Sunday Cooks dish out new cooking classes

The focus is on Italian cuisine this semester

By LORA GHAWALY Life and Times Editor

Don’t stick a fork in the Sunday Cooks just yet; they’re not done.

The cooks are now offering free cooking classes to students every other week until the end of the school year.

However, they are facing a big issue: graduation. The leaders, Christoph Dornemann, mass communication major, John Bushnell, biology major, and Wolfgang Klein, psychology major, are seniors.

“We’re trying to prepare a core group for after graduation. We want it (the Sunday Cooks) to be a regular Loyola offering,” Dornemann said.

The Sunday Cooks said they would also like Loyola eventually to have a culinary school, although they are uncertain what steps are necessary to get the administration to consider it.

The cooks began cooking for students to encourage better eating habits on campus, Dornemann said.

“Initially, we wanted to help students eat healthier, and education’s the best way to do that,” Dornemann said. “We wanted to help students be self-sustaining. If you’re cooking your own meals, you’re more likely to eat healthier.”

Dornemann said that the turnout for some of the recent classes was 10 people. They hope to have up to 15 people in their classes in the future.

Since they cook in their kitchen on Walmsley Avenue, they have a limit for the number of people in the group.

The classes are free to attend. The Sunday Cooks provide all the ingredients, and they also prepare a meal for each class. The cooks said their goal is to offer five classes a semester.

“We have cooking skills, but we aren’t chefs. This isn’t something people need to pay for,” Dornemann said.

Bushnell agreed and said that the amount of equipment needed is also an issue. The Sunday Cooks cannot fundraise on campus because they are not a nonprofit organization, so Dornemann, Bushnell and Klein currently pay for everything out of pocket.

The Sunday Cooks chose to concentrate on Italian cuisine for the fall semester.

In the first class, members learned to make pasta by machine and by hand, including such varieties as penne, linguini and farfelle, also known as bow-tie pasta.

In the second class, the Sunday Cooks taught their students to make a red sauce.

They reviewed the pasta from the first class by having the students make it again, then had a meal of the fresh pasta with red sauce.

Dornemann and the other cooks also made a pan-seared chicken as the meal of the night.

Dornemann and Bushnell said they were uncertain if they would continue the Italian theme next semester or move to one of their other options, which are Asian or French Creole.

Dornemann said the most important thing is to focus on the technique, not the cuisine.

“If people learn the basic techniques, they can use them for a variety of cuisines,” he said.

A variety of people attend their classes, including students, staff and their friends.

The Sunday Cooks are offering their second annual Thanksgiving Feast on Sunday, Nov. 20, tentatively in Palm Court.

If they are unable to hold it there, it will be held at their apartment on Walmsley Avenue.

Lora Ghawaly can be reached at

[email protected]