The continuing pandemic has forced many non-profits to think of new ways to connect with customers and deliver programs and services. Chef/Food Programs Manager Katie Porter of The Wallace Centers of Iowa is now offering her popular cooking classes in a virtual format. Instead of attending in person at the Wallace House in Des Moines, program participants only need a computer, tablet or smartphone with an internet connection, speakers, microphone and webcam to learn new recipes and cooking techniques.
“Before the pandemic, most of our cooking class students were from the Des Moines area. Now we have people taking part from as far away as Chicago and Boston,” noted Chef Katie. “And since no one has to drive to Des Moines, it’s easier for people from Adair County to join in.”
A native of Mount Ayr, Chef Katie is a familiar face in Adair County. She directed all of WCI’s farm to table food programs at both locations for several years before concentrating efforts at the Wallace House. During the summer and fall of 2020, she joined with new Chef Hans Walsh at the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center to offer Pizza on the Prairie with handcrafted brick oven pizza, sides, desserts and signature cocktails made from the fresh produce grown on-site.
The live 2-hour cooking classes cost only $20 per screen, meaning that more than one person from the same household can learn for the same price. Classes begin at 5:30 pm. Chef Katie emails the recipe and a grocery and equipment list ahead of time, along with a Zoom link and helpful tips on getting connected. Participants gather all the ingredients and tools in their own kitchen, and then cook while Katie demonstrates on screen.
January classes include Winter Sweets on Thursday, January 21. Chef Katie’s Winter Fruit Compote mixes fresh and dried fruits and is a great accompaniment to the rich Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding.
Pizza Party is a two-night class on Wednesday and Thursday, January 27 & 28. Learn how to make 2 different kinds of pizza: 1) Butternut Squash, Sage Goat Cheese and Pickled Onion, and 2) Herb Roasted Zucchini, Italian Sausage and Braised Leeks. Make the pizza dough and prep a few toppings the first night, then finish the toppings and make pizza the second night. Each recipe makes 3 10″ pizzas.
To register for either class, visit www.wallace.org/culinary-classes/. Classes are limited to 15 registrants so Chef Katie can provide individual attention. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wallace Centers of Iowa’s two locations include the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center in rural Orient and the Wallace House in Des Moines. Together, the two historic sites provide educational programs and community services, produce sustainably-grown fruits and vegetables, and offer locally-sourced meals. More information about the non-profit can be found at www.wallace.org.