Growing up on a Minnesota farm gave Pamela Ziemann an up-close view of the United States’ food-production industry. She watched as chemicals, hormones, and genetically modified organisms became nearly ubiquitous in the farming process, as they helped to guarantee bounteous yields, although she was anything but impressed. She decided to pave her own path, circling back to organic, raw, sustainable nutrition.
Today at Elemental Cuisine, Pamela uses her experience as a public speaker to educate people about the food system and help them return to a more natural way of eating. During her online classes, she sheds light on how today's commercial food supply can be detrimental to our health, then discusses how plant-based diets can improve mental clarity and physical well-being. She pairs this discussion with cooking instruction, demonstrating how to make wraps, sauces, and dressings, and maximize food’s nutritional value without filling the saltshaker with crushed multivitamins.
After producing a children's educational video about local produce and healthy eating called Earth to Table, ChefShop founders Tim Mar and Eliza Ward capitalized on their passion for locally sourced fare in 1998 with an extensive online database of artisan farmers and food experts. Today, ChefShop connects shoppers with top-shelf ingredients and produce, from free-range turkeys to fruit from central Washington or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese from Italy. Before stocking them on their virtual shelves, the ChefShop team ensures each item is raised and developed using time-honored techniques and is run through a gauntlet of quality-assurance taste tests, meetings with farmers, and food fights with the preeminent experts in food fights: middle-school rebels.
Clients peruse the ever-updated inventory for goodies such as sustainable line-caught seafood, decades-aged balsamic vinegar, or rare Sardinian bottarga, filling their kitchen repertoire with handy recipes along with the top-shelf ingredients. Aspiring cooks master a range of cooking styles under professional chefs in ChefShop's cooking classes, ranging from the creation of rich Italian pastas to fashioning delectable small plates and tapas.
In business for 22 years, Cook's World Cooking School infuses aspiring epicureans with cooking expertise in an appetizing assortment of hands-on classes. During each one-night class, a rotating cast of skilled and professionally-trained local chefs guide students through the basics of a specific type of cuisine, cooking skill, or saucepan percussion technique. Go Italian in a doughy pizza-making and throwing class, create sophisticated small plates of flavor-packed treats in the spanish tapas course, or slather on new skills in a barbecue class, in which students learn to tame the wild elemental forces of fire, smoke, and tangy sauce.
Classes run for three hours each with 15 or fewer students, ensuring ample time for participation and one-on-one guidance. All class sessions are held in Cook's World's well-equipped culinary studio, which houses a cornucopia of professional cooking equipment and a carpet woven from retired chefs’ hats.
Growing up in the Italian port town of Brindisi, Luigi DeNunzio frequented the colorful outdoor markets with his father. Surrounded by stalls bursting with local produce, meat, fish, and dairy, Luigi discovered his love of rustic cuisine composed from the freshest regional ingredients. After immigrating to Seattle in 1977, Luigi amassed experience in both cooking and business while working at a handful of the city's Italian restaurants. In 1989, he opened Al Boccalino, where tables covered in white linen host plates of hearty Italian fare. Since then, Luigi has expanded his oeuvre to include cooking classes as well as a second, more casual eatery, Caf? Bengodi.
Eat Local?s chefs create locally-sourced meals from scratch, and teach cooking students how to do the same. Every item on the menu is handmade using Northwest grass-fed meats, free-range chickens, and organic or sustainably-grown local produce. The staff places food items in biodegradable packaging or reusable glass containers, and, for cooked meals, freezes them to maintain flavor and quality. Eat Local Frozen Meals can be bought in-store or packed in dry ice and shipped to individual doorsteps or rabbit holes. Those jonesing to make their own edibles can enroll in classes that guide the creation of pasta, pies, and even marshmallows.
Seattle Can Can owner and instructor Vic Phelps has put up produce in her kitchens for more than 35 years and happily imparts her tricks and techniques to all levels of curious canners. Vic reaches into her deep knowledge of equipment, canning physics, and the favorite Frank Sinatra songs of strawberries to teach classes on pickling, jams, and all-purpose canning for novice or experienced produce preservers.