Meet Nini

In 2010, Chef Nini started teaching kids, teens and adults culinary skills in Calgary. She acquired these skills at a very young age from her grandmother, mother and sisters who attended culinary schools. She went further to strengthen her skills by obtaining culinary trainings. Her skills were also acquired as a result of her curiosity to prepare her own signature meals and entertain friends.

At an early stage in life, she learnt that food is love and enjoyed sharing food with others.All of our family functions are centred around the kitchen. My grandmother and my parents introduced me to a variety of fresh, 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 culinary trainings. One of my degrees is in social work because I enjoy serving and helping people.

Before my first degree, I was passionate about teaching children academically and gradually this interest developed into wanting to support kids in their nutrition as well. While helping kids out with homework, I always wanted to be sure they had eaten a good meal before studies began. 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 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 group 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 helping out. 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…”

As a child, I was always assigned something to do in the kitchen which I believe has contributed to who I am today. My focus shifted to teaching children of all ages when I thought about instilling a lifelong independent living skills in the growing population of Calgary while providing opportunities for kids to touch food, learn about food and have fun cooking and baking. As I continue teaching children, it made me so happy to see the excitement and joy that these kids bring to class and to know I have the privilege to impact a life.

Our mission is to provide a safe and empowering environment where youths can learn hands-on culinary skills, develop confidence and independence, and gain an appreciation for home cooked meals.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step…”

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 will enable them to create recipes on their own and also 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 and our country will be a better place.

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?
    • Will you like your child to be equipped for tomorrow?

If you answered yes to any question above, you can give your love one the gift of cooking. When you do this, you are giving a gift that keeps giving because skills are passed on to the next generation just like it was passed onto me?