The Joy (and Comfort) of Cooking

The doors to the JCC had been closed for barely a week due to the pandemic when we reached out to Chef Lindsay Perkins of Lindsay Culinary to do a live baking class on the Mandell JCC Facebook page.

After the premier bake-along racked up more than 1,500 views within 48 hours, we knew we had something special that our community needed at the time.

“I’m so grateful to the Mandell JCC for reaching out when they did. When they asked if I could help, I said ‘yes, this is my favorite thing to do is help others’.” says Lindsay.

Sixteen classes and four months later, Lindsay’s bake-alongs have been viewed nearly 17,000 times.

“It’s so much fun watching Lindsay and her daughter cook together,” says Irene Glassman. “I have learned so much from Chef Lindsay, too. It’s one of the main things I have looked forward to during this time at home.”

For so many, the weekly bake-along classes were a slice of normal in an anything but normal time.

“This whole experience has shown me that people really do want to come together,” adds Lindsay. “Give them a weekly, free cooking class and they’ll come. We’re trying to build community when we can’t be together.”

For countless children, the classes offered community, fun and some life skills.

“It is an awesome way to interact with friends,” says 10-year old Matthew McDermott.

For 9-year old Mollie Malkin, it was the family time she loved the most. “I get to spend time with my sister and brother, which I don’t get to do a lot.”

“We’re so grateful to her for bringing cooking and fun and food into our quarantine,” says Noelle Henderson.

The weekly bake-along classes were amplified by a special cooking event with plant-based chef, and former JCC member Talia Pollock, whose new cookbook, ‘Party in Your Plants,’ was just released. Talia’s event, which was viewed by more than 2,000 people, only reinforced how much people find the ‘joy’ of cooking.

“I was thrilled to have the JCC ask me to come into the homes of their community,” says Pollock. “I had so much fun, I’m coming back for more.”

“Cooking is universal,” adds Lindsay, “and it provides a sense of normalcy, which I think many people are craving right now.”

Chef Lindsay Perkins of Lindsay Culinary with her daughter.

Chef Lindsay Perkins and Cookbook Author Talia Pollack Draw Thousands of Viewers