I recently attended a cooking class taught by Aida Mollenkamp and sponsored by Fresh Starts Chef Events. Fresh Starts Chef Events are hosted by Homeward Bound, a provider of shelter and residential services for homeless families and individuals in Marin County. Homeward Bound desires to end homelessness in the area by empowering individuals with “training, housing and hope.” One way it desires to achieve this is through culinary training at its Fresh Starts Cooking School.
The Fresh Starts Cooking School not only teaches students, but also invites chefs to teach cooking classes, with the proceeds going towards job training for homeless adults. I was fortunate enough to attend one of these events with a dear friend who loves cooking and trying new things — aren’t those friends just the best? Our cooking instructor that evening was Aida Mollenkamp, author of Keys to the Kitchen and host of Cooking Channel’s FoodCrafters and host of Food Network’s former show Ask Aida. She had a truly delicious menu prepared, focusing on local and seasonal ingredients, which fits Marin County perfectly, since the area is known for its farm to table lifestyle.
– Caramelized Fennel & Fontina Tartelettes
– Little Gem Salad with Radish, Beets & Green Goddess Dressing
– Paprika-Spiced Smashed Baby Potatoes
– Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Green Harissa
– Shortcakes with Citrus Compote & Orange Flower Cream
Everything was absolutely delectable, and the flavours melded beautifully. I have since made the potatoes and green harissa, which my family happily gobbled up. Hopefully, I’ll get to make the rest of the recipes soon (another thing on my never ending to-do list), as well as dive into Aida’s new Keys to the Kitchen book, which she graciously signed. If you live in Marin County, please do check out Fresh Starts Chef Events. It’s a wonderful way to support those in need, learn something new, have a fun evening out, and enjoy delicious recipes created by some of the finest chefs!