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02/03/2021

Whole Foods presents virtual cooking series for Valentine’s Day

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Whole Foods Market is launching three virtual events to help celebrate Valentine’s Day at home — and to help support the restaurant industry that normally depends on the holiday season. The virtual cooking events will also showcase its own brands in the kitchen and have a little fun with some comedians.

The retailer last year launched a series of virtual classes inspired by its new-look 365 Whole Foods Market brand. Tickets were limited to the classes and all consumers who signed up for a class also received a coupon toward 365 brand products.

Similarly, the retailer’s “Gourmet Date for Good” series will be a ticketed virtual event that requires a donation to the Independent Restaurant Coalition. Consumers can get tickets here via eventbrite.

The three love-themed sessions include a Galentine’s Day event on Feb. 13, a Valentine’s Day event on Feb. 14, and a Singles Awareness Day event on Feb 15. The events run 35 to 45 minutes long and include a real-time Q&A with the hosts.

The events support the Independent Restaurant Coalition, a nonprofit that helps the nation’s 500,000 local restaurants and bars affected by COVID-19. Along with the ticketed donations, Whole Foods Market will be making an additional contribution by matching all ticket donations up to $50,000.

“America’s 500,000 independent restaurants and bars are grateful to Whole Foods Market for their support this holiday,” said Erika Polmar, chief operating officer at the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “Valentine’s Day weekend — typically one of the busiest weekends of the year for restaurants — will be yet another massive revenue loss facing our industry. The donations from ‘Gourmet Date for Good’ will provide significant assistance to help ensure they can fully reopen when it is safe to do so.”

Once securing a ticket to an event, the attendee unlocks a list of ingredients to purchase prior to the live event to cook, bake and even sip along with the comedian co-hosts. Many items feature Whole Foods own brand products. The events include:

  • Saturday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT: Galentine’s Day – a night of laughter with comedian, actress and regular “TODAY with Hoda & Jenna” cohost Heather McMahan, joining her mom and sister to show how to make a steak crostini with basil vinaigrette sauce.
  • Sunday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT: Valentine’s Day – The most popular date night of the year features actress and vegan lifestyle personality Tabitha Brown and her husband, Chance, making vallops — vegan scallops, combined with her herbaceous vegan butter and Whole Foods Market Hearts of Palm pasta.
  • Monday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT: Singles Awareness Day – Author, podcast host and comedian Matt Bellassai makes chocolate lava cake — the one dessert everybody feels pressure to share but secretly wants to inhale alone, as Whole Foods cleverly described.