There's a saying in the writing world: "Write the book you want to read."
When my husband and I moved to the central Oregon coast, one of the few things we missed about living in a city was the dearth of Indian food and vegan restaurants.
So this weekend, we're going to make a twist on the above quote. We're going to learn to make the food we want to eat the Lincoln City Culinary Center.
The center opens its commercial kitchen for single-day cooking events, where you can sit back and watch the food preparation then get to enjoy a great meal, or roll up your sleeves and jump in on the preparations.
Culinary Assistant Larayn Higgins started as a student, became a volunteer, then was hired when the assistant position opened.
“There's never I time I walk through those doors and don’t learn something,” she said. “The facilities are so amazing, and the fact that as a student you get to actually go into a commercial kitchen and play around with all the equipment is so fun.”
According to Higgins, the food that’s prepared there is organic and locally sourced as much as possible.
“We get products sourced in Oregon even down to the salt,” she said. “It really helps you realize how rich Oregon food production is that you can get almost everything you need here.”
Classes range from the vegan class I'll be attending, which still has space open, to a hands-on bacon class that filled up almost immediately.
The Indian food demo, on Friday, February 1, is not as interactive, but you still get a great meal after watching how the chefs prepare coconut curry chickpeas and carrots with crispy shallots, Basmati rice and vegan roti (Indian flatbread).
Vegan coconut curry chickpeas and carrots with crispy shallots
Another class that still has space and would make a romantic gift for your valentine is the Italian American Valentines Demo, on Friday, February 14. The menu includes toasted bread with European butter and prosciutto, scallops with pinenut breadcrumbs, gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce and tiramisu cake with espresso mascarpone cream.
The center also loves to prove that just because people have dietary restrictions, it doesn't mean they require a limited menu. The Hands-on Gluten Intolerant Latin American class, on Saturday, February 29, will have students learning how to prepare shrimp ceviche with tostones, chorizo and Manchebo croquettes, chicken picadillo empanadas, steak, caramelized onion and blue cheese tostado, corn tortillas, tequila beans, onion and tomato curtido and white chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache.
Gluten-free chicken picadillo empanadas
Now that I've gotten you sufficiently hungry, grab a snack and then go sign up for a demo or hands-on class at the Lincoln City Culinary Center, located at 801 SW U.S. Highway 101.