By: Jesse Heinrichs
Robert Davidson, Kimberley local and chef of 30 years, had a thought while cooking dinner on March 23 that led him to start a group on Facebook called The Socially Distant Cooking Class.
Davidson’s aim was to create a community for people that have a shared interest in food, to trade recipes and tricks, while also participating in an online cooking class led by Davidson himself.
Overnight, group membership blossomed. As of March 25, the group has over 800 members.
“Friends are inviting friends of friends and it’s all growing,” Said Davidson, “Now I’ve got friends from Halifax and the UK connecting with me too,” said Davidson
The format isn’t set in stone yet, but Davidson will be uploading an instructional video daily, which might transform into a live stream in the future.
His instruction will focus on skills more than exact recipes.
This way, people can have more flexibility using the ingredients they have, without having to go and buy more.
Davidson is a veteran chef, and him and his wife used to own the Village Bistro here in town.
“Cooking is therapy,” said Davidson.
He said that the Socially Distant Cooking Class is a tool for people to combat cabin fever, and other stressors that come with self-quarantining.
“It’s all about mental health and keeping people busy,” said Davidson.
The class will touch on meal preparation, substitutions for missing ingredients, and methods of reusing things such as bones.
This is all in an effort to alleviate stress while supplies at grocery stores are sparse, and trips to the market are few.
Davidson works from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and said his approach to cooking changed once he had more time at home.
He wanted to share that approach with other people who might under similar circumstances.
Davidson said he will be uploading videos for as long as people are affected by the pandemic.
Should the page gain enough momentum, however, Davidson said he might consider contributing to it further, once things have all been resolved.
“It’s a pretty good start for a guy in a small town,” said Davidson.