Some West Virginia University programs are teaming up to teach students how to become a “C.H.E.F.,” enjoying a diet that’s cheap, healthy, easy and fast.

The WVU’s human nutrition and foods program has teamed with the Student Government Association to offer free cooking classes this semester titled, “Become a C.H.E.F. with Cooking Matters.”

To properly execute these standards, the classes will be conducted in coordination with Cooking Matters. A national organization branching from the No Kid Hungry Campaign, Cooking Matters acts to educate the public on preparing healthy meals on a budget.

By promoting this curriculum, the goal of these classes is to decrease the on-campus prevalence of food insecurity, a situation where consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year

Organizers will try to minimize that insecurity by showing students that it is feasible for them to cook on a budget and limited schedule without the need for advanced cooking skills or kitchen equipment.

Other supporters of the C.H.E.F. initiative include Tom McConnell, program leader of the WVU Extension, Small Farm Center, The Rack, an on-campus food bank for WVU students, and the WVU branch of Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe.

The classes will be held Jan. 28, Feb. 11, Feb. 25, March 18, April 1, and April 15, covering Italian, Thai, Cajun, Mexican, Asian, and Indian cuisines respectively. The classes will begin at 5 p.m. in the Agricultural Sciences Annex kitchen.

“This exciting program is representative of Farm to College efforts and aims to promote food literacy to our students,” said Megan Govindan, R.D., L.D., assistant professor of human nutrition and foods in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. “Our goal is to promote an evidence based curriculum to bring WVU students closer to their food system.”

“The goal when developing these classes was to show students who are currently living off of microwaveable meals and instant noodles that there are other feasible options,” Govindan added.

The classes will not only show how to cook, but also how to cook safely. “We will be reviewing food safety measures such as holding temperatures and potential contamination points in each class,” Govindan said.

Demand for this kind of instruction seems to be high. According to Govindan, the sessions filled within four hours of being offered, and there’s a lengthy waiting list of interested students.

For more information, contact Govindan at 304-293-1887 or



CONTACT: Megan Govindan, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

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