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Salmon cooking class a delicious hit, complete with tips

Chef David Wolfman wearing a black chef's hat
Chef David Wolfman.

Almost 200 Team Power Smart members join video call with Indigenous chef

Indigenous chef David Wolfman played host to a December Team Power Smart virtual cooking class, sharing the spotlight with baked salmon and an intriguing trivia contest.

Almost 200 Team Power Smart members were part of the video call, which centred on Wolfman prepping a recipe – baked Xaxli'p salmon on pea pureé – from his mom, a member of the Xaxli'p First Nation west of Kamloops. Now a renowned Toronto-based chef, Wolfman was featured earlier this year in the Connected newsletter.

In that earlier story, Wolfman spoke of how closely the seasonality of food is linked to Indigenous culture. He explained that the emergence of the buttercup in spring was a signal to start catching salmon.

"And after we'd gut the salmon, we'd bury it in the sand – which was still very cold, near the water in the Fraser River," he said. "We'd take all the innards into the woods for the bears, because if we didn't share that, they'd come and find our salmon. We knew that we weren't alone, and that we needed to respect that."

Members asked dozens of questions throughout the December cooking class, and one comment in particular captured the mood that evening: "Thanks so much for the event. I hope there will be more of these in the future."

Members hit, and sometimes miss, with energy use trivia

Throughout the virtual cooking class, Team Power Smart members joined an online chat to discuss energy-saving ideas and try their hand at answering trivia. Members nailed many multiple choice questions, but learned a lot from others:

  • Q: Cooking with an Instant Pot uses around 70% less energy than an oven. True or false?
    Correct answer is True. 98% got it right.
  • Q: Electric convection ovens use what percent less energy than conventional ovens?
    Correct answer is 10%. And 47% answered correctly.
  • Q: How much electricity are you saving when cooking with an electric induction oven compared to a conventional electric oven?
    Correct answer is 45%. For this one, only 35% got it right.
  • Q: A toaster oven uses about one-third to one-half less electricity than a conventional electric oven for cooking small meals. True or false?
    Correct answer is true. And 97% got it right.
  • Q: Boiling water in an electric kettle uses what percent less electricity than boiling water on the stove?
    Correct answer is 50%. And only 32% nailed that one.
  • Q: How much electricity did it take to make Chef Wolfman's baked salmon recipe using an electric induction oven and stove top?
    Correct answer is 1.10 kWh. A third of respondents got this one right.

And then there were a bunch of energy-saving tips...

Sprinkled throughout the event, like the cedar sprigs Chef Wolfman likes to add to his salmon dish, were a number of energy-saving tips offered up by team members.

  • Use as few elements on the stove as possible
  • Use energy-efficient small appliances when you can
  • Cook items in a pot in water (like pasta), and steam veggies on top of the pot at the same time
  • Use an Instant Pot or crockpot
  • Bake multiple things at the same time
  • Use a small oven for smaller dishes
  • Use an induction stove
  • Always put a lid on a pot or pan
  • Make more salads and you'll use even less energy