By Christina Lane
Field-to-Table Family Advocate

June was a delicious month at GreenHouse17. Chef John Foster, Chef Melissa Armstrong, and Chef Ryan Laudenschlager facilitated a field-to-table cooking class with residents in our emergency shelter. Using peas, carrots, turnips, strawberries, mint, cilantro, and garlic scape from the community garden, they created simple flavorful dishes that definitely made an impact on everyone in class.

Chef Foster made risotto using green onions and garlic scape (fabulous), and he also shared the history of risotto (fascinating).  Chef Armstrong, with the help of a few shelter residents, made strawberry shortcake with homemade whipping cream (decadent). Chef Laudenschlager made roasted turnips with garlic scape, peas in a mint cream sauce (out of this world), and a raw pea salad with a lemon mint vinaigrette.

The chefs also shared food preparation and cooking techniques, as well as some science behind food combinations.

The residents loved the class and the food. One resident kept saying, “This came from our garden?” Another resident tried a turnip for the very first time and loved it! The chefs assured us with their “you-can-do-this-too” spirit and encouraged experimentation in the kitchen. Later that same day, inspired by the raw pea salad prepared by Chef Laudenschlager, a resident in our kitchen track made her own versions of raw pea salad with lime cilantro vinaigrette (wonderful) and strawberry shortcake (delicious)!

We send our thanks to the chefs for giving their time, talent, and passion to help victims of intimate partner abuse rebuild their lives as survivors (amazing).