101 The Cookery aims to create community-based cooking school, bistro in OTR

A group of Cincinnatians are working to create a community-based cooking school and bistro in Over-the-Rhine.

101 The Cookery is an effort to teach basic cooking skills, help families feel more at ease in the kitchen and promote healthier eating.

"We want people to learn the skills they need to create healthy food in their kitchens," says Ty Carr, an industrial design student at UC's DAAP, who is helping lead the project. "So many people rely on convenience and frozen foods."

Carr was one of eight student entrepreneur finalists who pitched health and healthcare improvement ideas at the Innov8 for Health 2013 Challenge and Idea Expo.

101 The Cookery was launched as a concept last year, and is nearing the implementation phase, Carr says. He and his partners are continuing to pitch the idea to potential funders, community groups and business organizations.

"We're in the process of trying to get the green light from different organizations in the city and raise money," Carr says.

The Cookery project comes as the problem of "food deserts," or urban areas without convenient access to fresh foods or well-stocked grocery stores, has gotten more attention. Areas of OTR face some of those same challenges, but has one jewel in Findlay Market, the state's oldest continuously operated public market.

Carr, originally from Cleveland and now living in Clifton, believes OTR is the perfect place for his concept.

"I really didn't plan on staying here long-term, but something happened over the last two years," he says. "I started spending a lot of time in OTR, and people there have an intense sense of community. There is something about OTR—people love their food and their food history. It's the perfect venue for something like this."

101 The Cookery will likely contain for-profit and nonprofit elements, and there are also plans to release a "home cooking" cookbook soon.

You can get more information about 101 The Cookery from its recently launched website. You can also stay connected through Facebook and Twitter.

Written by Feoshia H. Davis
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