Within the context of R3 efforts, game and fish cooking classes are tools to attract and recruit potential new hunters and anglers. These are marketing efforts to engage with attendees, collect their contact information and reach out to them later when there are openings in an adult hunter-training program. It is the perfect “next step” for people who have attended a wild fish/game tasting event and aren’t ready to jump right into a hunting or fishing class.
We recommend your program consist of multiple, but stand-alone sessions that extend over several weeks. Generally, each session should last two-to-three hours. However, it is a good idea to seek input from your target audience during your program planning before setting specific timeframes and course durations. Each session would feature one cut of meat from a specific type of fish or game per session. We recommend that the session include a fish and wildlife representative giving a short presentation about the featured species, wildlife/fisheries management, sustainability, and the local recreational opportunities.
A simple interest/screening questionnaire should be used at your cooking event to measure each participant’s interest in attending a hunting or fishing class, or other event on obtaining wild, sustainable foods. See “Determining the Right Audience” for additional information on screening questionnaires.
The following sections are designed to provide suggestions for four potential, stand-alone classes in mind. Not all of them need to be covered nor do they necessarily need to be covered in a particular order. You might even assign some of them purely as “homework.”
In addition, the attached resources contain the syllabi of a handful of cooking classes. Use these samples as a starting point to develop your own class, based on the goals and objectives that you have written down for your program.
Bear in mind that any syllabus you develop should also be flexible so that you can accommodate unanticipated participant needs and soliciting questions from the participants.
In addition, you will want to plan on having time to share food prepared during the cooking sessions. Often, recipes and/or cookbooks are provided as part of the class sessions. Make sure that you have enough handouts on hand for all participants and include the cost of these resources in the fees charged.
In any case, a list of additional cooking resources should be provided for participants who would like to learn more on their own.
Also, once you develop your program syllabus, it is advisable to compare your syllabus, goals and objectives to make sure your lessons will be on target.