Cooking Programs Volunteer Information

Cooking Programs Volunteer Information

Cooking classes are 2 hours long - about 15 minutes for participants' arrival and introductions, 1.5 hours of actual cooking time and 15 minutes of eating and chatting. We will have 2-3 International Center program assistant staff to do introductions, assist during the class, and clean up after the class.

Class size is restricted to 20 participants due to space limitations of the IC's kitchen. Keep in mind that we try to have high participation in our programs, so the more people that can be involved in preparing your recipes, the better.

The IC covers the cost of all supplies and the budget should be under $150. Grocery shopping should be done at least one day before the class and items may be stored at the IC if you let us know. There are 3 options for purchasing the food: you can shop on your own and be reimbursed through UVA's financial system which requires some online steps, you can schedule a time to meet the Program Coordinator at the store and they will pay for the groceries at check-out, or you can provide a list of ingredients and quantity needed and the Program Coordinator will shop for them.

Plan to limit the dishes you prepare to 1-3 recipes. This does not have to be a full meal, but rather a sampling of the specific cuisine you are introducing. Please give us a draft of your ingredient list and recipe time line at least one week in advance of your class and let us know which method you prefer for grocery shopping.

While you are planning the recipes, it is a good idea to arrange a time to come see the IC kitchen, especially if you have never been here before, in order to review equipment and kitchen basics to make sure the IC has everything you will need.

On the day of your class, please plan to be at least 30 minutes early, you may come even earlier if you let us know.

In addition to explaining the cooking, if you can tell any cultural information during the class it is always appreciated. People love learning about different ways to serve food, when people eat the dish in your home country, the significance behind a particular dish, etc. Feel free to bring along any extras but note it is not expected. For example, a very short slide show, photo album, music from your country, a glossary of food terms, etc. If you have a new idea you'd like to add to your cooking program, please let us know and we hope we can incorporate it into the plan. 

We will print a handout of the ingredient list and recipe timeline to be distributed on the day of the class. After the class, we may post the recipe on the IC's cooking program web page. Do not worry about creating a perfect draft of the recipe list; the Program Coordinator will do any necessary edits, formatting, etc.