Students made cucumber raita, mushroom ragout, and a Caesar dressing during the second of four Basic Culinary Skills classes offered on Mondays in March at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen.
The class series is designed to help people gain the kitchen skills they need for restaurant jobs, but many of the students are taking the series to improve their home kitchen chops.
These classes are taught by Kathy Jones, executive chef at the Westmark Sitka Hotel and the Totem Square Inn, with assistance by her sous chef, Barbara Palacios. The classes are modeled after a similar basic culinary skills program Chef Kathy knows from Indianapolis offered by a food relief nonprofit called Second Helpings.
In the first class the students worked on chopping skills, and also learned about basic kitchen sanitation and a variety of kitchen tools. The second class featured basic cooking techniques, basic nutrition, and sauces, soups and stocks Part 1. The cucumber raita is a sauce used in Indian dishes to cool spicy dishes, and it goes well with fish, vegetables and can be used as a dip. The mushroom ragout goes well with game meat (venison, goat, lamb, etc.).
The third class on March 21 will focus on sauces, soups and stocks Part 2, salads, and measurements. The fourth class on March 28 will focus on poultry, meats, and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) safe food handler’s card.
The classes take place from 6-8:30 p.m. on each Monday in March (March 7, 14, 21, and 28) at the Sitka Kitch, which is located inside the First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road). The classes are full, with only wait-list spots available.
The Sitka Kitch was a project of the 2013 Sitka Health Summit, and the project is coordinated by the Sitka Conservation Society in partnership with the Sitka Local Foods Network. The Sitka Kitch can be rented to teach cooking and food preservation classes, by local cottage food industry entrepreneurs who need a commercial kitchen to make their products, and for large groups needing a large kitchen for a community dinner. To learn more about how to rent the Sitka Kitch, please go to the website at http://www.sitkawild.org/sitka_kitch.
For more information about the Sitka Kitch and the classes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can go to our class registration page at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ to see all of the available classes (click on the class titles to register).
A slideshow of scenes from the second class of the series can be found below.