrees, a computer science diploma, and food certification. One of my degrees is in Social work because I enjoy serving and helping people.

Professionally, my career as a chef did not begin by teaching cooking classes, but has always been centred around helping and supporting people no matter their background or financial status. I got even more excited when it was nutrition or food focused.

Before my first degree, I was passionate about teaching children academically and gradually this interest developed into wanting to support kids in their nutrition. While helping kids out with homework, I always wanted to be sure they had eaten a good meal before studies began. This began my desire to teach a children’s cooking class. I have also had the privilege of working in group homes in Calgary and noticed I lit up at the opportunity to teach individuals how to cook in diverse homes.

As I’ve grown older, I have always been called upon by friends and neighbours to assist with teaching them one meal or the other and as these opportunities presented itself I jumped at it because it gave me so much joy assisting. My family members knew most of the time that if I was not at home I was teaching a free class somewhere in either a friend’s home or a neighbor’s home. I noticed that while doing this voluntarily I also used this opportunity to educate parents and children about the importance of nutrition – close friends often complimented me by saying “you should have been a teacher because of your passion and I would giggle…”Due to my love for cooking, I spent most of my weeks teaching parents how to make global meals for their spouses, and children in Calgary and beyond.

My focus shifted to children of all ages when I thought about instilling lifelong independent living skills in the growing population of Calgary while they have fun cooking and baking too. As I started teaching children, it made me so happy to see the excitement and joy that these kids bring to class.

Why was Nini’s Cooking Class created?

Nini’s Cooking Class was created to educate, encourage, and get families excited about getting their own kids into the kitchen to create a love of cooking healthy foods, and for kids to help out at home or to prepare their school lunches. I am a firm believer that starting early to share food knowledge with kids while enabling them to create recipes on their own will have a positive impact on their life-long eating habits as well as their health. If they can learn how to prepare their meals at a young age, they will in turn pass on these skills to the next generation. I believe that if we empower children to learn how to make foods at a very young age, they will make healthier food choices in the future.

In a busy world with individuals having little or no time to learn or teach their children, we are committed to bringing back home made meals. My love for cooking coupled with the desire to share my knowledge is the reason I have chosen to start this cooking class. My primary focus are children and teenagers as I want to start them off on the right foot and then pass on the skills learnt to future generations just as it was passed on to me.

Trust me, your child will become excited about foods you never thought they would try! I look forward to starting a journey with you, your friends, or even your love ones!

Here are some questions for you:

  • Do you want to go on an adventure with me?
  • Do you know someone who cannot boil eggs?
  • Do you want time for yourself while your kids are learning valuable skills?
  • Do you know someone who is scared of cooking yet would like to develop this skills?
  • Do you know someone who is glued to the Food Network or likes good food?
  • Do you know someone who is looking at improving or getting more skills?
  • Do you know someone whom the doctor has advised needs to make changes to their meals?
  • Is your love one struggling when it comes to the kitchen?
  • Have you been thinking of a gift for someone?  

You can give him or her the gift of cooking. When you do this, you are giving a gift that keeps giving because skills are passed to the next generation?.