7 in Your Neighborhood: Dearborn woman shares her passion for cooking with her community

Zee the Cook making a difference in Dearborn
Posted at 6:33 PM, Aug 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-02 18:33:02-04

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Dearborn woman who has taken her passion for cooking for her family to opening up a culinary classroom that not only teaches chopping veggies and making cupcakes but teaching life skills that will last forever.

“You know, when you cook from your heart, the food’s going to come out amazing, So I wanted people to cook that way too” said Zee Shami.

Having a love of cooking, hosting cooking classes at home and holding endless pop up parties Dearborn wife and mother of three, Zee Shami, fulfilled her dream four years ago and opened.

She opened Zee the Cook.

"I learned how to mince garlic, I learned how to cut parsley, and bell peppers and onions. I also make cupcake batter,” said Culinary Camper Libby Lesatz.

“I like coming here so we can meet new friends. We can learn how to cook, work on a skillet and it will give my life skills for cooking,” said culinary camper Emily Skinner.

Zee the Cook is holding a summer camp – with a kid friendly kitchen.

The staff is teaching basic cooking skills and more importantly tools to become future independent adults.

“It’s not that were trying to create future chefs here,” said Shami. “Even if you become a doctor or a lawyer, a teacher, a nurse, an astronaut, whatever you become, you can still go home and take care of yourself.”

It’s also her chance to introduce kids to different cultures.

“Diversity is everything to me,” said Shami.

“It’s really cool to meet people from all around the world that travel here and come to Zee the Cook,” said camper Maya Makki.

“It makes me so proud to know I’ve been able to establish those friendships of different diverse cultures and backgrounds together,” said Shami.

This week at Zee the Cook, culinary camp had police week. Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad cooked with the kids.

“During this week, we want the young people to know that police are approachable. That we’re all one community and we want to enhance their safety. We want to demystify what we do,” said Haddad. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
No stranger to in the kitchen, Chief Haddad. Has won his fair share of cooking contests, so he loves the opportunity to mix it up with the kids.

“Right away there’s that instant connection over food, said Chief Haddad. “For me, that’s what feeds my sole,

“If we can give the young people some hope, some guidance, then it’s all worth the effort,” Chief Haddad.

Zee the Cook studio also offers team building sessions for corporations. It allows companies to create and collaborate in the kitchen. Giving them a chance to work in a different environment together.

Cooking is the best way for her to give back.

“Whether it’s in house-in our studio or even me being who I am and helping others achieve their goals and dreams, it’s amazing!” said Shami.

“I’m a proud resident of Dearborn, born and raised here. It feels amazing giving back to my community,” said Shami.

Find out about more programs Zee the Cook.