Robert: Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening wherever you are at. My name is Robert Jacobson. I’m with Gather Green and with Elana Horwich, of Meal and a Spiel. Elana, welcome.
Elana: Thank you. Hi Robert.
Robert: How are you doing?
Elana: I’m great. How are you?
Robert: I am really well and I am looking, we’re going to talk about one of my favorite subjects, which is food. And I’m a big snacker, and we have our sort of premier debut promotion with you on Gather Green. Before we get into that, how did you get into, you’ve been kind of a lifelong culinary master. How did you get interested in spending a lot of time cooking and then sharing it with the world? Tell us a bit on your entrepreneurial story.
Elana: I will. I’ll share that with you. I just wanted to say, a lifelong culinary master, well it did. I started cooking as a child and the joke is that basically the kitchen was the only place in the house my mother couldn’t find me, because she was a not a cook and no one cooked in my house, so that’s where I would go to play. So I did start cooking at a really early age, but when I was 20 I took time off of college and circumstance, luck brought me to Italy, and I ended up staying there for nearly five years. And I learned to cook a lot from my friends’ mothers and so I really had a huge appreciation for Italian food.
I didn’t actually do that professionally. I was, for a long time, it was just something that I was really passionate about and really learned a lot about cooking. And I also, I grew up in California. I grew up in LA. I happen to have food allergy, so I’ve been eating on this healthy, wheat free, low sugar thing for a long time. And so I’ve sort of made a marriage between these two particular types of food, and I started doing it for myself really. And a few years ago a friend of mine, who didn’t know how to cook at all, mentioned that she would like to learn to cook, but that she would have, but she said she would be unable to because she didn’t have the feel for it. And I, in the moment, like whipped up a plate of pasta with her from whatever we found in my fridge, and it was so good and so easy that she told her mother and they called me the next day and offered to pay me to teach them to cook.
And basically my cooking school started from that. Like I had a full, I had like six people, and then the next class I had a full class of people, and there’s a need for people to learn cook, and what I learned in Italy is needed. What they do in Italy every day, I just happened to learn and now I get to share it with others, and I love doing that.
Robert: And so, for the promotion, the deal that you’re running with us, Do it Yourself Snacks, what I like about it is, II’m gluten free, and this one I know is particularly, it’s a no dairy, gluten free and low sugar Do it Your Snacks. Can you give us a couple examples on what the experience is gonna be like participating in one of your classes?
Elana: Well, participating in one of my classes is always, I have to say it’s a lot of fun. Like, people have a lot of fun. It’s a really intimate environment. It’s in a private home, which is really nice because you’re learning to cook in a kitchen that’s going to mimic your kitchen, and that’s very different from a lot of other cooking classes. And, just to say like, we even start each cooking class just going around the room saying our name and what level of cooking that we’re at, so we create a group unity and there’s just a lot of support. It’s a really fun environment.
The Do it Yourself Snacks class, I mean, this is the way that I eat. This is the way that like, people always want to know what do I eat when, what do I make for myself. This is the kind of food that I eat. And it was actually, the idea for the class came from a mother who wanted to have, a few mothers who wanted to have a class for their tween daughters, like 12 and 13. It’s sort of the age when girls begin to put on more weight, because self-conscious about their bodies. And opposed to trying to put these girls on diets, which is like, just kind of a traumatizing thing for girls that age, I know from personal experience. Like, let’s just teach them to eat healthy and thing that are gonna taste really good. And as we discussed this in a class, other adults in the class wanted to do it as well.
So I opened up the class and put it on the schedule for everyone to do. So we’re gonna make brussel sprout chips. So yummy, something that I just recently started making and I’m like in love with them. And I’m gonna show some of like the, desserts that I’ll make for myself late night when I have munchies. So, like my Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal with my sunflower seed butter, and just things that really will meet your cravings, don’t take a long time to make, and are good for your body. They’re not gonna set you back.
Snacks usually set us back in our health regime, and like, this is just to show you how you can have a lot of options so that you can stay on your clean eating path or start a clean eating path and feel really satisfied.
Robert: Very good. I’m looking forward to, I know I’m gonna at some point this spring, I intend to take, to participate in one of your classes and join up. And then you have a lot of other great classes there. People should check out mealandaspiel.com, and the promotion will be running through GatherGreen.com. So there’s some really fun looking dishes, I mean like, I’ve not heard of a brussel sprout chip. That sounds great. And snacking is something we all do, probably siding a little more on the unhealthy side, so learning how to make healthy snacks sounds wonderfully tasty and fun.
Elana, tell us, so do you typically, how many people do you have in your class? These are pretty small. They’ree pretty intimate. Is that correct?
Elana: Yeah, they’re intimate. We have about, it depends who signs up. We have around 10 people per class, so that’s basically the number that we go for.
Robert: Perfect to bring a friend, relative or meet a new friend there.
Elana: Absolutely. People definitely make friends, and it’s also really fun, it’s also fun date night. People, it’s whoever. If you want to come alone you’re totally in good hands. I just want to tell people that, that they don’t need to bring a friend. A lot of people show up on their own and they will feel incredibly comfortable immediately, because I make that a priority. So I just want to let everyone know that if you just want to come and learn some snacks, and you don’t know anyone, you don’t know me. No problem. Like, you will be welcomed into the family immediately.
Robert: Spoken like, it seems like, just spoken like from the good Jewish tradition of just bring it all into the family.
Elana: Absolutely. [laughter] Exactly. I was raised well. What can I say? [laughter]
Robert: Elana, thank you very much for joining us today, and everybody subscribe to the YouTube channel for more hangouts. Check out mealinaspiel.com where they’ve got other classes too. And then we’re going to have the promotion on snack fuel over on GatherGreen.com. So Elana Horwich, founder and chief, I guess culinary master of Meal in a Spiel, thank you very much.
Elana: You’re welcome. Thank you. Thanks Robert.
Robert: Thank you very much. Bye everybody.