LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania University will kick off a series of healthy cooking classes with Wholesome Chef Carolyn Gilles on August 28. The monthly class is offered to all Transylvania students for free and will be held in the university’s hospitality lab.
Senior Eryn Hornberger, the food and dining committee chair for Transylvania’s Sustainability Council, is thrilled to help coordinate the event as the intern for the university’s sustainability office.
“As a student, I understand, you want food that is cheap, easy, and fast. A lot of people put cooking off—it’s easy to go to Taco Bell,” Hornberger said.
She believes these classes could change that. “Working with The Wholesome Chef will hopefully encourage and provide the opportunity for Transylvania students to become acclimated with the culture of Lexington and to view the buy-local, eat-local movement as progressive change—not a trend, but a way of life.”
Gilles was trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts and cooked at the famous Candle Café in New York. Later she founded The Wholesome Chef, a Lexington cooking school that focuses on teaching the connection between food and health. She will boil down her cooking techniques for students, using recipes that can be made in a dorm room, requiring only a cutting board and a knife.
For Gilles, there’s a direct correlation between what we eat and quality of life. “Home Economics classes don’t exist anymore,” she says. “They were replaced with microwave meals and drive-through windows, and our health is paying for a lack of basic cooking skills and interest.”
Angela Dossett, Transylvania’s sustainability coordinator, is excited that students can learn about locally grown foods.
“The average bite of food you eat has traveled 1,500 miles from field to fork,” Dossett said. “Eating local not only reduces the carbon impact of your food choices, it is often healthier. Money spent on local food supports the local economy, plus more of your money goes to the farmer because there are fewer steps between you and the farm.”