NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Cooking healthy foods at home doesn't have to be something to be avoided.
A local chef wants to make cooking a pleasant experience.
Gina Brown has loved to cook since she was a teenager. She wants to share her enjoyment of cooking with others. She's a professional chef and has taught cooking classes at other places.
But just last month, she opened her own cooking school in the back of Destination Booksellers on Spring Street in New Albany.
"The idea is that I want to individually teach people how to cook and how to cook in their own homes and to enjoy cooking," said Brown.
Brown says too many people think of cooking as work -- as a chore -- and she hopes to show them that it can actually be fun.
"I've been teaching classes here for about a month," she said. "It's like you're stepping into my own kitchen, so it's just a relaxed environment. You're not here to be a professional, you're not here to be a chef."
Her students appreciate her friendly approach.
"I like her personality," said student Charity Hop. "It is always easy to learn something and want to learn something if you like the person who is teaching you."
Brown says she tries to use healthy ingredients, but she doesn't go to extremes.
"I have done gluten-free recipes before," she said. "I just believe doing everything in moderation, I would not have these pies I made today, I wouldn't eat the whole pie, but you know every once in a while you need a treat."
And she says she always tries to buy local.
"I also love using local products," she said. "The berries I used today came from a local farmer."
Brown teaches both individual and group classes and has students as young as 7 years old who she teaches to cook with their parents.
She hopes everyone can enjoy the experience of creating a meal.
"Just don't be so serious," she said. "If you make a mistake in your own kitchen, who really cares? Your family is going to love what you do anyway."