Showing posts from November, 2023

What's cooking at Common Ground?

I started the "deep-dive" cooking classes at the Common Ground Food Co-op last fall with a series called "A Taste of China." This series of three classes was designed for serious foodies who want to explore ethnic cuisines in depth, so traveled through China region by region and cooked up a variety of Cantonese, Sichuan, and Shanghai dishes. This series sold out quickly, so we scheduled another one right away. In spring 2023, we offered a series called "A Taste of Japan." This time, we explored three different categories of Japanese cuisine -- one at a time. First, we did a deep dive into noodles and cooked up my favorite ramen, udon, and soba dishes. Next, we explored Japanese-style barbecue and made yakitori, kushiyaki, and shioyaki. Finally, we hosted a make-your-own omakase feast with sushi, sashimi, chirashi, and makizushi. French food is hard to find in our town, so we had to offer "A Taste of France" next. Like the Chinese "deep

Urbana Park District: a recap and a preview for spring 2024

Back in fall 2021, I approached Janet Soesbe at Phillips Recreation Center with a cooking class proposal. Janet is the community program manager for all of Urbana Park District, and at the end of our 15 minute meeting, she signed off on a new cooking class series that we called "Flavor Principles of Ethnic Cooking." The series was a big hit and almost every class sold out. After teaching more than 18 of these classes in their beautiful James Room Demonstration Kitchen, it's almost time to  celebrate our two-year anniversary. And how are we going to do that? By not changing a thing and repeating what we've been doing for the last two years. I mean, why fix something that's not broken? So starting in spring 2024, we're going to offer the same cooking classes that we offered in spring 2022. This means if you tried to register for a class in the past but couldn't get in, this is your chance to try again. Be warned, some of these classes do sell out fast