Classy Cookin’

Marquette Food Co-op cooking courses a big hit in community

MARQUETTE — While the Marquette Food Co-op is commonly known for being the city’s only full service natural and organic community-owned grocery store, the co-op offers more to its customers than simply goods to fill their fridges and cupboards.

Besides supplying organic, local, wholesome and fairly-traded food and products, the co-op also offers cooking classes and educational workshops, according to co-op Education Coordinator Amanda Latvala.

Cooking classes scheduled for the public fill up fast — generally one to two weeks after the schedule has been posted, Latvala said. However, the co-op also offers private classes that can be tailored to fit the needs of a group of around 15-20 people, while food demonstrations can be held in front of a group of around 20-30 people.

In the past, the co-op has held cooking classes and food demonstrations for bridal showers, school groups, the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market, families, groups of friends and more. The only requirement, Latvala said, is that the group consists of at least six people.

During a private class, participants have the option of trying a “simple, one dish food demonstrations for as little as $5 per person,” or go all out, and try several dishes, with a hands-on option and wine pairings for $30 per person. Latvala said any interested parties can contact her at the co-op to go over any details to ensure their experience is shaped to their needs.

Since menus are created around the customers’ wishes, the co-op’s staff can usually accommodate most diet choices, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc.

All classes include instruction, recipe sheets for people to take home and meals.

Most of the class instructors are professionals from within the community that participants or Latvala knows.

“We also get volunteers by word-of-mouth,” she said.

Some of the private cooking classes offered have focused on basic culinary skills, different ways to prepare eggs for a variety of dishes, great greens, herbs and spices, Indian, Italian, Spanish, Middle Eastern and local foods, as well as Mexican Street food, salads, sushi, sweet and savory pie making, truffles, and a vegan and vegetarian 101 course.

This year’s winter and spring classes are already underway and scheduled through late May.

All classes have already reached capacity. However, “folks can look for the Co-op’s next class schedule to come out in May for summer and fall classes,” Latvala said. Classes will be posted on the co-op’s website.

All classes, unless participants schedule it elsewhere, are held Tuesday evenings in the co-op classroom, located in the lower level of the store.

The Marquette Food Co-op is located at 502 W. Washington St. in Marquette. The store is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. For more information or to register for classes, visit marquettefood.coop or call 906-225-0671.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.