Scenes from the Sitka Kitch class ‘Making Zarzuela With Chef François Sanchez’

Sitka’s seafood resources are world-class, and several Sitkans learned a new way to use those resources at the “Making Zarzuela With Chef François Sanchez” class Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. The class was part of the Sitka Kitch‘s Cooking Around The World series.

Zarzuela is a Spanish/Mediterranean seafood stew, and the students learned an Alaskan version using shrimp, Dungeness crab, salmon, halibut and cod. Chef Sanchez has owned restaurants in St. Charles, Ill., and was in town visiting his daughter, Claire. He was born in Spain and trained as a chef in France.

Future Sitka Kitch classes include Preserving Leftovers and Making Holiday Gifts, from 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, with Sarah Lewis of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service Juneau District Office (taught by distance delivery, registration deadline is late Thursday night) and Indian Cooking With Mohan Arul from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15. Both classes will be at the new Sitka Kitch location at Sitka Lutheran Church. Watch our online registration page, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com (click on class title to register), for upcoming class details. The cost is $40 all-inclusive (we no longer have a separate class registration fee and food/supply fee).

A slideshow featuring some scenes from Tuesday’s class on making zarzuela is posted below.

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Sitka Kitch to offer Preserving Leftovers and Making Holiday Gifts With Sarah Lewis class on Dec. 15

After a large holiday meal, many cooks wonder what to do with all the leftover food. This Sitka Kitch class will teach students how to safely preserve the leftovers for later. Instructor Sarah Lewis also will teach students how to make holiday gifts, using water-bath and pressure canners.

Sarah is the home, health and family development agent for the Juneau District Office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. She will teach this class by videoconference, and she will teach about 5-8 different recipes so students will be able to take half-pint jars of various products home to sample (the jars are included in the fees). This is a five-hour class.

An expert in safe home food preservation, Sarah will teach students which foods need to be canned in a pressure canner (for example, meats and some soups) and which can be canned in a water-bath canner (eg, jams and jellies).

This will be the third Sitka Kitch class in our new Sitka Lutheran Church location. We opened the series with a Cajun cooking class on Nov. 26, and the second class is Making Zarzuela (a fish stew) With Chef François Sanchez from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11. We plan to have additional classes in the Cooking Around The World series in January, February and March. Watch our website and Facebook page for more details when they become available.

The registration deadline for this class is 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13, 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. We do offer one potential scholarship spot per class for people with limited incomes, so long as we already have enough students registered to make the class happen. Contact Jasmine Shaw of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service Sitka District Office (747-9440) or Claire at SCS for more details.

Students should enter the Sitka Lutheran Church through the back entrance (through the alley off Harbor Drive by Bev’s Flowers and Gifts). 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.

Scenes from the Sitka Kitch’s Cooking Around The World series class Cajun Cooking With Geof Goudeau

Students learned how to make a chicken and smoked sausage gumbo and Goudeau’s Good Grits during the Cajun Cooking with Geof Goudeau class, held Monday, Nov. 26, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. This was the first class in the new Sitka Kitch space (inside Sitka Lutheran Church, 224 Lincoln Street, use back entrance through alley by Bev’s Flowers & Gifts, off Harbor Drive), and the class was part of the Cooking Around The World series of classes.

In the class, Geof gave students of Cajun and creole cooking. He also taught students the importance of the roux, which is the base for the gumbo. He also led students in making grits, which is a staple of Southern cooking.

Chef François Sanchez of St. Charles, Ill., will teach the next Sitka Kitch class in the Cooking Around The World series. Chef Sanchez will teach students how to make zarzuela (or zarzuela de pescado), which is a stew that combines finfish and shellfish, from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11. This class will be taught demonstration-style, which means we can have a larger number of students than usual. The cost is $40 all-inclusive (we no longer have a separate class registration fee and food/supply fee).

Future Sitka Kitch classes include Preserving Leftovers and Holiday Gifts, from 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, with Sarah Lewis of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service Juneau District Office (taught by distance delivery) and Indian Cooking With Mohan Arul from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15. Watch our online registration page, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com (click on class title to register), for upcoming class details.

A slideshow featuring some scenes from Monday’s class on Cajun cooking is posted below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sitka Kitch to offer Making Zarzuela With Chef François Sanchez class in Cooking Around The World series

Learn how to make zarzuela, a Spanish/Mediterranean fish stew, with Chef François Sanchez of St. Charles, Ill., at the next Cooking Around The World class at the Sitka Kitch. Zarzuela, or zarzuela de pescado, is a mixed finfish and shellfish stew (note to allergy sufferers) that brings out the best of Mediterranean cuisine. It is similar to French bouillabaisse or the Italian chopino.

This class takes place from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, now located at the Sitka Lutheran Church (224 Lincoln Street, use back entrance through alley by Bev’s Flowers & Gifts off Harbor Drive). This class will be taught demonstration style, which means we have more room than usual for students. He will have time after the class for a Q&A about French and Spanish food.

Chef Sanchez is the father of Sitka resident Claire Sanchez, and husband of baker Betsy Peterson Sanchez who taught three Baking With Betsy classes at the Sitka Kitch this summer.

Chef Sanchez completed two years of study at the Culinary School of the Moulin à Vent in Perpignan, France. He has a lifetime of culinary experience working for hotels in France and the U.S., including Hotel Sofitel and Hotel Nikko. François was the chef owner of a southern French-style restaurant, as well as several Spanish tapas restaurants for 16 years before working at a conference center as the executive chef in St. Charles.

Defining Culinary Experience: “I lived next door to a gourmet hotel restaurant in the south of France as a teenager and worked there during the weekends. That experience is what prompted me to choose a culinary career. I loved the intriguing aromas and the great level of energy in the kitchen. It had a profound impact on me from very early on.”

Culinary Philosophy: “If you can nurture passion, focus on your perseverance and keep an open mind to new culinary horizons – you will succeed.”

Favorite Style of Food: “I love to prepare classical regional cuisine (French or Spanish), which has natural, clean flavors and includes minimalist cooking steps to preserve the true integrity of the ingredients.”

Top Chef: “I admire Mr Paul Bocuse. Although in his 80s, he is still very much involved in the culinary scene.”

Proudest Career Moment: “When I was inducted into the Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1996.”

This is the second Sitka Kitch class at our new location at Sitka Lutheran Church. After that, our next class will be from 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, when Sarah Lewis of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service’s Juneau District Office will teach Preserving Leftovers and Holiday Gifts by distance delivery (this is a five-hour class, because she will teach students how to can several products). AFS exchange student Mohan Arul will teach a class on Indian cooking from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Sitka Kitch.

The registration deadline for the zarzuela class is 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, 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. 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.

Students should enter the Sitka Lutheran Church through the back entrance (through the alley off Harbor Drive by Bev’s Flowers and Gifts). 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.

Sitka Farmers Market vendor registration information for 2018 now available

Registration for the 2018 Sitka Farmers Markets is open, and vendors looking to sell local food, arts and crafts, and other items at the markets can find all the vendor forms, information sheets, rules and regulations for this year by going to the Documents page on this site, or look at the bottom of this post for the documents. The forms include information about how to register your table for this year’s markets.

The 2018 Sitka Farmers Market manager is Nina Vizcarrondo, who managed the market last year and before that helped manage a New York City farmers market. She can be reached at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com or (907) 738-9301 during the market season. Sitka Local Foods Network board president Charles Bingham is assisting with the market again this year.

The dates for our 2018 Sitka Farmers Markets will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on seven Saturdays — July 7, July 21, Aug. 4, Aug. 11, Aug. 25, Sept. 1, and Sept. 15 — at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall at 235 Katlian Street. We hosted a vendor meeting on May 17, which was attended by Bruce Gazaway of the Food Safety Program from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

From noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, we are partnering with the Sitka Kitch and UAF Cooperative Extension Program to host a Starting A Cottage Foods Business class in Room 106 of the UAS Sitka Campus. This videoconference class taught by Sarah Lewis costs $10, and you can register at http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com (click on class title). Pre-registration is required and the registration deadline is 11 p.m. on Monday, June 11. Students taking the cottage foods business class will receive half off the table fee for their first market of the summer.

This year we don’t have many changes from last year, when the Sitka Local Foods Network rolled back its Sitka Farmers Market table prices to 2015 levels and simplified them. We hope this helps us reclaim some of the vendors we lost in previous years. The table fees will be $40 for a full table (slightly longer than eight feet) or $20 for a half table per market. We also have a deal where vendors who reserve space for and participate in all seven markets can receive a refund of one market fee after the season (so get seven markets for the price of six). There no longer is a price differential between indoor and outdoor booths (outdoor booths are charged the full table rate). We want to bring back some of the excitement to the markets, where it returns to being a community gathering place, and that means we have to make the market attractive to vendors.

If you are an Alaska food vendor and don’t have the time to host a table at the market, we might be interested in buying your products at wholesale rates or selling them on consignment at our Sitka Local Foods Network farm stand. We want to show Sitkans the variety of local food products available in our community and state. Last year we expanded our Alaska Grown products at the Sitka Local Foods Network farm stand, and this year we plan to try some new products.

We are hosting a second year of the children’s vendor program, where kids get to become entrepreneurs and sell their own locally made food or arts and crafts. This program is modeled after the city’s program where children younger than age 12 buy a season permit to sell items near Harrigan Centennial Hall on cruise ship days. In our children’s vendor program, the fee is $10 for the full market season.

Nina is available to answer questions and to make suggestions that will help new and returning vendors adjust to any food regulation changes from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, updates to the Alaska Quest electronic benefits program and WIC (Women, Infants, Children) supplemental food program, etc. We hope to schedule a pre-market meeting or two for potential vendors between now and the first market.

There were several changes to the 2017 rules and responsibilities, but in 2018 the only major changes are we won’t have access to the Alaska Native Sisterhood Kitchen (if you want to use it to cook something for the market, you will have to contact ANS to rent the kitchen) and vendors will not be able to store equipment at ANB Founders Hall between markets. The last page of the rules and responsibilities packet has the vendor registration form for adult and child vendors.

In addition, we are trying to increase our labor pool of volunteers to help out with the market. We need people to help us set up, take down, sell produce at the Sitka Local Foods Network farm stand, and more. If you are interested in volunteering, send us a note with your contact info. We usually have musicians play at the market, so we are gathering a list of music groups that want to perform.

For more information, contact Sitka Farmers Market manager Nina Vizcarrondo at (907) 738-9301 or sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com, or you can email the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com. Tiffany Justice is the SLFN board liaison to the market (and board treasurer) and Charles Bingham is the SLFN board president, and both will assist with the market.

Sitka Farmers Market vendor forms

• 2018 Vendor Rules and Responsibilities (with Registration Form, updated April 30, 2018)

• Sitka Farmers Market vendor agreement to accept Alaska Quest SNAP EBT tokens (2017)

• Link to 2015 Farmers Market Resource Fact Sheets from Alaska Division of Agriculture

• 2015 City and Borough of Sitka Sales Tax Form for Sitka Farmers Market Vendors

• Cottage Food Fact Sheet — “Understanding Alaska’s Cottage Food Exemptions”

• Cottage Food Exemptions

• Washington Farmers Market Vendor Marketing Guide (March 2014)

• Guide to Operating a Successful Home-Based Food Business (March 2014 document from UAF Cooperative Extension Service and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation includes Alaska food safety information and regulations for farmers markets and other food sales)

Sitka Kitch to host rescheduled Starting a Cottage Foods Business class at UAS Sitka Campus

Learn what the basics of starting and running a cottage foods business as Sarah Lewis teaches students students how to Start a Cottage Foods Business from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, in Room 106 at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus.

This class was originally scheduled for April 14 at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, but was canceled due to problems on the Juneau end where the class will be taught. This was the seventh class of the Seasonal Cooking class series this spring at the Sitka Kitch.

Sarah Lewis — the home, health and family development agent for the Juneau office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service — will teach this class by videoconference from Juneau. Students will learn about state laws regarding home food businesses, and get ideas for businesses you might take to the Sitka Farmers Market or local trade shows.

The class fee is $10, and there is no supply fee for students in Sitka. Class space is limited, so register early. The registration deadline for this class is 11 p.m. on Monday, June 11. The Sitka Local Foods Network is offering students of this class half off their Sitka Farmers Market vendor fee for the first market of the season where they host a table. Representatives from the Sitka Local Foods Network/Sitka Farmers Market and the Sitka food safety office of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation are planning to attend so they can answer any questions potential cottage foods business owners may have.

Register online at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ (click on class title) and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal. To pre-pay by cash or check, contact Chandler, Claire, or Clarice at 747-7509 to arrange payment. For more information about the class series, contact Jasmine at 747-9440.

Scenes from the final Seasonal Cooking class: Puerto Rican Cooking With Nina Vizcarrondo at the Sitka Kitch

Students learned how to make a variety of dishes during the Puerto Rican Cooking With Nina Vizcarrondo class on Wednesday, May 2, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. This was the eighth and final class of the Seasonal Cooking class series at the Sitka Kitch.

Nina is a former U.S. Coast Guard chef and is the current Sitka Farmers Market manager. She taught students how to make sofrito, a guava paste/cheese appetizer, yucca, bacalaitos (featuring desalted cod or pollock), pastellilo de carne (similar to an empanada with a meat filling), arroz con gandules (rice, African pigeon peas, and veggies), piña coladas (non-alcoholic), and flan.

While this was the final class in the Seasonal Cooking series, the Sitka Kitch recently announced a Baking With Betsy class series over three consecutive Tuesdays in July. Professional baker and culinary arts instructor Betsy Peterson Sanchez, who will be visiting her daughter Claire in Sitka, will lead the three classes.

The classes in the Baking With Betsy series are:

Class space is limited, so register early. The Baking With Betsy classes cost $27.50 per person, plus a food/supply fee split between the registered students. Thanks to a donation from Sea Mart Quality Foods, we should be able to reduce the food/supply fees for this series.

Register online at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ (click on class title) and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal. To pre-pay by cash or check, contact Chandler, Claire, or Clarice at 747-7509 to arrange payment. For more information about the class series, contact Jasmine at 747-9440. Space is limited in each class, and we need at least eight students registered to make the class happen. The registration deadline is 11 p.m. on the Saturday before each class.

A slideshow of scenes from the Puerto Rican cooking class is posted below.

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