Sitka Kitch to host ‘S’lightly Southern’ Cooking with Kayla Caprice class on July 8

Learn how to make healthier versions of classic Southern dishes during the upcoming Sitka Kitch class, ‘S’lightly Southern’ Cooking with Kayla Caprice. This class takes place from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 8, at the new location of the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen at the Sitka Lutheran Church (224 Lincoln Street, please use the back entrance through the alley by Bev’s Flowers & Gifts, off Harbor Drive). This class is part of a new Cooking With Kayla Caprice class series this summer, and is a fundraiser for the Sitka Kitch.

“In this class we will be going over some classic southern fare, and ways to make it a little healthier, and easier to do. We will learn other ways to ‘fry’ chicken, classic southern biscuits two different ways, talk (and eat) fritters, and make a dark molasses Ginger Cake. So come on, y’all, let’s get cookin’!” Kayla wrote in her class description. Kayla currently works as a line cook at Ludvig’s Bistro in Sitka.

Kayla, hails from the Southeast coast, more specifically, Florida. She grew up around the ocean and fishing. Her mother was a chef and Food Network was her favorite channel growing up. She has a background in early childhood development and school-age instruction, with an emphasis on cooking and nutrition. She moved to Seattle three years ago to pursue her love of cooking, learning, teaching, and community involvement.

She has been helping educate adults and youth on cooking, nutrition and the food system with The Beechers Foundation in Seattle for more than two years. There she runs before- and after-school programs with cooking and baking clubs, as well as the school garden. She also assists in classes at Culinary Essentials in Ballard under Chef Nora Dummer, cooked at the Artist Home for the Doe Bay Music Festival on Orcas Island, worked at Firefly Kitchens (a fermentation company in Ballard), and taught the culinary summer camp at The Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island in Washington. She is currently a line cook at Ludvig’s Bistro in Sitka.

“Cooking for yourself is very important to me, as is loving good food,” Kayla wrote. “I believe everyone and anyone should have access to good food and be able to feed themselves, and the tools they need in order to do so.”

Other classes in the Cooking With Kayla Caprice series include (more details and registration information about these classes will be posted later):

  • Preservation/Fermentation 101 — 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22
  • Preservation/Fermentation 102 — 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 29
  • Cooking For One/Small-Space Cooking — 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Aug. 14 (class targeted to teens and adults)
  • Cooking With Seaweed (in conjunction with Sitka Mermaid Fest) — 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 26

The registration deadline for the first Cooking With Kayla Caprice cooking class is 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, so register now since space is limited. We need at least eight students to register and pre-pay to make this class happen. The class costs $40, which is part of our new all-inclusive fee system (you no longer have to pay a class fee to register, then a separate food/supply fee). You can register and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal on our EventSmart page, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com (click on class title). For those wanting to pre-pay with cash or check, please call Claire Sanchez or Clarice Johnson at Sitka Conservation Society (747-7509) to arrange a payment. For more information about the class, contact Jasmine Shaw at 747-9440. We do offer one potential scholarship spot per class for people with limited incomes, so long as we have enough students registered to make the class happen. Contact Claire at SCS for more details about the scholarship. This class is a fundraiser for the Sitka Kitch.

Students should enter the Sitka Lutheran Church through the back entrance (through the alley off Harbor Drive by the old Bev’s Flowers and Gifts location). The door on the right should be open for students to enter. Please do not park in the church’s back parking lot. Please use the public parking lots off Harbor Drive.

The Sitka Kitch also has a new class cancelation policy. If you register for a class, then find out you can’t attend, please email us at sitkakitch@sitkawild.org and we may be able to help fill your slot through our waiting list. If you cancel from the class at least five days in advance (eg, by Wednesday for a Monday class), you are eligible for a partial refund of your class fee, minus $5 for processing (in this case, $35). If you need to cancel with less than five days advance notice, there is no refund.

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New book by food systems expert Mark Winne features Sitka and is available in October

Food systems expert and author Mark Winne visited Sitka in July 2018 to do research for his new book. Now an October publication date has been set for the book, Food Town USA, which focuses on the local food systems of seven communities in the country, including Sitka.

During his visit to Sitka last year, Mark spent time interviewing a variety of people involved with the local food system. He also helped host a town hall meeting to discuss Sitka’s food system and how we can improve it. In addition, he stopped by the Sitka Farmers Market and attended a Sitka Food Co-Op delivery day.

According the the book’s publisher:

“Look at any list of America’s top foodie cities and you probably won’t find Boise, Idaho or Sitka, Alaska. Yet they are the new face of the food movement. Healthy, sustainable fare is changing communities across this country, revitalizing towns that have been ravaged by disappearing industries and decades of inequity.

“What sparked this revolution? To find out, Mark Winne traveled to seven cities not usually considered revolutionary. He broke bread with brew masters and city council members, farmers and philanthropists, toured start-up incubators and homeless shelters. What he discovered was remarkable, even inspiring.

“In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, once a company steel town, investment in the arts has created a robust new market for local restaurateurs. In Alexandria, Louisiana, “one-stop shopping” food banks help clients apply for health insurance along with SNAP benefits. In Jacksonville, Florida, aeroponics are bringing fresh produce to a food desert.

“Over the course of his travels, Winne experienced the power of individuals to transform food and the power of food to transform communities. The cities of Food Town, USA remind us that innovation is ripening all across the country, especially in the most unlikely places.”

Sitka Farmers Market vendor meeting to be held on Tuesday, June 11

Have you thought about being a vendor at the Sitka Farmers Markets, but need more info before you commit? The Sitka Local Foods Network, the nonprofit that hosts the markets, will hold a vendor meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, at the Sitka Public Library.

Join us to learn more about the vendor rules and responsibilities. The meeting will be led by Sitka Farmers Market manager Nina Vizcarrondo and assistant manager Charles Bingham, who will try and answer your questions about the market. We hope to have a representative from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s food safety program at the meeting to discuss state food service regulations. We also will take market registrations at the meeting.

This year our markets take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on seven Saturdays this summer — July 6, July 27, Aug. 10, Aug. 17, Aug. 31, Sept. 7, and Sept. 21 — at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian Street). You can learn more about being a vendor at this link.

The Sitka Kitch, in partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service’s Juneau office, will host a “Starting A Cottage Foods Business” class from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, in Room 106 at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus. Sarah Lewis of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service will teach the class by videoconference from Juneau and she will detail what types of foods can be sold under a cottage foods exemption. The class costs $10, with the money going to the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. Students who take the class and then bring a food business to the Sitka Farmers Market will get half off their first market’s table fee. You can learn more about the class at this link.

For more information about the Sitka Farmers Market, email us at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com, or call Nina at 738-9301 or Charles at 623-7660.