Download Your FREE Course Development Roadmap

Tiana Fech Consulting logo

The People Teaching People Podcast Episode 5: Learning Through Cooking with Julie Van Rosendaal

005: Learning Through Cooking with Julie Van Rosendaal

In this episode with Julie Van Rosendaal, we’re talking about what you can learn through cooking. You will get some great meal ideas, gain insight into the very real challenge of food insecurity in Canada, and see how teaching and learning opportunities are plentiful in the world of food and cooking. 

Julie has been a go-to resource for me whenever the question comes up of “What’s for dinner?” She is someone who looks for ways to make a difference in the world and truly takes action. She is passionate about food and making it accessible and enjoyable. 

Julie is the Calgary-based author of twelve best-selling cookbooks. She has been the food columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One for 17 years, writes about food for the Globe and Mail, and for the past twenty years has been a freelance food writer and columnist for other publications across Canada. Julie teaches, speaks and cooks at culinary schools and events across the country, and has a very engaged audience on her social media channels and website, Dinner with Julie.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • The Kitchen Club. Julie wanted to bring kids across the country together to learn how to make delicious food.
  • The rising cost of groceries and cost of living. Julie shares, amidst growing concerns around grocery costs and overall cost of living, how we can ensure we’re maximizing our dollar.
  • Understanding where our food actually comes from. Julie can be known for digging into the real story and finding out where the food we consume actually comes from.
  • Learning through cooking. I ask Julie her best tips to take some of the stress out of meal prep and cooking and how to make these fun learning experiences for ourselves and our families. 
Connect with Julie:
Connect with Tiana:

“We all have so much to learn from each other, and that’s one thing that I love about food. There’s so much to know and it’s impossible to know everything about food.”

During the thick of the pandemic years, Julie knew kids were at home, bored with not much to do. She got the idea to start The Kitchen Club, which brought together kids all over the country virtually, to participate in what she calls The Kitchen Club – for free.

Julie taught them how to make croissants, cream puffs, and other foods parents wouldn’t typically think about their kids having. The ingredients were what you generally already have at home. It brought families together and inspired kids to learn and want to learn how to do more than they thought they could.


Julie Van Rosendaal says "Knowing what to do with what you have is key".


“Knowing what to do with what you have is key.”

It’s no secret that the rising cost of living and expensive groceries can make us worry about how we will pay our bill and keep nutritious food on the table.

Julie explains to us in this episode how much food we tend to waste without realizing it, and why buying fresh food is actually cheaper than buying fast food.

She also talks about the importance of learning how to make different meals out of what you already have in the fridge, so that when dinner time comes around, you aren’t left wondering what to cook for the 4th night in a row. Start with the ingredients versus the recipe.


Where does our food come from? Over the years, Julie has asked and questioned this, as well as done her research into the foods we consume, as well as the ingredients used in our food.

One example that we talk about in this episode is butter. In February 202, Julie asked on Twitter if anyone else had noticed that butter was no longer soft at room temperature. Her tweet went viral as did the discussion on this topic! Jimmy Fallon even made a joke about The Tonight Show! It sparked an investigation, which led to learning that changes in the palmitic acid supplements used in the dairy industry had led to subsequent changes in the fatty acid profile of butter. 

Julie Van Rosendaal eating cookies

Julie is passionate about all things food and making it both accessible and enjoyable for others. This was highlighted in her response to the question: “When you look back at your journey so far, what is something that you are most proud of?”.

Julie shared a story about a parent of a child who had been participating in Julie’s Kitchen Club. This parent reached out to Julie about her daughter’s school project where she had to do a presentation on someone who she admired. Her daughter picked Julie! In her presentation she shared a lesson from Julie that really resonated with her. This was that: “There isn’t a right way or wrong way to make something. There are lots of different ways.” 

Julie Van Rosendaal's logo
  • What is something that you would love to learn about or something that you would love to learn how to do? Painting and Improv
  • What is a place that is at the top of your travel bucket list? Belgium 
  • What is a book, podcast, or TV show that you have enjoyed recently ? TV Show: Only Murders in the Building 
  • If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone that you would love to learn from, who would it be and why? Her Grandma or Nigella Lawson

1:00 Meet Julie

2:30 Julie’s Story

5:08 The Kitchen Club – Julie’s incredible FREE virtual cooking classes for kids and teens!

10:35 Food insecurity in Canada and steps that we can take to address this both personally and in our communities

18:00 Julie shares the story of her viral butter tweet and talks about being curious about where our food actually comes from

25:25 Julie offers her suggestions for making food and cooking more accessible and enjoyable

30:00 Julie shares what’s trending these days in the world of food 

32:05 Julie shares ideas on ways to incorporate more plants into our diets 

35:50 Recipe ideas for dinner tonight for those feeling fresh out of ideas or stuck in a rut 

40:15 Julie’s shares a learning experience from elementary school that really left an impression on her

43:00 What Julie is most proud of looking back on her journey so far

46:40 Julie answers some rapid fire questions

49:45 Julie’s words of wisdom



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *