Cook­ing classes are com­ing back to mar­ket

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE - By Sean Wil­liams SJ Cor­re­spon­dent

Polk’s lo­cal chefs may have no­ticed the cook­ing classes at the Rock­mart Farm­ers Mar­ket miss­ing lately, but Farm­ers Mar­ket Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Shonna Kirk­patrick was sim­ply wait­ing for the per­fect time to un­veil the new hol­i­day cook­ing cour­ses.

She hopes to break the hia­tus by teach­ing lo­cal youth ev­ery­thing she knows about hol­i­day bak­ing. Classes are slated to take place in­side the Sil­ver Comet Trail­head com­mu­nity kitchen on Rock­mart’s Church St. on Thurs­day and Satur­day.

“We’re back and this time we’re fo­cus­ing on hol­i­day foods,” Kirk­patrick said. “We’ll mainly be bak­ing, and we’re go­ing to make plenty of healthy side dishes.”

Kirk­patrick typ­i­cally of­fers a unique, healthy twist to the dishes she pre­pares. Hol­i­day foods can pretty calo­rie-heavy, but cus­tomers should be pre­pared to make lean, nu­tri­tious ver­sions of their fa­vorite sea­sonal grub.

The cook­ing classes are in­tended for youth, and the cour­ses have a lower age limit of 7 years old. Par­ents are urged to judge for them­selves whether or not their child can han­dle cook­ing and the dan­gers it can po­ten­tially in­volve.

The class will have adult su­per­vi­sion, but con­sid­er­ing the kitchen’s limited space, par­ents who in­sist on be­ing present will be asked to watch from the hallway.

“The classes cost the same as al­ways, $5.50,” Kirk­patrick said. “The kitchen still has limited space so cus­tomers will be ac­cepted on a first come first serve.”

Those in­ter­ested in en­rolling a child in the cook­ing classes are re­quired to reserve a spot ahead of time. Visit the mar­ket web­site at www.rock­mart­farm­ers­mar­ket.com or call 404-4361818.

Also mak­ing a mar­ket re­turn is the six-week cook­ing course. Pre­vi­ously held through the Sum­mer and Fall, Kirk­patrick taught her class ev­ery­thing from ba­sic hy­giene to proper cut­ting tech­niques to recipes to nu­tri­tion facts ev­ery Tues­day for 6 weeks.

Jan­uary marks round two of the spe­cial cour­ses, and the di­rec­tor will be open­ing reg­is­tra­tion in the com­ing months.

“We prob­a­bly won’t do any cook­ing classes in De­cem­ber, but in Jan­uary we’ll open back up with the 6- week course,” Kirk­patrick said. “We have to raise the price up to $ 20 this time around. Our pre­vi­ous $5 cost was a lit­tle low for a 6-week course.”

Un­like the Novem­ber kids cook­ing classes, the 6- week course is open to chefs of all ages.

There is no set curriculum or recipes the cour­ses promise to cover, but Kirk­patrick will en­sure cus­tomers learn the skills nec­es­sary to pre­pare healthy, tasty meals.

Those in­ter­ested in see­ing the food that will be used in the classes can visit the Rock­mart Farm­ers Mar­ket ev­ery Thurs­day from 2 through 6 p.m. on Rock­mart’s Wa­ter Street.

Lo­cal farm­ers will be sell­ing home­grown pro­duce, meats, and sweets.

As of this month, cit­i­zens can find lo­cal ar­ti­sans and craft mak­ers at the mar­ket.

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