COVID Cooking: A shift for entrepreneurs in Winnipeg for more at-home meals

Click to play video: 'Pandemic leads some to be more adventurous in the kitchen' Pandemic leads some to be more adventurous in the kitchen
WATCH: One consequence of people being holed up in their homes during the COVID-19 crisis and having less access to restaurants is a more experimental attitude in the kitchen. – Feb 3, 2021

From pandemic baking to specialty coffees, Manitoban’s have been cooking and experimenting with foods at home for the past year.

Entrepreneurs in Winnipeg have felt the trickle-down effect and demand for more at-home cooking ideas.

“I originally started on my personal page and was getting lots of feedback, so I figured why not start my own Instagram page with food and recipes,” Instagram content creator Angel Insixiengmai said.

“It’s been up for a week and I’ve actually had really good feedback. There’s a picture, and then I have ingredients. Below the ingredients, I have written directions on how to create the recipe step-by-step.”

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Insixiengmai worked in the restaurant industry, but with doors closed for in-house dining, she started her own page dedicated to cooking, hoping it would take off.

“Hopefully I can maybe create an e-book, maybe create my own spicy chili oil,” Insixiengmai said. “Maybe somehow, turn it into a blog or YouTube — that’d be my end goal.”

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Grocery stores in Winnipeg have also noticed a change in their customers’ buying patterns over the past year.

“I think everyone’s actually enjoying the cooking at home again, which we love to see because we love people shopping and exploring our ingredients,” Events and Marketing Manager at De Luca’s, Carla De Luca said. “We’ve seen that as the biggest change, and even just the products that people are buying.”

De Luca’s has adapted their menu items to cater to people staying at home in smaller groups. Charcuterie boards which use to be made for groups of 20-40 people, now come in smaller sizes to feed four people at a time. The grocer also added meal kits for easy at-home meals.

Click to play video: 'Staying cozy through a Manitoba winter' Staying cozy through a Manitoba winter
Staying cozy through a Manitoba winter – Feb 3, 2021

Since March 2020, De Luca’s had also stopped all in-house cooking classes, something they’re hoping to get started again — albeit virtually.

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“We all miss our customers, we miss interacting with everyone and we think this would be such a great way to share our knowledge, our experience, and interact with customers,” De Luca said. “Right in their home, so that’s what we have planned for the public virtual classes that hopefully we’re going to be launching into February or beginning of March.”

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