Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hackett House Dinner Party Cooking Class

What an evening! A couple of months ago I was invited to conduct a cooking demonstration at the Hackett House in Tempe. The Hackett House is a historical building downtown that houses an adorable gift shop and a very nice event venue. They are very involved with supporting the Tempe Sister Cities programs which provides a once in a life time experience for high school students to experience other cultures by being involved in an exchange program. They have a spring and fall series of cooking classes each year. This was the first time they ever had an all vegan cooking class. They were a little concerned there may not be enough interest in a vegan class. They were pleasantly surprised that not only did the class sell out, it was the largest class they have had so far. Yay for yummy vegan food!

This year is the 100th Anniversary of Arizona's statehood. To celebrate this momentous occasion I created a Southwestern themed menu that featured locally grown produce from Horny Toad Farms. Farmer Stella McPhee brought down some freshly picked produce for the dinner and took time out of her extremely busy schedule to come down and speak to the crowd about the farm, sustainable farming and their CSA (community supported agriculture program). Their farm is truly family run and not some big corporate puppet regime. Please support them and other local farmers by visiting your local farmers markets or joining their CSA. Click here for more info on the CSA.

She provided beautiful flowers that she grows out at the farm for the center pieces. As you can see below.

The crowd was fun and gracious. There were some great questions from the audience too! I took a little poll mid-class and found out that the majority of the guests had never had a vegan meal before. It was really exciting to see that they were really enjoying the food. I'm still catching my breath from such a wonderful and exciting event. I promise I will be posting more pictures and more on the food tomorrow. One of the guests, Colleen, had asked for the corn bread recipe. I have permission from Robin Robertson to post her recipe (which is the one I used for the stuffed chiles). I will be sure to post that tomorrow as well. 

Thank you to everyone who came out to see us! We will be back in the fall with another class featuring locally grown-pesticide free produce!


  1. How do we get these recipes? The quinoa encrusted burger looks fabulous. Curious on how to make the sauce? Also the chili... wow! Can you post these recipes?

  2. They are part of a cookbook I am working on, so have to wait to post online. Stay tuned...