In January, 2006, Nina began teaching cooking classes in her home kitchen: “Cooking in the Kitchen with Nina.” She wants to help people get over their fears in the kitchen and make cooking fun—so that people will cook more at home for their friends and family. Nearly all of the the recipes Nina shares in her classes are original recipes that she has developed. She teaches several classes each week on a wide range of topics and interests.
Nina Swan-Kohler is a home economist, nutritionist, culinary professional, cookbook author, cooking school director and instructor of “Cooking in the Kitchen with Nina” Cooking Classes. In addition, she owns and operates a small kitchen equipment and gadget boutique in conjunction with her cooking classes. She is also a public relations practitioner and owns and operates Swan-Kohler & Associates Public Relations, located in Robins, Iowa.
Swan-Kohler earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics education from Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO. She earned a master’s degree in foods and nutrition and communications from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Swan-Kohler has worked in the culinary and food marketing industry for over 30 years. Nina develops and markets creative and delicious recipes for her food clients each year. Her recipes, feature articles and food photography continue to appear in numerous newspapers and magazines nationwide. She is an active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and a past member of the Consumer Trends Forum International (CTFI).
An expert in all things concerning food, Nina has worked for National Oats Company and CMF&Z Advertising and Public Relations in Cedar Rapids, and many food companies throughout the United States.
Nina develops creative and tasty recipes; conducts cooking demonstrations; writes feature articles for newspapers and magazines and does food styling for photography. She has been featured in Midwest Living, Southern Living and Southern Lady magazines. Nina has written food columns for “The Woman Today” and “City Revealed” magazines. In 2003, Nina authored and published her first cookbook: “Tailgates to Touchdowns: Fabulous Football Food.”
A lot like the having the Food Network in Cedar Rapids . . .
Nina Swan-Kohler has many things in common with the celebrity chefs and cooks on the Food Network, however she offers a much tastier experience. You get to eat everything she makes in the classes, so come hungry!
- Nina is like Rachael Ray (30 Minute Meals) in that’s she practical and has a no-nonsense way of making cooking fun and non-threatening. Plus, she has created and developed many recipes that can be made start to finish in 30 minutes or less and has been doing so since 1981.
- Nina is like Paula Deen (Paula’s Home Cooking), in that she’s a southern girl (albeit from southeast Missouri) and she’s not afraid to use butter when a recipe warrants or demands it.
- Nina is like Sandra Lee (Semi-Homemade) in that she uses many convenience products to make her tasty recipes faster to stir together and easy to make, yet never sacrificing taste and flavor. The time saved is used to create the special touches in serving the food.
- Nina is like Alton Brown (Good Eats) in that it was her mother who influenced in the kitchen as her culinary talent took off. She’s not quite as wacky as Alton, but she likes to have fun in the kitchen by sharing funny stories about her life.
- Nina is like Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) in that she invites you into her home to enjoy her easy, delicious and foolproof style of cooking recipes you can make at home. Plus, their names rhyme – Ina and Nina.
- Nina shares Sara Molton’s (Sara’s Secrets) mission to encourage everyone to cook delicious and healthful food at home for family and friends.
A little bit more about Nina’s credentials as a culinary professional, cookbook author, cooking school director and instructor . . .
Nina has been cooking since the age of 3 when her mother invited her into her kitchen to help bake cookies and brownies. She began learning various cooking skills as she helped her mother. She joined 4-H and took all the foods classes and kept cooking and learning more. In Jr. High School and High School, she took home economics classes. Then in college, Nina majored in Home Economics.
Nina graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics. She took a 6-month break and traveled to Trinidad and Tobago, two tiny islands in the Caribbean on a 4-H youth exchange program. She lived with eleven families while there and learned much about their culture and their foods. It was in Trinidad that she first came up-close and personal will all foods tropical. She loves to share tropical foods in her classes when the topic allows – especially her love for passion fruit!
Her first professional job was working as a home economist for the Dairy Industry for 3 years – teaching teachers how to teach nutrition to their students (Kindergarten through Senior Citizens) and how to incorporate dairy products into a balanced diet.
She then went back to school at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo, where she earned a master’s degree in foods and nutrition and communications. While finishing up her degree, she worked full-time for the Missouri Department of Agriculture and developed programs for Missouri food companies to market their products internationally.
Nina returned to the Dairy Council in a newly formed position as Media Specialist. She traveled throughout Missouri and Illinois promoting good nutrition and eating habits via the media – radio, TV and newspapers. She began demonstrating healthy recipes on television in 1978.
In 1981, Nina moved to Cedar Rapids to take the position of Director of Consumer Relations for National Oats Company. In this position, Nina traveled throughout the southern states promoting National Oats products – 3-Minute Brand Oats and Super Pop Popcorn. She managed the test kitchen where all recipes were developed and tested for the company, as well as, promoting those recipes via radio and TV interviews and demonstrations in top markets throughout the south, including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Atlanta, Birmingham, Albuquerque, New Orleans, Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Again, Nina demonstrated recipes on television throughout the company’s marketing territory.
In 1984, Nina took a position with CMF&Z Advertising and Public Relations as an account executive. She provided marketing, advertising and public relations assistance, along with culinary guidance for various food accounts for the agency including Seaboard Farms of Athens (chicken), Better Homes and Gardens, Beatrice Cheese and Jack Frost Sugar.
Numerous trips throughout the US and internationally have helped Nina explore the world of food knowledge and food experiences including Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Thomas, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Mexico, Bermuda, France, England, Ireland, Israel, India and Canada.
In 1991, Nina started her own company, Swan-Kohler & Associates Public Relations. She continued doing marketing and public relations for food companies. National Oats Company became her first client and her first project ended up on NBC’s The Today Show. Other clients followed: Seaboard Farms, Sunshine Nuts Company, Pioneer Flour Mills, Burleson’s Honey, White Lily Foods, Farmland Foods, Kraft Foods, Burke Foods, National Pork Board, West Liberty Foods, Lesaffre Yeast, Java Creek, etc. In addition to developing marketing and public relations plans for these companies, Nina develops and tests recipes to promote the company’s various food products. She also develops feature stories that are sent to food editors for their use. Nina develops and implements various marketing plans for her clients.
In 2003, Nina authored and published her first cookbook: “Tailgates to Touchdowns: Fabulous Football Food.” She has been featured in Midwest Living Magazine, Southern Living Magazine and Southern Lady Magazine, to name a few. Plus, she has been featured in over 200 newspapers nationwide and had been interviewed on numerous TV and radio stations throughout the country. Nina was also the featured food writer for “The Woman Today” magazine in Cedar Rapids from 2003 to 2007. Since the beginning of 2008, she is the featured food writer for “City Revealed” magazine in Cedar Rapids, IA.