I wish I could say I was working in Findlay Kitchen because I’m starting a small cupcake or empanada business, but alas, I am not. I was there a few weeks ago because I volunteered to help with a program called “Cooking for the Family”.
The program is sponsored by St. Francis Seraph Ministries and Findlay Kitchen and provided by FarmChef. The premise of the program is for families to learn to cook affordable, nutritious meals in a 2 hr, 5-week series. You cannot beat the price of $10.00 for a 2-hour cooking class with hands on experience and food samples. The families also take home a goody bag with a cast iron skillet, chef’s knife and cookbook after completion of the program.
It was so much fun to be in this large, commercial kitchen. It is bright and bustling with entrepreneurs and lay people like me that just enjoy food. This is how the night goes: I show up, wash my hands and put on a hair net and apron. The chef instructs us to chop some veggies, get out mixing bowls, wooden spoons and ingredients. We set up stations based on how many families are participating.
The families come in at 5:30 or so. They wash their hands and get ready to cook. Our chef LaKeisha Cook teaches them how to chop vegetables or cook quinoa, while a few volunteers oversee their progress. How ironic that her last name is Cook! When bowls and utensils start piling up, we grab a grey cart and load it for the dish room.
The dish room houses the fastest cleaning dishwasher I have ever seen. There are a few stationary tubs for washing and sanitizing pots, but everything else goes through the dish machine. Your load of dishes is done in 1-2 minutes tops. The dish room is where you may run into some of the small business owners that are creating ravioli or specialty cakes. Each business is in a “pod” (small room) working on their craft, or in a larger, more open space in the facility cooking. I love the energy in this kitchen!
After we’ve prepared our recipes, we put all the tables together and everyone sits down to eat. Bowls of sauteed vegetables and steaming quinoa are passed among strangers that have worked elbow to elbow all night making jokes and talking about food. It’s a lovely experience.
Cooking for the family has a few other locations that are always in need for volunteers. Bush Rec Center in Walnut Hills also holds a class as well as Community Matters in Lower Price Hill.
If you’re interested in attending the class, volunteering or donating to the project, here are a few links:
Spread the word: http://bit.ly/2nNAGBI
Fund for another person: http://www.sfsministries.org/donate/