About destitute gourmet "dg" Classes

A dg class is a fun, information packed event, that really helps people make changes. Sophie has been presenting classes around NZ for well over a decade.

What happens in a destitute gourmet (dg) class/demonstration?

A dg class comprises several components including teaching, cooking and tasting. During a demonstration around 25-30 minutes will be given to explaining the “philosophy’ of destitute gourmet and how to save money at the supermarket. This section is packed with practical information, anecdotes and tips.

Sophie will also demonstrate around 5-6 recipes and loads of tricks, techniques and suggestions to make family food more interesting, healthy and cost effective. Your group will then sample each of the dishes as they are cooked, the recipes will all be good examples of the principles and techniques being demonstrated.

Sophie provides all her equipment and ingredients. Recipe booklets containing the recipes used in that class will be supplied to take away by each attendee. DG books and merchandise will also be available for sale.

    How many people can attend?

    As host you can structure your event at various levels. Minimum number of attendees is 50 and scaled accordingly up to 500, depending on your venue and the number of tickets you think you can sell.

    Sophie will prepare the same number of dishes, usually around 5-6, and offer ‘tastes’ of each dish. So, groups of 50-100 will taste each dish, a group of 200 will taste 3 dishes and a group of 500 will get the opportunity to have a taste of one of the dishes, both sweet and savoury.

    How long is a demonstration?

    A demonstration takes approximately 2½ hours. We start at 7pm sharp and finish around 9.30-10pm so people can eat and chat before they leave. Sophie will arrive 1-2 hours before the start of the class to set up and do pre-class food preparation with the kitchen helpers. 

    What kind of a venue is suitable?

    Churches, community centres, clubs and halls often have kitchens that adjoin an auditorium via a large servery. This type of set up works very well as visibility is the key. Attendees will need to be able to see onto the bench. If visibility is a problem, a live video feed would be an option to overcome this.  While we do not need a commercial oven, a regular oven must have a minimum of three shelves and be of a standard size, many newer ovens are very small. Two regular ovens or one commercial oven is ideal. Setting up a trestle in front of the kitchen is not recommended as Sophie needs ready access to running water, stoves etc and a trestle is significantly lower than bench height. 

    Seating should be arranged theatre style in rows in front of the workbench, from our experience this format by far works the best. 

    What do I need to supply?

    Sophie requires two helpers in the kitchen from when she arrives until the end of the demonstration – preferably adults, but no cooking skills are required, just a willingness to assist with prep and do lots of dishes.  Four people are needed to pass around platters etc and to help clean up after the presentation.  You will also need to supply 10-15 old tea towels. Your guests will need two side plates and two forks each, disposables are fine.

    Preferably a lapel microphone if available.

    We recommend having drinks available on arrival and water/juice throughout the duration of the class, pens for people who wish to take notes and coffee/tea to finish.  This gives Sophie a chance to get out of the kitchen and talk to your guests, answer questions etc.  

    We would also ask that if you are approaching our sponsors for donations of merchandise for ‘goodie bags’ or the like, that you do not use Destitute Gourmet or Sophie’s name when you approach them, but make the request in your organisation’s name so as not to jeopardise our ongoing relationship with sponsors.

    Many host groups also sell raffle tickets with great success at events so if you are fundraising you may wish to include this in your planning. We recommend host groups price tickets between $20 and $35.  A group selling 100 $25 tickets will generate $2500, which, depending on other costs, could yield a profit of $1000.

    Will Sophie do a class outside Auckland?

    Yes definitely but obviously travel outside of Auckland incurs additional costs.

    Travel and accommodation costs vary depending on where you are. The “drive to” classes, where Sophie returns home after the event are normally within a two-hour radius of Auckland and incur travel costs of $170. Outside this radius requires overnight motel accommodation which we will book. Further afield classes may also have an additional cost of airfare and rental car so we will work through this with host groups before taking a booking. All costs are inclusive of GST and subject to change.


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