Spring is (almost) in the air, so to honour the occasion, Bailey Franklyn is hosting a free, plant-based cooking class.
Franklyn, a Thornbury-based chef and registered dietitian, is the founder of Harvest Table Nutrition. Her goal is to empower more people with the knowledge and confidence to cook healthy and delicious plant-based meals at home.
“I think cooking is really empowering,” said Franklyn. “I want to help people experience the best and most delicious side of plant-based eating, wherever they are in their journey.”
Prior to moving to Thornbury full time in 2019, Franklyn worked as a dietitian in Northern Ontario, starting her career as part of a family healthcare team before working as an in-store dietitian at a large grocery chain. During her time up north, Franklyn realized that a lot of people don’t know how to cook, aren’t comfortable with their cooking skills, or don’t have time to cook.
“And if you can’t cook,” Franklyn said. “Healthy eating is really hard to do.”
Franklyn's diet has been plant-based for upwards of 15 years and said she knows both the struggles and the rewards that come with the lifestyle. She spent years teaching people how to make healthier food choices, but started to realize that it was one thing for someone to sit in an office and talk about nutrition, but another to put it into practice.
Franklyn always had a passion for cooking so she got the idea to combine the two things she loved most.
She enrolled in Georgian College’s culinary program to learn the necessary techniques to teach others how to cook consciously as well.
“My cooking skills have always been pretty good and I love to bake, but I am one of those people who feels like having credentials makes me more credible,” said Franklyn.
She completed the program in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and started her private practice shortly after. Through Harvest Table Nutrition, Franklyn now offers one-on-one nutrition coaching, cooking services, group cooking classes, and recipe development.
The majority of her services are available both online and in person.
“I love sharing my passion,” said Franklyn. “I want to help more people in the community realize that plant-based cooking can taste amazing, and is not as scary or as difficult as you think.”
Franklyn held her first free cooking class in December to help people navigate the holidays on a plant-based diet and she got a lot of great feedback, so she decided to do it again now that spring is fast approaching.
The spring cooking class will take place virtually on Thurs. Mar. 17 at 5:30 p.m. and Franklyn will be leading attendees through how to make plant-based spinach and mint pesto. Registration is required but it is free for all to attend.
“It’s been awesome to be able to connect with other small businesses and other locals in the community through the classes,” Franklyn said. “Cooking isn’t this scary thing. You don’t have to be a Michelin Star chef to be able to create something delicious and healthy.”