Scenes from the first Basic Culinary Skills class at the Sitka Kitch

KathyDiscussesDifferentTypesOfChops

kitch_logo_mainStudents chopped a lot of potatoes during the first of four Basic Culinary Skills classes offered on Mondays in March at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen.

In addition to working on chopping skills, the students also learned about basic kitchen sanitation and a variety of kitchen tools. There are three more classes in the series, and students will do more cooking in them. The 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, who was assisted 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.

ErnieJoshAndYvonneChopPotatoesThe 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.

  • Basic Culinary Skills 2 — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 14, this class will focus on basic cooking techniques, basic nutrition, and sauces, soups and stocks part 1.
  • Basic Culinary Skills 3 — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 21, the class will focus on sauces, soups and stocks part 2, salads, and measurements.
  • Basic Culinary Skills 4 — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 28, the class will focus on poultry, meats, and the Alaska DEC safe food handler’s card.

The Basic Culinary Skills class series is supported by a grant from the Northwest Farm Credit Services rural community grant program.

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 sitkakitch@sitkawild.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 first class of the series can be found below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Scenes from the last Winter Cooking From Scratch series class at the Sitka Kitch — Homemade Empanadas

BarbaraHelpsMikeAndKendraFoldSalmonEmpanadas

kitch_logo_mainBaked salmon and deep-fried cheese empanadas were on the menu during the final class in the Winter Cooking From Scratch series Monday, Feb. 29, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. This class on cooking homemade empanadas was taught by Barbara Palacios, the sous chef at the Westmark Sitka Hotel.

This was the fourth class in the Winter Cooking From Scratch series, which saw a variety of local chefs teach the classes. The first class in the series (Homemade Pasta) was taught by Edith Johnson (formerly chef of the Fly-In Fish Inn and now with the Sitka Hotel), and the second class (Ancient Grains and Gut Health) was taught by Dr. Julien Naylor, an internal medicine specialist who also is a trained chef. A third class (Sauces and Dressings) taught by Kathy Jones (executive chef at the Westmark Sitka Hotel) was postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date. In addition, the Sitka Kitch recently hosted a special fundraising class (Quick and Easy Thai Cooking) taught by local health program manager Nancy Knapp.

CheeseEmpanadasReadyToFryThe 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, which is located in the First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road), 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.

BasicCulinarySkillsFlierThe Sitka Kitch also is offering a Basic Culinary Skills class series taught by Westmark Hotel executive chef Kathy Jones in March, and there is still room for students to take those classes. The Basic Culinary Skills series is designed to help people who want to find work in the restaurant or catering fields improve their kitchen skills (these classes also will be open to people who want to improve their home cooking skills).

A slideshow of scenes from the homemade empanadas class is posted below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

• Scenes from the Quick and Easy Thai Cooking class at the Sitka Kitch

NancyDiscussesTomKhaGaiRecipe

kitch_logo_mainStudents learned how to cook Thai food while also raising funds for a portrait to honor William Stortz during the special Quick and Easy Thai Cooking class taught by Nancy Knapp on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen.

The students learned how to cook kaeng paneng moo (a curry dish with pork in it, for this class) and tom kha gai (a chicken soup), and also learned how they could add vegetables from their home gardens or local stores to the dishes. Cooks can substitute tofu or similar products for the meat to make vegetarian versions of the dishes. The instructor, longtime Sitka resident and health program manager Nancy Knapp, has worked in Thailand and Laos and brought that experience to the classes.

WilliamStortz

William Stortz

 

The class served as a fundraiser to purchase a portrait of William Stortz, painted by Sitka artist Steve Lawrie. William Stortz was one of the three people who died in the August 2015 landslide, and the portrait will hang in the new art gallery bearing his name in the city offices. William was working as the city building inspector when the landslide happened, and before that he spent many years working for the facilities department at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). There also was a donation can where people could donate, and Nancy Knapp donated her instructor fee to the cause.

PanengCurryAndTomKhaGaiThe 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.

In addition to this special class, the Sitka Kitch has one class left in its winter Cooking From Scratch class series taught by local chefs in February (on homemade empanadas), but that class is full and already has a waiting list. The Sitka Kitch also is offering a Basic Culinary Skills class series taught by Westmark Hotel executive chef Kathy Jones in March, and there is still room for students to take those classes. The Basic Culinary Skills series is designed to help people who want to find work in the restaurant or catering fields improve their kitchen skills (these classes also will be open to people who want to improve their home cooking skills).

A slideshow of scenes from the Thai cooking class is posted below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

• Sitka Kitch to offer Basic Culinary Skills classes in March for those seeking restaurant work

 

BasicCulinarySkillsFlier

Are you seeking work in the restaurant or catering industry this summer but feel you need to beef up your skills? The Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen will offer a series of four Basic Culinary Skills classes in March designed to help you develop the skills you need to work in the field.

These classes will be taught by Kathy Jones, executive chef at the Westmark Sitka Hotel and the Totem Square Inn. They are modeled after a similar basic culinary skills program Chef Kathy knows from Indianapolis offered by a food relief nonprofit called Second Helpings.

Cutting slices of fresh cucumber. Cucumbes, food prep, knife, cooking, vegetables. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

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). Each class costs $25, plus a small materials fee. There is a $20 discount for those students who register for all four classes and pay at the first class. To learn more about each class, click the class titles below (which will take you to our registration page; you pay with cash or check at the class, with checks made out to the Sitka Conservation Society).

Since class size is limited, we ask anybody who can’t make the class to please let us know so we can let someone from the waiting list into the class. Registration for each class closes at 5 p.m. the Friday before each class so supplies can be purchased, or the class can be canceled if not enough people sign up, so please register early.

  • Basic Culinary Skills 1 — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 7, this class will focus on basic kitchen sanitation, beginning knife skills and basic kitchen tools.
  • Basic Culinary Skills 2 — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 14, this class will focus on basic cooking techniques, basic nutrition, and sauces, soups and stocks part 1.
  • Basic Culinary Skills 3 — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 21, the class will focus on sauces, soups and stocks part 2, salads, and measurements.
  • Basic Culinary Skills 4 — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 28, the class will focus on poultry, meats, and the Alaska DEC safe food handler’s card.

The Basic Culinary Skills class series is supported by a grant from the Northwest Farm Credit Services rural community grant program.

IMG_0861In addition to the Basic Culinary Skills class series, there still are spots open in the Sitka Kitch’s winter Cooking From Scratch series of classes in February. All of the classes are open to the general public.

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 sitkakitch@sitkawild.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).

• Quick and Easy Thai Cooking class to raise funds for William Stortz portrait

tom-kha-recipe-large

kitch_logo_mainWant to learn how to make quick and easy Thai food in less than one hour from ingredients you can buy at your local grocery store or grow in your garden?

Longtime Sitka resident Nancy Knapp, a health professional who spent many years in Thailand and Laos, will teach this class, which takes place from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen (inside the First Presbyterian Church, 505 Sawmill Creek Road). Students should bring three containers to the class, one each for rice, tom kha gai, and kaeng penang moo. Students will take home dinner for two people to eat later. These dishes will be non-vegetarian, but tofu or tempeh can be used to replace the chicken or pork when cooking.

WilliamStortz

William Stortz

This class will serve as a fundraiser to purchase a portrait of William Stortz, painted by Sitka artist Steve Lawrie. William Stortz was one of the three people who died in the August 2015 landslide, and the portrait will hang in the new art gallery bearing his name in the city offices. William was working as the city building inspector when the landslide happened, and before that he spent many years working for the facilities department at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). There also will be a donation can where people can donate, and Nancy Knapp will donate her instructor fee to the cause.

KaengPenangMoo111228145228Space is limited to 10 students, so please register early. You can register by clicking this link (you will pay by cash or check at the class). Registration ends at noon on Sunday, Feb. 21, so the instructor has time to purchase supplies. The class fee is $30 per student (not including a possible materials fee split between students), and students will pay by cash or check at the class. Email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org for more information.

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.

In addition to this special class, the Sitka Kitch is offering a winter Cooking From Scratch class series taught by local chefs in February and a Basic Culinary Skills class series taught by Westmark Hotel executive chef Kathy Jones in March. The Basic Culinary Skills series is designed to help people who want to find work in the restaurant or catering fields improve their kitchen skills (these classes also will be open to people who want to improve their home cooking skills).

• Scenes from the second winter Cooking From Scratch series class — Ancient Grains and Gut Health

DrNaylorAndStudentsShareALaugh

kitch_logo_mainAmaranth, spelt, millet, quinoa, farro, teft, barley and Kamut® were among the topics of the Feb. 15 second class of the Sitka Kitch‘s winter Cooking From Scratch series — Ancient Grains and Gut Health.

Taught by local internal medicine specialist and former chef Dr. Julien Naylor, students learned how these ancient grains can be used in everyday cooking and how they can improve a person’s gut health (reducing cholesterol, adding fiber, reducing diabetes and heart disease risks, etc.). The students made a variety of dishes using these grains, then sat down to a meal.

This was the second of a series of four winter Cooking From Scratch classes at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen in February. The first class was making homemade pasta taught by chef Edith Johnson on Feb. 1. The other two classes are:

  • Sauces and Dressings — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 15, taught by Kathy Jones (executive chef at the Westmark Sitka and Dock Shack). This class is focused on preparing homemade sauces and dressings to help you lower your food costs and increase flavor. Registration closes at noon on Feb. 13. (NOTE: We canceled this class on Feb. 13 because we didn’t reach our minimum number of students.)
  • Homemade Empanadas — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 29, taught by Barbara Palacios (sous chef at the Westmark Sitka). A favorite food of Latin America, Barbara will draw on her Chilean background to teach this delicious homemade empanada class. Empanadas can be savory or sweet, and filled with meats, vegetables or sweet ingredients. In this class, students will make salmon (baked) and/or cheese (deep-fried) empanadas. Registration closes on Feb. 27.

Each class costs $20, plus a food and equipment fee split between students (usually about $5-$10). All of the classes will be taught at the Sitka Kitch, which is located in the First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road). To learn more about each class, click the class titles above (which will take you to our registration page; you pay with cash or check at the class, with checks made out to the Sitka Conservation Society).

FiveDishesToTrySince class size is limited, we ask anybody who can’t make the class to please let us know so we can let someone from the waiting list into the class. Registration for each class closes at noon the Saturday before each class so supplies can be purchased (except for the ancient grains class, which closes on Saturday). If we don’t have enough people sign up, we may have to cancel the class, so please register early.

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 winter Cooking From Scratch class series, please email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org. Also, watch for information soon on our Basic Culinary Skills class series in March, which is designed to help people who want to find work in the restaurant or catering fields improve their kitchen skills (these classes also will be open to people who want to improve their home cooking skills).

A slideshow of photos from the ancient grains and gut health class is posted below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

• Scenes from the first winter Cooking From Scratch series class — Homemade Pasta

EdithLetsStudentsTouchDough

kitch_logo_mainSpaghetti, fettuccini, farfalle, and pappardelle were among the topics of the Feb. 1 first class of the Sitka Kitch‘s winter Cooking From Scratch series — Homemade Pasta.

Taught by local chef Edith Johnson, students learned how to make a basic egg, olive oil and flour pasta recipe, then learned about the different types of pasta and how they are used.

This was the first of a series of four winter Cooking From Scratch classes at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen in February. The other three classes are:

  • Ancient Grains and Gut Health — 6-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9, taught by Dr. Julien Naylor (an internal medicine specialist and chef). This class is focused on how to prepare ancient grains and include more of them in your diet to improve gut health. Registration closes on Feb. 6.
  • Sauces and Dressings — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 15, taught by Kathy Jones (executive chef at the Westmark Sitka and Dock Shack). This class is focused on preparing homemade sauces and dressings to help you lower your food costs and increase flavor. Registration closes on Feb. 12.
  • Homemade Empanadas — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 29, taught by Barbara Palacios (sous chef at the Westmark Sitka). A favorite food of Latin America, Barbara will draw on her Chilean background to teach this delicious homemade empanada class. Empanadas can be savory or sweet, and filled with meats, vegetables or sweet ingredients. In this class, students will make salmon (baked) and/or cheese (deep-fried) empanadas. Registration closes on Feb. 26.

Each class costs $20, plus a food and equipment fee split between students (usually about $5-$10). All of the classes will be taught at the Sitka Kitch, which is located in the First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road). To learn more about each class, click the class titles above (which will take you to our registration page; you pay with cash or check at the class, with checks made out to the Sitka Conservation Society).

BallOfFettuciniPastaSince class size is limited, we ask anybody who can’t make the class to please let us know so we can let someone from the waiting list into the class. Registration for each class closes at 5 p.m. the Friday before each class so supplies can be purchased (except for the ancient grains class, which closes on Saturday). If we don’t have enough people sign up, we may have to cancel the class, so please register early.

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.

KristaEatsAPieceOfPastaFor more information about the winter Cooking From Scratch class series, please email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org. Also, watch for information soon on our Basic Culinary Skills class series in March, which is designed to help people who want to find work in the restaurant or catering fields improve their kitchen skills (these classes also will be open to people who want to improve their home cooking skills).

A slideshow of photos from the homemade pasta class is posted below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

• Sitka Kitch to offer Basic Culinary Skills classes in March for those seeking restaurant work

IMG_0861

Chef Kathy Jones holds up a fresh king crab.

kitch_logo_mainAre you seeking work in the restaurant or catering industry this summer but feel you need to beef up your skills? The Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen will offer a series of four Basic Culinary Skills classes in March designed to help you develop the skills you need to work in the field.

These classes will be taught by Kathy Jones, executive chef at the Westmark Sitka Hotel and the Totem Square Inn. They are modeled after a similar basic culinary skills program Chef Kathy knows from Indianapolis offered by a food relief nonprofit called Second Helpings.

Cutting slices of fresh cucumber. Cucumbes, food prep, knife, cooking, vegetables. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

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). Each class costs $25, plus a small materials fee. There is a $20 discount for those students who register for all four classes and pay at the first class. To learn more about each class, click the class titles below (which will take you to our registration page; you pay with cash or check at the class, with checks made out to the Sitka Conservation Society).

Since class size is limited, we ask anybody who can’t make the class to please let us know so we can let someone from the waiting list into the class. Registration for each class closes at 5 p.m. the Friday before each class so supplies can be purchased, or the class can be canceled if not enough people sign up, so please register early.

  • Basic Culinary Skills 1 — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 7, this class will focus on basic kitchen sanitation, beginning knife skills and basic kitchen tools.
  • Basic Culinary Skills 2 — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 14, this class will focus on basic cooking techniques, basic nutrition, and sauces, soups and stocks part 1.
  • Basic Culinary Skills 3 — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 21, the class will focus on sauces, soups and stocks part 2, salads, and measurements.
  • Basic Culinary Skills 4 — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 28, the class will focus on poultry, meats, and the Alaska DEC safe food handler’s card.

The Basic Culinary Skills class series is supported by a grant from the Northwest Farm Credit Services rural community grant program.

In addition to the Basic Culinary Skills class series, there still are spots open in the Sitka Kitch’s winter Cooking From Scratch series of classes in February. All of the classes are open to the general public.

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 sitkakitch@sitkawild.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).

• Sitka Kitch and local chefs to host winter Cooking From Scratch class series

IMG_20151130_230013

kitch_logo_mainDo you want to learn how to cook a few new dishes and improve your kitchen skills? The Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen and local chefs will offer four classes in the winter Cooking From Scratch class series this February.

This series is modeled after our fall Cooking From Scratch class series, but this time the teachers will be local chefs Edith Johnson, Dr. Julien Naylor, Kathy Jones and Barbara Palacios. Students will learn how to make pasta, use ancient grains (while learning how they improve gut health), make sauces and dressings, and make two types of empanadas.

IMG_2886Each class costs $20, plus a food and equipment fee split between students (usually about $5-$10). All of the classes will be taught at the Sitka Kitch, which is located in the First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road). To learn more about each class, click the class titles below (which will take you to our registration page; you pay with cash or check at the class, with checks made out to the Sitka Conservation Society).

Since class size is limited, we ask anybody who can’t make the class to please let us know so we can let someone from the waiting list into the class. Registration for each class closes at 5 p.m. the Friday before each class so supplies can be purchased, or the class can be canceled if not enough people sign up, so please register early.

  • Homemade Pasta — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 1, taught by Edith Johnson (chef at the Fly-In Fish Inn and consultant for the Sitka Hotel). This is a beginning class on how to make homemade pasta taught by a chef who takes pride in using local ingredients. Registration closes on Jan. 29.
  • Ancient Grains and Gut Health — 6-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9, taught by Dr. Julien Naylor (an internal medicine specialist and chef). This class is focused on how to prepare ancient grains and include more of them in your diet to improve gut health. Registration closes on Feb. 5.
  • Sauces and Dressings — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 15, taught by Kathy Jones (executive chef at the Westmark Sitka and Dock Shack). This class is focused on preparing homemade sauces and dressings to help you lower your food costs and increase flavor. Registration closes on Feb. 12.
  • Homemade Empanadas — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 29, taught by Barbara Palacios (sous chef at the Westmark Sitka). A favorite food of Latin America, Barbara will draw on her Chilean background to teach this delicious homemade empanada class. Empanadas can be savory or sweet, and filled with meats, vegetables or sweet ingredients. In this class, students will make salmon (baked) and/or cheese (deep-fried) empanadas. Registration closes on Feb. 26.

IMG_20150325_164419The 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 class series, please email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org. Also, watch for information soon on our Basic Culinary Skills class series in March, which is designed to help people who want to find work in the restaurant or catering fields improve their kitchen skills (these classes also will be open to people who want to improve their home cooking skills).

• Northwest Farm Credit Services awards grants to Alaskans Own and Sitka Kitch projects

From left, Linda Behnken of the Alaska Longline Fisherman's Association and Anya Grenier of the Alaskans Own Seafood community supported fishery project receive a check for $4,500 from Michael Wittman of Northwest Farm Credit Services to help promote local seafood for Alaskans.

From left, Linda Behnken of the Alaska Longline Fisherman’s Association and Anya Grenier of the Alaskans Own Seafood community supported fishery project receive a check for $4,500 from Michael Wittman of Northwest Farm Credit Services to help promote local seafood for Alaskans.

image003Northwest Farm Credit Services recently awarded two rural community grants to help fund a pair of local foods projects in Sitka. The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association received $4,500 for its Alaskans Own Seafood community supported fisheries program, and the Sitka Local Foods Network received $1,975 for a series of basic culinary skills classes to take place in March at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen (which is coordinated by the Sitka Conservation Society with assistance from the Sitka Local Foods Network).

“The support of Northwest Farm Credit Services will allow ALFA to improve and expand Alaskans Own so we can provide premium seafood to more rural residents,” said Linda Behnken, ALFA’s executive director.  “We believe healthy fisheries and healthy fishing communities go together and with this grant support we will reinvest in both.”

Alaskans Own connects residents of Alaska’s rural communities with great Alaskan seafood through monthly subscriptions. Subscription sales support ALFA’s research and conservation work to promote sustainable fisheries and sustainable fishing communities. Click here for KCAW-Raven Radio’s coverage of the grant.

From left, Dorrie Farrell and Kristy Miller of the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen advisory team and Sitka Local Foods Network president Lisa Sadleir-Hart receive a check for $1,975 from Michael Wittman of Northwest Farm Credit Services to support a Sitka Kitch project to teach basic culinary skills to people wanting to get jobs in the food/restaurant industry. The classes will take place in March.

From left, Dorrie Farrell and Kristy Miller of the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen advisory team and former Sitka Local Foods Network president/interim Sitka Kitch project coordinator Lisa Sadleir-Hart receive a check for $1,975 from Michael Wittman of Northwest Farm Credit Services to support a Sitka Kitch project to teach basic culinary skills to people wanting to get jobs in the food/restaurant industry. The classes will take place in March.

“Sitka Kitch will use the resources to launch a basic culinary training series taught by Chef Kathy Jones (executive chef for the Westmark Sitka Hotel),” said Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Sitka Kitch interim coordinator and former Sitka Local Foods Network board president. “Chef Kathy will model the four-session training on a curriculum from Indianapolis. She sees it as a way to get local Sitkans trained on entry-level culinary skills that could land them jobs in one of Sitka’s many restaurants or food-related businesses.”

The Sitka Kitch basic culinary skills training series is modeled after a similar program designed to help give people work skills for the restaurant/catering industry offered by a hunger relief nonprofit called Second Helpings in Indianapolis. More details about the Sitka Kitch basic culinary skills program will be announced in the next week or so. The classes also will be open to Sitka residents wanting to improve their home culinary skills.

Sitka Kitch is a community wellness project from the 2013 Sitka Health Summit designed to improve food security in Sitka. The different parts of the project include creating a community kitchen Sitka residents can rent to prepare food for their small businesses or to preserve their family harvest of fish, game, or garden veggies; expanding Sitka’s emergency food storage capacity; and providing education about cooking and preserving food and building family emergency food pantries.

Northwest Farm Credit Services is committed to helping rural communities succeed. In 2015, Northwest FCS awarded 62 rural grants totaling more than $134,000 to projects in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Since the program’s inception in 2007, the company has presented 464 rural grants totaling more than $948,000.

The next rural grant deadline is Feb. 1, with two other deadline cycles later in the year. If you think your rural project may be eligible for a grant, visit http://northwestfcs.com/Stewardship/Rural-Communities for more information and an application.

Northwest FCS is a financial cooperative providing financing and related services to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers, rural homeowners and crop insurance customers in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Northwest FCS provides approximately $13 billion in loans and is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of borrower-owned lending institutions that provide approximately $221 billion in loans to rural America. For more information, go to http://northwestfcs.com.