Posted on June 22, 2012
Salt Water Farm
Hands-on cooking classes prior to feasting on the freshest ingredients is a foodie’s extravaganza. Set it amidst the coast of Maine and it is the ultimate experience!
Salt Water Farm is not your traditional urban cooking school, their kitchen space is designed to closely interact with where the ingredients are born. Right at your fingertips is a vegetable garden with over 100 seed varieties, a chicken coup that houses 8 laying hens, meat birds, and 4 ducks for fresh eggs. Three day summer workshops consist of hands-on cooking classes overlooking Penobscot Bay, with just about every ingredient coming from the backyard, aside from olive oil and lemon. Socialize with fellow classmates while gathering the contents of your recipe, and proudly indulge in everything you have cooked. Within three days you will be proficient in basic knife skills, baking bread, creating and fostering an edible garden, cocktail making, making pasta from scratch, and much more.
The kitchen is fully equipped with a wood burning brick oven, an open hearth for spit roasting, pastry ovens, a Wolf range top, to turn beginner chefs into pros. Deep fryers, sausage makers, pasta makers, and an ice cream maker will only help add to your repertoire. However, it is not the kitchen amenities that set Salt Water Farm aside from traditional cooking classes, but the ambience that owner, Annmarie Ahearn, and manager, Ladleah Dunn create. With two very different culinary backgrounds, but complementary teaching styles, they both encourage active participation with a “get your hands dirty” approach. The final result is a group of inspired chefs with a new appreciation for the farm-to-table experience.
Aside from cooking classes, various events take place on the several acre farm throughout the summer. Chefs from Brooklyn convene for The Maine Event, at which they make cheese, forage for mushrooms, bake pies, slaughter and butcher a chicken, and relish in the summer heat. Reserve a seat during one of their Full Moon Suppers, an evening beginning with bite-sized hors d’oeuvres, followed by four courses, happening only during a full moon. Single session cooking classes are also offered, such as Pickles & Preserves, Backyard Burgers, and Wood Fired Oven Pizza, as well as, home brewing sessions.
With an exciting culinary experience complete with rigorous cooking classes, bespoke farm feasts, and an enthusiastic staff, it would be an understatement to call Salt Water Farm a cooking school.