This spring Iowa Food Cooperative is hosting the first Locavore Cooking Class series at the Des Moines Social Club. The second class in the series was March 1 and was a fantastic time! We made a healthier Fettuccine Alfredo with noodles from Zaza’s Pastas, greek yogurt from Country View Dairy, bread from Daily Bread Bakery, and chicken breast from Holdeman Poultry. Be sure to join in the fun by registering for our next class on April 5 where we’ll make sausages from Lucky George Farm, potatoes from Grimm Family Farm, and have wonderful Gouda from Frisian Farms.
How the Class Works
Once everyone arrived in class we shared wine and introduced ourselves. Amanda Mae Phillips, Des Moines Social Club’s Culinary Director, took a few moments to teach us all about the five basic tastes: sweet, savory, sour, bitter, and umami. In every meal we cook at our Locavore classes we shoot to have every taste represented, because it leads you to feel fuller and more satisfied at the end of the meal. We divided into teams of 2-3 people to tackle the menu Amanda created for our class. Throughout the class Amanda was available for help, but we learned as much cooking with each other as we did from her!
Tomato Basil Toast with Garlic Rub
We used the tomato herb bread from Daily Bread Bakery, which Ash had to admit she ordered kind of selfishly. We rubbed it with butter and garlic and it made for wonderful toast!
Vegetables with Herbs and Spices
The Des Moines Social Club provided carrots and green beans for the class and we used fresh herbs from their aquaponic display with spices for Allspice to make them even more delicious!
Fettuccine with Chicken
The star of the show was Zaza’s Pastas Fettuccine with herbed chicken breast from Holdeman Poultry. This was a big hit with everyone! It was easy to say it was the best chicken breast all of us had ever had and trying multiple kinds of pasta from Zaza’s was a real treat.
What Did People Say?
Once the meal was complete we sat as a group to enjoy our food and talk about why eating local is so important. It was great to have Bob Howard from Country View Dairy present, as well as IFC members Inger Lamb and Rita Pray. A few students from the first class also joined us. We all agreed that even if it wasn’t good for our environment and community, eating local is still worthwhile because the food tastes so good!
This “casual but gently overseen” framework led to lots of fun conversation, wine and opportunity to learn cooking tips and locavore lore from Amanda and other attendees. When we were done cooking the dishes were laid out buffet style so we could load our plates and sit down to enjoy the results of our efforts. We chose from chicken breasts in a Greek yogurt –based “cream” sauce, cinnamon carrots, balsamic green beans, vinaigrette-tossed salad, several pasta flavors and garlic bread. All were delicious and made all the better for having been part of our very recent cooking party.
It was a great opportunity to have a nice meal while meeting other people interested in cooking with local foods. Many kudos to Ash and her team – I’ll be at the next event in this series, on April 5!
-Inger Lamb, IFC member and class attendee
That was a lot of fun last night. And what a great meal they all ended up putting together. Fun to be around so many “Locavores”
-Bob Howard, Country View Dairy producer and class attendee
As local food lovers it was refreshing to enjoy an amazing meal without having to do all the work, pick up a few new tricks, and get to take home leftovers. Included in the course fee was culinary instruction from DMSC’s Culinary Director, wine, a delicious meal, leftovers to take home, and a great selection of yogurt from Country View Dairy!