I recently attended the inaugural class for Nourish DC, an interactive, hands-on, nutrition and cooking experience. Nourish is owned and run by Jay Vilar as he shares his passion for food and health. From their website:
Nourish’s mission is to educate people about the healing, nutritional, and optimal value of food.
Nourish Your Plate are farm to health cooking classes teaching people how to cook nutrient dense dishes that promote energy, well-being, and health. Dishes can be recreated in your own kitchen. Classes improve cooking skills, introduce new thinkings about food & teach the value of nutritional health.
I want to just take a second on my soapbox to highlight “teach the value of nutritional health.” This is an idea I am very passionate about. After working in traditional medicine for 10 years, I love the idea of the VALUE of nutritional health. Cooking using fresh, organic, seasonal foods can be more expensive and may take time to cook, but the VALUE of feeling your best, of living with fewer or no medications, of having more energy… Trust me that you will reap a return on your investments of time and money. (stepping off soapbox now)
Classes are held Monday evenings at EatsPlace, a restaurant/bar that’s also a food incubator and restaurant accelerator. EatsPlace is just two blocks from the Georgia Ave/Petworth Metro Station, and I easily found street parking.
Nourish Your Plate
When I arrived Monday, Jay had prepared stations for each of the 5 dishes we would be preparing. With it being the beginning of April, the produce leaned towards greens and hearty sprouts and beets. Many dishes were brightened by the addition of fresh lemon and herbs.
As people arrived, we were given Nourish aprons to wear during class (these are also available to purchase). Jay began by introducing the concept of Nourish Your Plate and going through each dish and what the health benefits of each main ingredient are.
We then broke into various teams to create the dishes. Laughing voices could be heard over the sounds of chopping as everyone got to work.
Rosemary roasting, fresh lemons being squeezed, onions and garlic sautéing, balsamic vinegar reducing, pine nuts toasting ~ The kitchen smells were amazing!!!
Lemon-Garlic Swiss Chard (chef’s note: eat the stems. They are not like other greens and have a texture similar to celery)
Roasted Beets with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Lemon Spinach Pesto (we served this over slow-roasted chicken)
Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Crispy Spiced Kale Chips (these alone are worth attending for)
After everything was complete, we all sat down to eat together. It was the perfect end to class. Not only did I learn new recipes, I made new friends. I can’t wait to go again!!!
The remaining April classes are full, but there is a waiting list available. Jay can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.