Natalie Bay on the Magic Ingredient of Food

Episode 6: Natalie Bay on the Magic Ingredient of Food

“Food creates a distraction . . . When you’re just talking to somebody one-on-one it’s hard sometimes to get out your ideas and open up your heart; but, when you’re distracted by the flavours and you’re excited and it’s drawing in memories, suddenly it’s just a lot easier to have the conversation flowing.”

Natalie Bay

Like many others, Natalie Bay hit video call fatigue early on in the pandemic. Despite living alone and missing seeing people, she found the online version of pre-pandemic hangouts left her feeling less connected than ever. Then one day she texted some friends in a group chat about her ‘boring’ plans to make macaroni and cheese with the leftovers in her fridge and suddenly found herself hosting her first online cooking class.

Join host Valery as she drops into a ‘Cooking with Nat’ class and hears from community members one year after they first started gathering on Monday nights to (virtually) cook and eat together.

Community builder and food enthusiast Natalie Bay wears an apron and holds a large bowl with a lobster tail in it up to her mouth on the turquoise episode artwork for Life Without Us podcast episode six. Beside her the episode title is printed in turquoise font on a yellow square: Natalie Bay on the Magic Ingredient of Food.
Photo provided by Natalie Bay

 In this episode:

  • The high failure rate of pandemic online hangouts 
  • How a macaroni and cheese craving launched an online cooking class
  • Highlights from over a year of collaborative cooking and eating 
  • Why food, and particularly preparing food together, is such a magic ingredient to creating connection and community 
  • Whether to turn your community building event into a side hustle
  • Why communities thrive on consistency.

Find Natalie


Find Other Episode References

Fideo Soup and Guacamole Recipes from the Episode

No One Should Have to Live a Life Without Us

On the Life Without Us podcast, Valery Navarrete shared two seasons of stories about community and connection to inspire more of us to have more “us” in our lives.

Tune in wherever you find podcasts!

Sign Up for Valery’s Newsletter!

Valery’s free, monthly newsletter provides a quick mix of updates on what she is up to and content you can use. Look for it in your inbox on the third Thursday of each month!