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2131 Beaufait Street
Detroit, MI, 48207
United States

(313) 923-3535 ext. 202

Cooking Matters Michigan

Empowering families with the skills, confidence and knowledge to prepare healthy and affordable meals

Volunteer Spotlight: Ashley Perold



Tell us a little about yourself: 

My husband received a job opportunity here, so we moved to Detroit almost a year ago from Brooklyn. I lived in NY for 14 years working as a fashion designer. It’s been a big change, but we’re loving our new life. Since the move I’ve taken some time from my career and have focused on getting involved in our community, which is what led me to Cooking Matters.

 I was raised in a two-flat just outside Chicago.  The family that lived below us were my parents best friends, and also owned a restaurant. I waitressed and worked in their restaurant when I was in high school. Food was always a large focus for our family. We had sit-down home cooked family dinners every night of the week.  Even though my mom and dad worked full time, it was always a priority for them. I’ve continued the tradition and made cooking and family meals a priority with my husband.

What led you to the Cooking Matters program? 

I knew after our move to Detroit, I wanted to volunteer and get involved in the community. I did online searches and came across the site for Cooking Matters. It fit everything I was looking for.

What is your favorite part of being a member of the Cooking Matters team? 

The last class I volunteered for was a family class. I loved working with the kids. My husband and I are expecting our first child in two months. Being in a room of wild six year olds who couldn’t wait to chop vegetables and help in anyway possible was pretty awesome to see. They also seemed to love all the healthy food we made, which was really encouraging.

Do you have a favorite moment from a Cooking Matters class you would like to share? 

The first class I volunteered for was at a veterans home.  One of the gentleman came up to me after class and simply said, “Thank you for taking the time to be here. It really means a lot us.” It was a simple message, but I could see how meaningful the Cooking Matters program is for it’s participants.  It stuck with me.

What ingredients will we always find in your kitchen? 

You will always find fresh herbs in my kitchen. One of my favorite things about my move from NY to Detroit is that I have a yard, and right outside my backdoor is an herb garden. Fresh herbs add so much flavor and color to food, and the best part is that they’re healthy!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Cook. During the past year, at least once a week, I pick a dish I’ve never made before, usually a cuisine I’m not very familiar, and make an elaborate dinner. I feel really fortunate to have the time and space to be able to experiment with food.