[pre]serve foodskills was born out of a passion to help connect people to traditional foods, and a desire to bring people together in the kitchen.
Our primary focus is teaching the traditional skills of filling a pantry - whether its baking bread or learning to cut meat, or learning ways of preserving foods, such as canning, fermenting, brining, drying, curing, or brewing.
We believe that homemade foods provide a sustainable and healthy way to eat, but we also understand that our modern world has often left us disconnected from the skills it takes to create them. We want you to be able to savour those foods again, and to feel that creating them is both approachable and enjoyable.
[pre]serve foodskills is a socially-focused business. That means that volunteering, engaging in community food security, and finding creative ways to reach across the economic spectrum has been - and always will be - part of our mandate.
We are a proud member of REAP Calgary, support Slow Food Calgary, and work with numerous non-profit social agencies in Calgary.
JESSICA MATTHIES, owner and chief preserver
I grew up in a 3-generation, Mennonite household. Everybody always had a role in getting the food from the garden or market to the table. I grew up on the mouth-watering flavours of home-made garlicky dill pickles, canned tomatoes captured at the height of their summer freshness, and soups full of the flavour that only comes from simmering stock from bones or vegetable scraps. Preserving foods was done often with friends and extended family pitching in and taking away their own jars of sweet, jewel-coloured fruits and veggies, packages of freshly smoked salmon, or bags of rich zweiback buns.
Fast forwarding through a career in teamwork & leadership development and the social service sector working with youth and families, I often found myself teaching friends, colleagues, and clients basic cooking skills and food preserving.
[pre]serve foodskills was born out of this. I find inspiration in the look of pride after someone has learned a new skill, reclaimed a family recipe, or found a new way to connect with others in the kitchen. Informed by my experiences and my heritage, I believe in the potential for food to bring communities together and for home-preserving to be a great starting place for a healthy, economical, and memorable way of eating.
More staff bios coming soon...