If you’re like some food aficionados, your palate is refined over many chef-prepared meals, but there comes a time when you’d like to try your creative hand in the kitchen. (If you’re more like me, you’re perfectly happy with the eating part and leaving the cooking to the experts, but that’s a topic for another day.)
Thankfully, there are plenty of educational options in the region to help you on your way to creating world-class culinary experiences in your own house.
One fantastic opportunity starts this weekend: People’s Food Co-op of Rochester is hosting a unique, six-week cooking class taught by local registered dietitian Lindsay Andrews called “A Taste of African Heritage.”
The nutrition and cooking program is a hands-on experience designed to help participants adopt traditional ways (the “old ways”) of eating in African and African-American communities into their modern lifestyles.
Each two-hour class in the series focuses on a different part of a healthy traditional diet and includes two to three recipes, as well as history, nutrition, a cooking lesson, and of course, eating.
The second best news (besides the eating part) is this six-week intensive course is completely free and open to the public — best snag your registration spot now. Classes are on Sundays starting at 5:30 p.m. at the PFC in Rochester; the first class is on Sunday. To register, contact Andrews at 913-522-9742.
While you’re at it, check out other cooking and food courses at PFC, including a preservation class on Sept. 18 and a vegetarian cooking class on Sept. 22. See www.pfc.coop for registration info.
You might have doubted your garden could recover from the almost absent spring, but boy howdy, has it ever. (And you hardly ever say “boy howdy.”)
So whatcha gonna do with all those tomatoes? Lanesboro Local is here to help. Lately, they’ve been partnering with River Roots Skills School to co-sponsor food classes, including a Tomato Fest on Saturday at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro.
The day starts at 10:30 a.m. with “The Best Ever Tomato Cookery Class,” taught by Chef Stephen Larson of QUARTER/quarter in Harmony, teaching you how to get the most flavor out of the garden staple.
Then, at 1:30 p.m., learn the ins, outs, ups and downs of tomato preservation from Peggy Hanson, who is covering tomato canning and tomato juice; and Mary Bell, who will be teaching how to dry tomatoes — and then how to use them.
To register or find out more about River Roots Skills School offerings, check out www.riverrootsschool.org/classes.html.
Congrats to two local favorites
Two local restaurants are celebrating some big accomplishments. First, Hubbell House in Mantorville is celebrating its 160th anniversary (no, that’s not a typo), and Zzest Market and Cafe in Rochester was recently honored as one of the top 10 “Best Overall” restaurants in and near Minneapolis/St. Paul in the OpenTable Diners’ Choice awards, which is based on reservations and reviews by OpenTable diners.
Congratulations to both eateries. What better way to celebrate than to plan a meal out at each place?