Tonawanda News — Chef Kevin Labin wants to get the Tonawandas cooking at home more often, and in case that’s not your thing, he wants to be the one to teach you.
“It doesn’t have to take all day to prepare a meal that’s good,” he said of his intention to promote sharing a dinner with family. “I want people to have a little more confidence doing that and really get people back to the dinner table.”
Labin’s day job is to teach the youngsters this integral life skill at the Harkness Career and Technical Center in Cheektowaga, but lately he’s been tackling the adults with a series of cooking classes at the YWCA of the Tonawandas in North Tonawanda.
The City of Tonawanda resident said he was interested in giving back to the community by offering adult education classes in the Tonawandas. He first started looking for opportunities in the school districts, but stumbled across the YWCA as an option.
Labin believes what he has to offer appeals to the organization’s goals of empowering women (and men) and fostering confidence and self-esteem.
The YWCA agreed and he began his hands-on cooking classes around Thanksgiving last year.
Before he could even teach his first class on preparing appetizers, he realized he already had a problem. A welcome one. He had to open up a new section of the class a week later because just too many people signed up.
His second class teaching ravioli from scratch was also a success, though he didn’t have to hold a repeat performance. He said he doesn’t mind holding second classes and will keep it as an option for Tuesday’s class on stir fry.
Even though it may be a full house during cooking lessons at the YWCA location on Tremont Street, director of programs Nicole Ennett said it’s always a relaxing, enjoyable evening that now even includes wine pairings.