Kitchen Garden Series Class

This spring, from April through October, I will be teaching a combined gardening and cooking class with chef Matt Dillon at his restaurant The Corson Building in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. This is our second year offering the course and it is so much fun. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to teach people about growing food in such a beautiful setting and the chance to learn from Matt. The course limited to 20 students, and the spots are filling in fast. I’ve included the official description below with all the details, including registration information:

The Corson Building’s Kitchen Garden Series
Chef Matthew Dillon and Master Gardener, Willi Galloway, have joined forces and created a gardening and cooking series inspired by the writings of food lover and gardener, Angelo Pellegrini.

“Without a kitchen garden—that plot of land on which one grows herbs, vegetables, and some fruit—it is not possible to produce decent and savory food for the dinner table.” ~ Angelo Pellegrini, The Food-Lovers Garden

The Kitchen Garden Series is a seven-month long course designed to bring food full circle – from setting a seed into the soil to sitting down to a meal made with vegetables grown and harvested outside the kitchen door.

Each class will begin with wine and a lesson in the garden. Galloway will emphasize organic growing techniques and practical strategies for maximizing production in small, urban spaces. She will also explore the amazing diversity of foods that gardeners have access to (fennel pollen, pea tendrils, garlic scapes), how to harvest crops at different stages of growth, and ways to maximize the flavor and quality of homegrown vegetables. Salad and herb gardening, growing warm season vegetables, succession planting, soil care, and planning a winter garden will all be covered.

Following the gardening lesson, the class will move into the kitchen where a cooking class will be taught. Central to each cooking class will be the idea of thrift—using all the edible parts of a plant and preserving the harvest. In addition to teaching how to cook out of the garden, Dillon will concentrate on pantry and/or larder items (canning, drying, and preserving methods) as well as making products that can enhance seasonal eating. An example being dairy products (yogurt, clarified butter, crème fraîche), if students learn how to make yogurt in April, there will be an abundance of it around when strawberries are in season, thus providing an ideal complement for the berries. Each class will end with a light meal prepared by Matthew Dillon.

The Kitchen Garden Series begins Wednesday, April 26 and meets once a month on Tuesdays (May 24, June 21, July 26, August 23, and September 20, October TBD.) All classes take place at The Corson Building from 6pm to 9pm rain or shine. Class size is limited to 20 students, and attendees should be prepared to get dirty in the garden.

Cost of the series is $700 per person and includes free admission to The Corson Building’s annual Cider Press in October. A deposit of $200 is required to reserve a space with the balance of $500 due at the first class. To register, email [email protected] or call (206) 762- 3330.

Willi Galloway is a Portland-based Master Gardener and the creator of DigginFood.com—a website that serves up organic kitchen gardening advice three times each week. She is also the vegetable gardening expert on Greendays, a weekly gardening call-in show on Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW 94.9 FM, and writes The Gardener, a weekly gardening column on the Apartment Therapy blog Re-Nest. Galloway has grown food in backyards, in containers on balconies and rooftops, and in community gardens. Currently, she gardens and keeps chickens in her small Southeast Portland yard. Her first book, tentatively titled Grow. Cook. Eat: A Food-Lover’s Guide to Kitchen Gardening will be published in January 2012.

Matthew Dillon is the acclaimed chef/owner of Sitka & Spruce and The Corson Building in Seattle’s industrial Georgetown neighborhood. Dillon holds a Culinary Arts degree from Seattle Central Community College and credits his experience as sous chef at The Herbfarm in Woodinville, Washington under pioneering chef Jerry Traunfeld as life changing. Traunfeld introduced Dillon to the benefits of gardens, foragers, and local purveyors, thus solidifying his belief in the importance of fresh, simple food. Dillon’s vision was apparent at Sitka & Spruce, his tiny Mediterranean inspired restaurant that opened in 2006 and earned him a place among Food & Wine Magazines Best New Chefs of 2007. Dillon’s latest venture, The Corson Building, which opened in June of 2008, is part communal dining restaurant, part larder, part event space, part urban garden and farm – and all about a farm fresh, foraged, local, simple, delicious food experience. Matthew Dillon has been nominated for 2011 James Beard’s Best New Chef in the Pacific Northwest.