Holyoke Employees Prepare Healthy Meals at Culinary Arts Institute

HOLYOKE — More than a dozen city of Holyoke employees and their spouses prepared healthy meals Tuesday at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute and then sit down for dinner.

Training and Workforce Options (TWO), a Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College partnership, hosted the healthy cooking class called “Dinner by the Canal.” Warren Leigh, chairman of the Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts programs at HCC, developed the two-part, hands-on class, which promotes health and wellness. The first class took place on July 10 at the Culinary Arts Institute. Participants included Holyoke employees from multiple departments.

City employees who took the two-day class focused on the Mediterranean diet, which is abundant in fruits, vegetables, and olive oil. The class introduced participants to knife skills, food choices, portion control, gluten-free food, and cooking styles (including grilling, steaming, baking, and roasting).

Trainees cooked with locally grown produce and learned about sustainability, which is the production of food using farming techniques that protect the environment.

The city of Holyoke’s Wellness Committee approached TWO about hosting healthy cooking classes that could be offered to city employees and spouses. Cigna, the health insurer for the city of Holyoke, paid for the program.

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