Cooking Classes

Welcome to the cooking class series, Cooking up Confidence: Skills in the Everyday Kitchen, created by the Spartanburg Food System Coalition and hosted by Chef N’Gai Dickerson, an American Heart Association-certified chef. The series was developed for community use in South Carolina as a turn-key program to compliment the FoodShare boxes. The purposes of these classes are to help participants gain confidence in their own kitchen and to give them the skills needed to create healthy, delicious meals. We have heard from the community that cooking and nutrition skills are a vital part of individuals being able to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Preparing more healthy meals at home will help people increase their fruit and vegetable consumption and spend less money on eating out.

Classes can be hosted virtually or in person.

The four-class series focuses on these five components, which can be found in each video:

  • Food Safety
  • Cooking Methods
  • Cooking Skills
  • Food Storage Tips
  • Nutrition

The methods and skills of the four videos include:

  • Raw and Sauté
  • Dry Heat: Roasting and Baking
  • Moist Heat: Braising and Simmering
  • Steaming and Zesting

The class is meant to be flexible so that it can be tailored to meet the needs of the participating community members. For example, there may be a class that offers more information that pertains to diabetic participants, or there may be a series that is four classes, but stretched out over four months instead of seven weeks.

We also offer a similar series for Spanish speakers. The Spanish classes are focused more on incorporating children and family into cooking rather than on basic cooking skills.

We offer two options for these cooking classes: teach the classes or take the classes. Below you will find more information for each option.

I want to teach the class

This program gives community facilitators without a culinary background the ability to teach basic cooking skills within their communities. These classes are also meant to be a resource for individuals or families who could benefit from utilizing FoodShare.

To teach the class you’ll need to

  • Become ServSafe Food Handler Certified. This is an online course that takes about 2 hours and costs about $15. Submit to
  • Watch a 3-hour Train-the-Trainer for Cooking up Confidence video and take a brief test afterwards demonstrating that you have watched the entire video. Private link:
  • Download and read the curriculum.
  • Refer to the Q&A presentation if you have questions.

For more information contact Channing Houser at 864-598-9638 or

Things you should know about teaching the classes

  • You will need to purchase a FoodShare box for each class
  • It is ideal to have another person to support you while teaching the classes. As long as they are not handling the food, they do not need to be ServSafe Food Handler Certified.
  • The first series of classes that you teach is likely to take total commitment of approximately 15 hours every two weeks for the duration of the series, spread across two people. The time it takes to coordinate and teach the series should decrease somewhat after the first series.

I want to take the classes

To find an available class, email

Spanish video links

  1. Comida cruda:
  2. Comidas hervidas y encurtidas:
  3. Comida salteada:
  4. Al vapor y horneada:

Ruth's Gleanings, a 501(c)(3) organization

FEIN 82-4277688

147 Chapel Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303