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A Taste of African Heritage Cooking Classes

Parish Hall Kitchens

location_on 9015 South Harper Avenue, Chicago, IL, United States
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A Taste of African Heritage Cooking Classes

Oldways’ A Taste of African Heritage (“ATOAH”) is a Walmart Foundation-funded, six-week nutritional cooking program designed to educate communities about the nutritious, plant-based, whole foods traditionally eaten by our African ancestors. Each of the six lessons incorporates cultural history, nutrition, cooking instruction, and tastings in order to reconnect students to a long lineage of healthy eating. The cooking classes empower participants with the knowledge, confidence, and skills needed to prepare healthy recipes at home that are inspired by African Diaspora cuisine (encompassing continental Africa, the Caribbean, Afro-Latin America, and the American South).

Leafy greens, sweet potatoes, millet, couscous, and lentils are just a few of the African heritage foods that students will become familiar with as part of the ATOAH curriculum. The course, which is modeled on Oldways’ African Heritage Diet Pyramid, progresses as follows:

  • Lesson 1: Herbs & Spices
  • Lesson 2: Leafy Greens
  • Lesson 3: Whole Grains
  • Lesson 4: Beans & Rice
  • Lesson 5: Tubers & Mashes
  • Lesson 6: Fruits & Vegetables

African Americans are twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be both diagnosed with diabetes and to die from the disease. They are also 1.5 times more likely to be obese, 40% more likely to have high blood pressure, and 30% more likely to die from heart disease than their non-Hispanic white counterparts. ATOAH works to reverse those trends with its solutions-based, hands-on design in a way that is both enjoyable and accessible. Since 2012, more than 2,400 students have taken ATOAH in close to 100 locations across the country. By embracing the African Heritage Diet and committing to the six-week series, students are seeing remarkable health improvements:

  • 63% of participants have lost weight over the duration of the course (with an average weight loss of 3.9 pounds)
  • 31% of participants have seen a decrease in their blood pressure
  • 50% of participants have lost inches around their waist
  • Virtually 100% of participants believe that history and heritage are positive motivators for healthier eating and living

Not only do ATOAH classes teach participants sustainable dietary and lifestyle improvements that positively impact their health and wellness, but the class series also fosters a deep sense of cultural pride and identity. The "Taste of African Heritage" Cooking Classes will be offered twice on Wednesdays beginning on February 22nd and going through April 5th at St. Ailbe’s Parish Hall 9015 S. Harper Avenue with the following schedule:

  • Wednesday - February 22nd 1:00 PM with the same class repeated again at 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday - March 1st 1:00 PM with the same class repeated again at 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday - March 8th 1:00 PM with the same class repeated again at 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday - March 15th 1:00 PM with the same class repeated again at 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday - March 22nd (Class Break - No Class)
  • Wednesday - March 29th 1:00 PM with the same class repeated again at 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday - April 5th 1:00 PM with the same class repeated again at 7:30 PM

Classes will be limited to just 50 students (25 per class session) so sign up today before slots fill-up. You may register on this website through Eventbrite under the “Events” Tab. Bon Appetit!

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