Name: Lisa Dickie
Occupation: Entrepreneur and Owner of Dickie’s Cooking School
Lifestyle: BUSY! We have two teens and both my husband and I are self-employed
What’s a typical day like for you?
Every day starts with coffee. Then my husband and I oversee breakfast and lunches. Mornings are devoted to exercise; I either go to the gym or go for a walk, and am trying to meditate every day.
Then, my focus shifts towards business admin. My cooking school is just about to celebrate 2 years in operation, so I am still really working on building up my clientele and refining what I offer to suit the needs of my community.
On teaching days, I prep and organize the school. I’m adding more video content and try to shoot instructional videos once a week. I’m also working on batch-producing blogs and social media posts. In between that and teaching, I cram in the usual household stuff: laundry, meal prep, groceries.
What in your life is really important to you?
Family, and a creative, dynamic work environment. I come from a large family (5 sisters and 3 brothers) and we are still really close. My husband and I have both developed businesses and careers that have allowed us to maximize our time with our kids and each other.
Career-wise, it took me years to clue in that I need variety and to be physically engaged some of the time. Running my own cooking school checks all the boxes: it’s creative and I have lots of solitary time planning, and lots of time interacting when I teach.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I’d like to be remembered for my sense of humour and fun, my generosity, and my honesty.
What role does fashion play in your life?
I love clothes and fabric, and I’m also incredibly practical. So, I look for pieces I can wear in lots of situations, that are comfortable, don’t require ironing, and can take me through a few seasons. Also, pockets are a must.
What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?
I love that the shop features a range of styles, and cuts and still maintains a common through-line of function, comfort and versatility.
What do you have that you want to promote?
Between workshops, classes, private lessons, parties and team-building events, Dickie’s Cooking School has something for everyone!
We have a new block of classes for kids ages 4+, including classes for teens and adults with Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Little Chefs Workshop
This is open to kids ages 4+. We’ll make homemade soup, muffins and biscuits.
These are full-day camps for kids ages 5+. We cook morning snacks and afternoon snacks, shop for our lunch ingredients, and make our lunches.
We’re celebrating the 2nd year anniversary of our cooking school. Join us for cookie decorating, appetizers, cocktails and hot chocolate!
Tell us about your classes! What do you offer kids, and what can adults sign up for?
Cooking is not a spectator sport. I pride myself in offering classes that are hands-on and engaging. I think it’s essential that people feel comfortable and confident to cook to their own tastes.
While I firmly believe in understanding the fundamentals of cooking and food safety and hygiene, I think it’s equally important to taste and adapt as you go. We offer after school classes that run from 6-9 weeks, and weekend workshops for kids.
We also host birthday parties and offer private lessons. Our classes cover everything from vegan cooking, to bread-making, meal planning, cake-making, and candy and chocolate. For adults, we focus on workshops, date nights, and have just launched a new workshop series to bulk prep family meals.
All meals are frozen and can be cooked on the stove top, in a slow cooker or an Instant Pot. We also do a lot of private lessons for adults. This is a great way to tailor a lesson specifically to your tastes and schedule.
You even have a cooking class for students with Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder. What inspired this idea?
I was approached by a member of the Down Syndrome Society of Toronto about running a pilot class. That grew into a summer camp, a monthly class, and now a weekly class. I have a background in Special Education, and this just felt like a perfect opportunity to combine my teaching background with my school. It has turned out to be extremely positive and rewarding.
How do you handle food allergies?
We are not a nut-free facility. We keep all our spices and dry goods in jars on shelves. There are workarounds for most recipes in terms of accommodating the most common allergies and sensitivities of dairy, gluten, eggs and nuts.
With the holidays just around the corner, you must have some special classes or workshops coming up. Fill us in!
We are celebrating our second birthday! December 15 Two Year Anniversary Party
Cookie decorating, appetizers and snacks, hot chocolate and cocktails to celebrate our second birthday!
We are offering Winter Camp Days over the holidays.
Where can people find you on social media?