By Deborah Pleva
This season, Portland Farmers Market expands its popular cooking class series, Kids Cook at the Market, to nearly every Saturday, June through August, at the Saturday PSU Market. Returning season sponsor The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland is teaming up with Portland Farmers Market again this year to teach the Market’s deliciously fun cooking program for young chefs-in-training. This year, the classes will be offered almost every Saturday throughout the summer, so there will be many more little cooks in the kitchen.
“We’ll be cooking up a storm just about every Saturday this summer with the Kids Cook program,” said Mat Kline, Culinary Director of The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland. “The team from AI is passionate about teaching kids how to cook local food, and the Kids Cook program is a great way to train and inspire young chefs to appreciate our local bounty! It gives them a taste of what it’s like to cook a meal at home.”
Returning for its 11th season, Kids Cook at the Market lets junior chefs age seven to eleven cultivate their culinary skills and experience a cornucopia of farm-fresh foods. At these classes, kids learn about the seasonality of food, meet local farmers and gain first-hand experience preparing ingredients purchased fresh at the market.
New this year, Portland Farmers Market is offering a free preview Kids Cook class on Saturday, May 18. Led by Portland Farmers Market staff, this class is a great way to taste test the program free of charge and kick-off a summer of cooking fun for children. All other classes will be taught by instructors and alumni of The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland and include a guided market tour, hands-on instruction and recipes to take home so students can share the fruits (and veggies) of their labor with family and friends.
All classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and run until 10:00 a.m. and take place near the music stage at the Portland Farmers Market at PSU, located at SW Park between Hall and Montgomery. Pre-registration is strongly recommended, as class size is limited. Each class costs $5 per child. For more information and to register for classes, contact Anna Curtin at email@example.com or 503.241.0032.
Kids Cook Schedule
May 18, 2013 (free preview class)– Fresh asparagus ribbon salad
June 1, 2013
June 8, 2013
June 15, 2013
June 22, 2013
June 29, 2013
No class on July 6
July 13, 2013
July 20, 2013
July 27, 2013
August 3, 2013
August 10, 2013
August 17, 2013
August 24, 2013
Market Play Zone at Buckman and King Markets
The crew at Portland Farmers Market is also offering activities for kids of all ages every week at Buckman Portland Farmers Market on Thursdays from 3 pm to 7 pm, and King Portland Farmers Market on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, from May through September. The Market Play Zone will offer little shoppers new things to do every week. The activity schedule includes mini music workshops, make your own Mr. Potato Head, food-themed art projects, drop-in cooking activities, fruit and veggie bingo, and recess-style games to get kids moving.
“We know it’s a little easier to shop when the little ones are engaged in some fun, wholesome activities,” said Anna Curtin, Program Manager of Portland Farmers Market. “We’re glad to expand our offering to make it even easier for young families to visit the market regularly.”