Laura Van Sprang, manager of Sands Victoria, and Chef Michael Williams are expanding their Cooking for One program, designed for those who have lost a partner or loved one.

Building community while Cooking for One

Sands Victoria expands its popular cooking program

When a spouse or partner dies, cooking can become an afterthought for the survivor. Meals that were once shared – perhaps even prepared – together, become basic sustenance, another reminder of the loved one’s loss.

Laura Van Sprang, Sands Victoria manager, and executive chef Michael Williams hope to change that.

Building on the success of October’s Cooking for One class, Sands Victoria will now host the community-minded cooking class on the second Wednesday of every month.

The class speaks to the practical matters of preparing food for one, but also builds community among those who may feel isolated, Van Sprang explains. The free, seasonally inspired classes are open to everyone who may have experienced a loss and offer a chance to explore delicious and nutrition meals amid good company. “This is an opportunity to be in a safe, supportive environment with other people who have experienced a loss,” Van Sprang reflects.

Not only will guests learn from Chef Michael, but they’ll finish with a shared meal, and recipes to take home.

“It will be something simple so everyone can have fun,” says Williams, a cooking instructor in Victoria for 12 years. “To be able to join Sands in sharing a few simple recipes with people who may be having trouble putting food on the table, and turning it into a social activity, is a wonderful opportunity.”

Good food brings people together

Joining Sands Victoria as Executive Chef three years ago, Williams quickly elevated the culinary offerings to a quality that should be expected as people come together to remember and honour a loved one. Well known as well as the talented chef for Country Grocer, and for his many charity events in the community, Williams was drawn to the opportunity to help bring people together as they honour someone special.

“To be able to cook in celebration of someone’s life, that’s such an amazing thing to be a part of,” he reflects.

That philosophy resonates with guests.

“As people leave the more sombre atmosphere of the chapel and move into the reception area, with the tables laid with Chef Michael’s amazing food, the mood changes,” Van Sprang says. “People begin sharing stories and memories. Often we hear, ‘This is the best catering we’ve ever had.’”

***

Cooking for One classes at Sands Victoria run on the second Wednesday evening of the month. Participation is free, but registration is required at 250-388-5155 as space is limited.

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Building on the success of October’s Cooking for One class with Chef Michael Williams, Sands Victoria will now host the community-minded cooking class on the second Wednesday of every month.

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