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UCLA Dining offers lottery-based cooking classes in Feast at Rieber

UCLA Dining will host six cooking classes during winter quarter at Feast at Rieber. The first class, Chop It Like Its Hot: Basic Knife Skills, was held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Courtesy of Charles Wilcots)

By Andiver Castellanos

January 25, 2017 11:38 pm

UCLA students can now take cooking classes taught by dining hall chefs on the Hill.

UCLA Dining will host six cooking classes during winter quarter at Feast at Rieber. Students can enter a lottery on the UCLA Residential Life website to participate in the classes.

[Related: Sur La Table brings new culinary shopping experience to Westwood]

More than 600 students have entered the lottery, which selects 16 students at random to be in every class, said Charles Wilcots, associate director of UCLA dining services administration.

Wilcots said the goal of the program is to introduce students to basic food skills and to foster a culture of health and wellness at UCLA.

“We fundamentally believe that good food choices are vital to living a healthier and a happier life,” Wilcots said.

Wilcots said UCLA students have always talked about being able to cook and wanting to participate in a cooking program because it would provide them with a new life skill.

Students who participated in the first class, which was held Saturday, learned basic knife skills, Wilcots said. Future classes will teach students how to prepare balanced meals, how to bake and how to make sushi.

Elena Stevens-Flores, a second-year biochemistry student, said she thinks the program will encourage students to consider healthier options.

“I believe that this program is attempting to teach college students how to ‘adult’ and prepare students for the off-campus lifestyle,” Stevens-Flores said.

Carina Welch, a second-year psychology student, said she thinks the cooking classes will create a community on the Hill for people who are interested in culinary arts.

“The program may stop students from eating frozen meals and In-N-Out every day since some students don’t know how to cook,” Welch said.

Wilcots said he hopes that in the future, the classes will be offered as a course UCLA students can take for credits and maybe even as a requirement for the food minor.

After spring quarter, officials will evaluate the program’s success and possibly offer it permanently, Wilcots said.

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Andiver Castellanos
Andiver Castellanos was a columnist during the 2016-2017 school year.
Andiver Castellanos was a columnist during the 2016-2017 school year.
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