YORKTON – City residents had a chance to experience the flavors of Jamaica at a cooking class hosted by 306 Nyammings, a catering company that offers authentic Jamaican cuisine.
The cooking class was part of Culture Days' Culture 365, a series of events that celebrate the diversity and creativity of Yorkton’s cultural communities.
Lisa Washington, the Manager of Community Culture and Heritage with the City of Yorkton, said the Jamaican Cooking Class with 306 Nyammings is the first of the series dubbed Culture 365.
“Culture doesn’t happen just in Sept and Oct during Culture Days,” Washington told Yorkton This Week, “we’ve taken a look at the artists that were involved and the oranizations that were involved in Culture Days that sold out really quickly and we’re offering them the opportunity to do it again but for participants to pay because culture isn’t always free — to learn new things isn’t always free.”
Washington said the cooking class was very popular and had a wait list.
“This one had a wait list and we were able to accommodate it,” Washington said only two previous participants from Culture Days participated in Saturday’s class meaning there we 11 new sign-ups.
"There is a want for this type of activity," said Washington.
Taynika Walker, the facilitator of the cooking class and one of the founders of 306 Nyammings, said the idea for the catering company came from their participation in Jamaican Day during YBID's June Days party in in city centre park last June.
“My friends and I have started a catering company in Yorkton. It’s called 306 Nyammings,” Walker said, adding, “it’s a catering company that offers authentic Jamaican cuisine here in Yorkton. It started after June days last year when we had Jamaican Day in the park and we catered for the event. From there we got the idea to offer authentic Jamaican meals to Yorkton.”
Walker said they received positive feedback from the people who attended Jamaican Day and wanted to share their culture and food with more people.
“Last year we partook in Culture Days and we showcased our Jamaican National dish. We got some really good feedback. People were willing to come back,” Walker said. “Lisa — from the city — was doing Culture 365 … bringing back some of those workshops and offering them to the public at large. Today we had 13 people come in to enjoy another showcase of Jamaican Cuisine.”
For the menu item, Walker said they wanted to do something simple and that is easily cooked.
“We tried to have something that is simple and that is easily cooked. We did fried green plantain. And we paired it with corned beef and sweet corn,” Walker said. “What we do is get the ingredients, have them prepare it themselves and they get to take home what they have prepared.”
Walker said the cooking class was a fun and interactive way to introduce people to Jamaican food and culture.
“We’re trying to offer a different taste to Yorkton and we love our culture, Jamaican food and we love to share it with other people as well,” said Walker.
Washington said the next events in the Culture 365 series are needle-felting on Feb. 15 with 15 spaces available, instructed by Culture Days’ Angelina Kardynal, and in March a Henna art class with Megha Patel.
“Registration opened for needle-felting class on Jan. 29. I anticipate that will fill up really quickly too,” said Washington.
“In March — we haven’t confirmed the date — is Megha Patel with Henna art."
Washington said during Culture Days Patel’s Henna class filled up quickly.
"It’s going to be a bit different because she’s also going to teach about what the art is and people can do their own. It’s not about her doing it to them. They’ll learn how to do it.”
Washington said she was very happy with the success of the cooking class and the collaboration with 306 Nyammings.
“I’m just so thrilled that Taynika and 306 Nyammings were on board to do this,” said Washington, adding, “if there’s any other groups that would want to do cooking classes they can reach out to me. We had a good meal, we had lots of laughs, we met some new people, we learned a bit more about the culture … I cooked the food that I never would have cooked without somebody helping me … and they made it very easy.”
For more information on 306 Nyammings Catering Services, visit their Facebook page at Facebook.com/306nyammings or call (639) 540 – 0801.