The phrase "farm to fork" is an overused one these days. Kitchens can claim their devotion to gardens and farmers' markets, but whether I truly believe them is another story. Diners formulate an opinion of a dish long before it is consumed based on description, appearance and our previous experiences with food. To see our meal being prepared in an exhibition kitchen is to believe it. In turn, to witness the exchange between farmer and chef (and ultimately chef to consumer) would legitimize the "farm to fork" notion.
Former On the Line subject Debra Sims will demonstrate the joy of cooking from start to finish at San Juan Capistrano's Ecology Center. Beginning with a walk through the facility, she will lead a discussion on produce before heading into the kitchen and preparing a meal based on vegetables and herbs found on your tour. This interactive class provides an opportunity for home cooks to learn more about the Maro Wood Grill chef's fiery cooking style.
Your meal is tentatively set (based on garden availability) to feature her signature empanadas with garlic aioli, plus a peach and fig salad with sweet lemon vinaigrette. Homemade croutons and oven fired mushrooms are included for good measure. Dessert is . . . well, that's a good question.
Class is scheduled for hump day, June 18, from 6 – 8 p.m. Fees are $50 for non-members, $40 for members. For more information on this course, you can click on this link. If schools served meals in every class, I'm guessing attendance would've been better.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.