Garden club introduces new culinary program

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club launched its new culinary program this spring and at its helm is Mary Platis, an experienced educator, caterer, foodie and blogger who is brimming with ideas on how to bring together the community, its food and the garden club.
She has already set up a series of cooking classes and cookbook author signings and now she is working on bringing a farmers market to the Village and establishing a community sustainable agriculture program as well.
“My goal is to bring the community together with food for fundraisers, author signings, healthful presentations and nutritional seminars,” she said. “I want to engage in conversation around an open table. I want to sit down, share ideas of tradition and culture and bring the old world together with the new world of food,” she said.
She was discovered by a few garden club board members at the Rancho Santa Fe Farmer’s Market where she was doing a food demonstration. They asked he if she would be interested in doing the same for the club.
She was. Now she is busy putting together an entire culinary program for them.
“My goal is to bring sustainable back to the table,” she said.
“I want to teach about cooking with garden vegetables, herbs and teach in the importance of a family garden,” she said.
She said that is possible for people to buy as much as possible locally and preserve much of it themselves.
Platis said she wants to bring the community together in other ways as well.
One of the regular events she is putting together is cookbook author signings.
“We have so many wonderful cookbook authors in the area,” she said. “They will come and sign their books and make samples from their cookbooks.”
There will also be regular cooking classes at the club.
Coming up in June will be “Using Fresh Garden Herbs to Brighten Up Your Dishes,” on June 9; “Exploring Local Cheese and Wines,” with Vembra Holnagel on June 16; “Simple Changes to Sustainable and Healthy Eating,” with Wendy Woolf on June 21; “Let’s Stuff It: Vegetables to Meats,” on June 23; “Cooking with Umami: The Fifth Taste,” on June 28; and “Sizzling Summer Fruits and Berries,” on June 30.
July is also filled with interesting events and classes.
The cooking classes are on Tuesday mornings at 11 a.m. and Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
She is already setting up a site for community sustainable agriculture with Suzy’s Farm. Subscribers of the service pay in advance to finance the farm to grow fruits and vegetables. Each week members get a box of freshly picked food that is in season.
And, she is working on bringing a farmers market to the village.
Also on her agenda is working with R. Roger Rowe School where she hopes to set up cooking classes and teaching about sustainability and nutrition.
Platis began her professional life as kindergarten and first grade teacher in Encinitas. Then as a successful caterer with her Greek Gourmet and then as a blogger with her californiagreekgirl.com.
To learn more about the program or cooking classes contact Platis at (760) 942-9592 or e-mail her at maryplatis@gmail.com.
All classes are held at at 17025 Avenida de Acacias.

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