Instant Pot guru’s endowment supports NIC culinary students

NIC students will have access to a new bursary, thanks to a memorial endowment honouring Instant Pot influencer Ruth “Rootitoot” McCusker.

NIC students will have access to a new bursary, thanks to a memorial endowment honouring Instant Pot influencer Ruth “Rootitoot” McCusker.

The Campbell River woman became famous in the Instant Pot community online, sharing her family recipes, which she adapted for the popular, pressure-cooker-style appliance. Her popularity online grew to over 102,000 followers and led to The Rootitoot Cookbooks Volume 1 and 2.

Beyond her cooking expertise, McCusker’s popularity was due to her warm personality and kind heart.

“Many were drawn to McCusker’s unmistakable sweetness — she began most posts with the words, ‘Good morning, O Best Beloveds.’ But she was also endlessly helpful, spending the majority of her waking hours fielding queries and developing recipes as needed,” read her obituary in the Vancouver Sun.

The NIC Foundation endowment was set up by her children, Brian Wilkowski and Linda Ramos, to honour her memory and support students interested in pursuing a career in the culinary field.  They set up a fundraiser through her website and matched the donations, bringing the total to $42,862.

“She was passionate about cooking and so this seemed like a perfect way to honour her memory,” said McCusker’s son Brian. “It’s so fantastic how many lives she’s touched over the last couple of years,” Brian said. “Even when she found out that it was going to be a terminal diagnosis, she was grateful for what she had experienced especially in the last portion of her life.”

Ms. Ruth “Rootitoot” McCusker passed away on Feb. 12, 2020 after a short illness. She was given the “Rootitoot” nickname by her father when she was a child.

Priority for the Ruth “Rootitoot” McCusker Wilkowski Memorial Bursary Endowment Fund will be given to students actively involved in volunteer activities or community service.  If you would like to donate to her bursary, or make a donation to support NIC students, please visit

The NIC Foundation has been advancing student success, education and community growth through NIC for more than 29 years. It supports NIC students through scholarships and bursaries, equips classrooms with current technology and ensures the best possible learning facilities are accessible on the Central and North Island. It envisions a future where every student has the opportunity to pursue post‐secondary education, train for a new career or develop employable skills to support themselves and their families.

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