We made the Fish with Tortilla Chip Coating. What a fantastic experience! The recipe is so well organized—setting out utensils, ingredients and instructions sooo clearly. I have to say, it was a wonderful experience for everyone involved, from the ages of 36 to 70. Thank you so much for this!
Rose Schonblum,
Toronto, Ontario
“Coach in the Kitchen” is more than a cookbook! It is a wonderful teaching tool and resource for preparing healthy, delicious recipes for individuals of all abilities! The individuals I support in living independently find the step-by-step checklist for ingredients, the lists of utensils required to prepare the meal, and the visual step-by-step instructions are very helpful tools in preparing a recipe successfully with confidence.
Brenda McBride,
Adult Protective Services Worker,
Catholic Family Services, Hamilton, Ontario
The impeccable analysis of tasks is the basis for the success of the unique cookbook, “Coach in the Kitchen”. The well thought-out, foolproof recipes make this an accessible cookbook for many otherwise “non-cooks”. Procedures usually left unstated in other books are here explained in simple steps and even pictured!This cookbook’s benefits do not end with the recipes and meals, but much like good food, feed us in many ways, our bodies for sure but also our minds and souls. The scope of this cooking school and its resultant cookbook encompass the social aspects of creating and sharing meals together. The same detailed approach is evident in the process for creating successful interactions as in creating successful meals.A big thank-you to the Autism/PDD Family Alliance for this ground-breaking cookbook, packed with recipes and ideas so generously shared. For educators, therapists and families, a great resource!!

Beverly Bronte-Tinkew, M. H. Sc.,
Speech-Language Pathologist
Hamilton, Ontario
This excellent cookbook, “Coach in the Kitchen”, provides explicit, detailed food preparation and cooking instructions for recipes that my son can follow independently. The recipes are delicious and healthy; and using his own cookbook gives my son confidence and encouragement to practice and improve his food preparation skills.

Donna Thomas
Oakville, Ontario
Everyone who saw the cookbook at the Special Olympics qualifier said it is perfect not only for their challenged adult child, but also for their children going off to university or college who aren’t very experienced in the kitchen. Many parents had found the same problem teaching their autistic teen or young adult cooking as I had. The cookbook is great.

Judy Walker-McCall
Stoney Creek, Ontario
Having observed firsthand the remarkable cooking classes that generated the delicious recipes in the “Coach in the Kitchen” cookbook, I am so happy that the book includes detailed information on how to run similar classes elsewhere. I have seen students in the cooking school—like my son—grow in confidence and self-esteem with each successful meal they prepare. To duplicate the joyful atmosphere in that kitchen is worth anyone’s effort.

Mary Anne Ewer
Stoney Creek, Ontario
In The Action
Penny’s presentation on teaching cooking was enjoyed by all. She gave us great tips on ways to deal with some of the unique challenges that youth on the spectrum might face when cooking and following recipes. Her stories of the cooking class she puts on in Ontario gave us much useful information in setting up such a class, as well as how to increase the amount and quality of social interaction among the group.Penny is able to present to groups both small and large. If you can find a meeting place and gather together some interested people, she will do the rest. If she is coming to your city and offers to do a presentation for your group, I highly recommend it!

Leslie Clark
Victoria Society for Children with Autism
Victoria, British Columbia

about our cooking school

We love the cooking school! We are thrilled that you have developed such an outstanding format for teaching this much-needed life skill.

The cooking class is unique in its structure for and delivery to our higher-functioning children. Not only are the cooking tasks broken down into manageable steps, but also the one-to-one teacher-to-student ratio solidifies the life skills learned. More than this, the social skills and camaraderie shared goes beyond the kitchen setting. And that is priceless. Accolades to the Autism/PDD Family Alliance for all its hard work. The “Coach in the Kitchen” cookbook is a great resource for any cook.

Dianne Hickey
Flamborough, Ontario

For Christmas dinner we were invited to a home where Alissia was put at a table with other young people her age. From where I sat I could hear her talking. She did an excellent job of starting and carrying on conversations. She started one on what movies they had seen lately, and another one on holiday plans. I realized right away that these were conversation starters from your cooking class and that she was able to keep the conversation going with great questions and observations only because she had practiced these at your dinner table. Thank you so much. It made the dinner with people whom we really did not know that well so nice.

Inta Aldridge
Hamilton, Ontario

The cooking school helped to improve not only my son’s cooking skills, but also his confidence and sense of self-worth. He enjoyed the friends he made and the social aspects of the course. A great experience!

Muriel Aikins
Ancaster, Ontario

Our autistic son has attended the cooking classes run by Penny Gill and her charitable organization, Autism/PDD Family Alliance, for a number of courses. He has advanced significantly in both his interpersonal/relationship skills and his cooking skills and confidence since the very first class.

This advance has been significantly augmented by the publication of the recipe book “Coach in the Kitchen”.

We are truly amazed at the concise and yet simple outlines that have been documented for each recipe stage as well as the nutritional value of the recipes selected.

The book would benefit any person with a perceptual or communications challenge, irrespective of their age. All that would be required of the user would be the ability to read basic written language and an appetite.

The encouragement to cook for oneself fosters in the participant a deeper understanding of the importance of diet and food knowledge while fostering independence and an improvement of confidence and self-worth. On all levels this publication, built on the hands-on experience created by managing and organizing the classes, succeeds. Congratulations on such a fine endeavour!

Ian and Lesley Lawrence
St. Catharines, Ontario