A Class Act at Reading Terminal Market


    Looking to get more creative with your local or homegrown meals? Here's the scoop on a new series of classes organized by Fair Food, a nonprofit that advocates for local and sustainable agriculture. 

    I'm not sure why everything looks easier on television. How many hours do we spend watching cooking shows and competitions versus standing in our own kitchens preparing food?

    My new year's resolution has been to not let any of my garden produce go to waste. As a result of this commitment, I have begun to feel that it's time to be more creative with my colorful harvest
    To that end, I found an educational series hosted by Fair Food that convenes at the Reading Terminal Market. The best part (besides the complimentary, locally made Victory Brewing Co. beer) is the price: less than $40 per class.
    I asked Fair Food's Farmstand product manager Alex Jones a few questions about the classes via email.
    1. Why did you start this series?
    Fair Food always has a lot going on — there's the Farmstand in Reading Terminal, where we sell local, sustainable food year round; our work connecting our more than 120 member restaurants to local farms and distributors; and big events like the Philly Farm and Food Fest. At the Farmstand, an educated customer is our best customer, and we wanted to do more to connect people to what they eat using our fresh produce and expert know-how as raw ingredients. Plus, we've been talking to people like Amanda Feifer of Phickle.com, cheesemaker Rynn Caputo of Caputo Bros. Creamery, and Marisa McClellan of FoodinJars.com about collaborating somehow. Our home space, Reading Terminal Market, also loved this kind of programming, so the Rick Nichols Room in the market as a venue was a good fit.
    2. How does this connect with your mission?
    Even if it's not explicit, educating consumers is a huge component when it comes to getting the public to support local and sustainable agriculture. Fair Food was one of the first organizations to do this in Philly, and the local food movement has come such a long way. Now, more organizations are doing this kind of work, and more people are conscious of what they're eating and where it comes from. But we don't stop there. This kind of education can really empower people to make choices about their food — not just buy it because it's in the grocery store. That, and taste — taking ownership of something that tastes delicious really reinforces what you've learned.
    3. What more should people know about this educational series?
    This is our first time out with this kind of venture, so we would really love the Philly food community's support! The ticket dollars go to the room rental, our stellar food professionals who will be teaching the classes and materials, with anything left over going back into Fair Food to keep us doing what we do. Buy a ticket — you'll get to mingle with other food lovers, learn a lot from our instructors (who, incidentally, are all super-nice people who love to talk shop), and taste some seriously delicious stuff. And at each class, you get to bring home the fruits (or veggies) of your labor, or, in the case of the Caputo Bros. class, fior di latte just waiting to blossom. Lastly, events like this help Reading Terminal Market fulfill its purpose as a space for the community, not simply a destination for tourists and conference attendees.
    Upcoming classes range from Fun with Fermentation to Making Mozzarella. They begin around 6 p.m. depending on the class. 
    Knowledge is Power,
    The Bubbi Project