Orange County libraries offer free cooking classes

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Do you like to cook? Do you like to eat? Well, you can take cooking classes through your local library.

The Orange County Library System has been offering free cooking classes as part of its ‘Cuisine Corner’ program since 2014.

“We saw there were a lot of great local restaurants and chefs in the area and we wanted to bring more adults into the library,” Orange County Library System Event Planner Josh Shidel said. “The chefs make the food there, you get to smell it, you get to taste it.”

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During the pandemic, Cuisine Corner has gone virtual. Chefs and restaurants like Hungry Pants are partnering with the OCLS to share recipes and cooking tips.

You can follow along live online or refer back to the video and cook on your own time. The owners of Hungry Pants said the classes are a win-win for their new business and library members.

“The Cuisine Corner was a really great vehicle for us to get the word out about our business and then people who are still hesitant to go out, they could make the food at home,” Hungry Pants Co-Owner Joey Conicella said.

Cuisine Corner logo (OCLS)

Cuisine Corner has become so successful, the program has expanded.

“We’ve started up Cuisine Corner Junior, developing recipes that are kid-friendly,” Shidel said.

Before the pandemic, kids and teens would meet at their local library and make dishes like waffles and spinach cupcakes.

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In the meantime, classes are available online. Some classes encourage families to work together to create a dish at home. The chefs are live online, available to answer any culinary questions you may have.

“It’s more about leading with flavor and creativity and we’re so happy to share that with people,” Hungry Pants Co-Owner Alex Marin said.

Whether you’re a foodie or not, the Orange County Library System has something for every interest

“It’s not just books, it’s really educating and enriching your life: culture, shows, food,” Conicella said.

Click here to see the schedule for Cuisine Corner classes. The classes are free and may require registration and a library card.

Some of the classes are posted on YouTube as well.

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Cuisine Corner organizers are not yet sure when the classes will go back to being taught in-person at the library.

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