Students attend the Campus Dining Teaching Kitchen on Oct. 6, 2022. Credit: Annabelle Fagans | Mustang News

Campus Dining hosted a “Teaching Kitchen” for students on Oct. 6 — the first in-person cooking class hosted at Cal Poly since the pandemic.

Over the course of one hour, Cal Poly Executive Chef Chris Dunham taught students how to make pumpkin energy bites fit for the fall season through a live cooking demonstration held on the second floor of Vista Grande.

These teaching kitchens are not new this year — prior to the pandemic, they occurred in Poly Canyon Village for students to learn useful cooking skills. When COVID-19 hit, the lessons moved online via video from a Cal Poly alum registered dietician, who recorded the videos at home. 

During the 2021-2022 school year, Campus Dining staff created the “What’s Cookin Mustangs” series but they said they’re glad to return to the original teaching kitchens, where students can gain in-person knowledge about cooking and nutrition.

“It’s great to be back and meet the students and take their questions and curiosities,” Dunham said. “I love being around our student body and making delicious food and teaching them how to make something so convenient and easy to put in their dorm room.” 

Credit: Annabelle Fagans | Mustang News

Psychology freshman Britta Kleitsch frequently visits Vista Grande for her meals, and was excited to learn a new recipe at October’s Teaching Kitchen event.

“I miss baking at home so I was super excited to learn that I could cook in my own dorm room,”  Kleitsch said. “The chef gave us a lot of tips on how to create different variations of the recipe which was so useful.”

The teaching kitchens are scheduled to occur every month, with the next class set for Nov. 10 about hummus and edamame appetizers.

Credit: Annabelle Fagans | Mustang News