Wednesday, September 5, 2012
MACC is adding the culinary arts to its offerings for the first time this fall with two new six-week classes with instructor Steve Knopfke, former chef of the Buffalo Bills who now teaches culinary arts in Warren County and works as a part-time chef at Market Street Tavern.
Healthy Kids in the Kitchen, to be held Mondays beginning Sept. 10 from 5:30-7 p.m., will teach kids ages 10-15 how cooking fresh, nutritious foods can be fun.
“I want them to get used to being in the kitchen,” said Knopfke, who will be instructing his pupils how to whip up healthy snacks on their own.
Instead of reaching for packaged options such as ramen noodles or instant macaroni and cheese, the idea is to strengthen kids’ comfort level in the kitchen enough so they can make their own pasta incorporating fresh vegetables.
Participants will learn how to handle a knife safely as well as basic nutrition, including the difference between fats, proteins and carbs and which foods are fattier or contain more carbs than others.
Knopfke said he also plans to introduce the idea of eating seasonally with fresh local produce. Since peaches are in season during the time of the course, he said he may spend one class teaching students to bake miniature peach pies.
The cost for the class is $85 for residents of the town of Signal Mountain and $100 for nonresidents, plus an $80 supply fee.
Knopfke will take adults on a virtual culinary tour of Italy, France and Spain with his European Culinary Experience classes, to be held Thursdays starting Sept. 13 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The tour will begin with Italian cuisine, teaching participants how to make a white scampi sauce the first night followed by a tomato sauce.
“The secret to better foods is making your own sauce,” he said, as opposed to reaching for a pre-packaged version from the shelf.
Participants will also learn to make their own ravioli or tortelini with their favorite filling.
Students will dip into France for the next two weeks, learning to make a Marsala sauce with wine one night and then moving on to baking puff pastries.
Spain is the final culinary destination; participants will learn how to make a Sabayon dessert sauce as well as a unique dish they’ve probably never tried before, said Knopfke.
“It will be a lot of fun,” he said. “We’ll eat every night and they’ll have the option to take food home.”
He said the goal of the class is not to teach his students how to impress dinner party guests with fancy foods, but to instruct them how to spice up the everyday dishes they make for their families.
“I want them to be able to prepare these dinners at home,” said Knopfke, who also plans to touch on food presentation. “The meal is always nicer for the family if you present it in a snappy way.”
Participants will learn knife skills as well as how to sauté, fry and bake, he said. All equipment necessary is included in the cost, which is $95 for town residents and $110 for nonresidents plus a $115 supply fee.