For more than 35 years, local food producers and farmers have worked with the Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) to educate the public about the health, environmental and economic impacts of eating locally-grown and sustainably-grown food.
In the North Bay, AIM is best known for hosting certified Farmers Markets featuring hundreds of local food purveyors and artisans, and the group welcomes CalFresh and EBT (food stamps) at the markets so that everyone in Marin has access to fresh and healthy food.
For the last several months, AIM has continued to operate many of its outdoor Farmers Markets–which remain open as essential services for the community–with social distancing rules in place to combat the spread of Covid-19. Now, the organization is taking new steps to increase its online presence, beginning with a weekend of Virtual Cooking Classes taking place Saturday and Sunday, Aug 15 and 16.
In celebration of National Farmers Market Week in August, the upcoming first-of-its-kind virtual culinary experience takes participants from “Market to Kitchen,” making two delicious meal that will support small and mid-sized farmers, fishers and ranchers in Marin.
The online cooking classes will be led by Marin-based Chef Tony Adams, who has worked in some of the best fine-dining kitchens in the world. Today, Chef Adams is the director of the Cavallo Point Lodge Cooking School in Sausalito, where he normally instructs more than 200 classes a year for private and public groups.
Chef Adams also recently authored a cookbook and launched his YouTube channel, both called Fill in the Food, which teaches readers/viewers how to cook by method and technique rather than by learning individual recipes.
For the “Market to Kitchen” virtual cooking classes, Adams will demonstrate how to make the most of the local Farmers Markets’ summer ingredients. On Saturday, Aug 15, Adams inspires home chefs with a miso-glazed salmon dinner featuring mushroom fried rice. On Sunday, Aug 16, Adams assembles a mouth-watering mix of seared steaks with garlic bread and a popular summertime panzanella salad.
Each Farmers Market-inspired cooking class is only $37 (the number of years that AIM has been in service) to attend, and all proceeds will go to the Farmers Market Assistance Fund that keeps the markets running and bringing fresh produce to community members.
Register for the virtual classes now to receive an ingredient list through an email notification. Then, shop at a local Farmers Market to get the best ingredients directly from the source and use those ingredients to cook alongside Chef Adams.
In addition to this virtual offering, AIM continues to connect communities in Marin and throughout the Bay Area to local food in innovative ways such as the Bounty Box Program, which allows customers to purchase a bounty of produce via curbside pickup, and the Rollin’ Root, which is a veritable Farmers Market on wheels.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, AIM has sold over 5,500 Bounty Boxes filled with fresh fruits and veggies, and they’ve donated 1,200 (and counting) boxes to vulnerable individuals, accounting for $150,000 worth of produce that has gone directly in to local producers’ pockets.
For more information, and to register for the “Market to Kitchen” virtual cooking classes, visit AIM’s website now.