Do you know how to carve a turkey? Can you bake and decorate a dozen cookies? Jubilee Winar and Jamee Colucci, co-presidents of the new Walking Whales Cooking Club are hoping to help students become more comfortable in the kitchen. The two rising second-year College of Pharmacy students told The Pulse a little about the new student organization.
What inspired you to start the Walking Whales Cooking Club?
JC: We were baking little pill-shaped sugar cookies for our SSHP bake sale one night and we got to thinking, “Why doesn’t NEOMED have a cooking club?” We just figured it’s something everyone likes to do and when you’re stressed all day, cooking and baking can be a really good stress reliever. It’s something universal for both the medicine and pharmacy students.
JW: Food brings everybody together. We were inspired because Jamee likes to cook and I’m more of a baker. You see all these cooking and baking videos on social media all the time. We don’t have that many places around campus, so a cooking club is a great outlet for that.
Why is it important for students to learn how to cook?
JW: Cooking is a lifelong skill. I grew up in the city, so I’m used to having multiple restaurants and grocery stores nearby. That’s not true here. If you can learn to cook and enjoy it once you’re living on your own, it becomes a stress reliever and helps break up those long periods of studying.
JC: Cooking is something you have to do; you have to eat. You have to find time to fit it in, so you might as well cook and eat as a group. A lot of students come here and have never lived on their own. It’s a tough transition already coming to medical school and living on your own, let alone learning how to cook. Even if you don’t like cooking, knowing how to cook is a necessity, unless you plan on spending a bunch of money the next four years, buying food every day.
NEOMED is in a food desert. I grew up on a farm where we grew all our vegetables, so I’m not used to going to stores with such small selections of fruits and vegetables. It’s crazy, at home I could go to my garden and have thousands of tomatoes. I went to Kent State University for my undergrad degree and there’s such a drastic change in food availability with just that 15-minute drive down the road. Knowing how to cook can make a huge difference.
What’s on the horizon for the Walking Whales Cooking Club?
JW: We plan on having monthly meetings and doing a NEOMED cookbook. Students, staff and faculty will all be welcome to submit their personal recipes. In the fall, we also plan to sell NEOMED oven mitts with little recipes attached, thanks to a donation by the College of Medicine.
JC: We have a Facebook group so everybody in the club can send in pictures and recipes of what they’ve made. We’d like to have one workshop every semester where we can teach students practical cooking and baking skills.
Why do you encourage current and incoming students to join the Walking Whales Cooking Club?
JC: It’s a good way to get to know other students outside of the normal academic setting.
JW: The Walking Whales Cooking Club lets you get to know people who love to cook and bake. You can meet other people who have a passion for food. Even if you’re just a foodie that loves to find new restaurants, our club is another great way to get connected.