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Volunteering at La Cocina is a win-win as far as I’m concerned.  It’s a great organization with a fabulous mission… “to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market and capital opportunities.”  From the staff to the entrepreneurs going through the program, there is an underlying vibe of positive energy, passion, support and love.  It’s so fun to see the organization in action and really see the heart of the business…the love that these entrepreneurs have for their craft.

Proof is in the Jar – a La Cocina cooking class

Last night I volunteered at the Pickle Party and it did not disappoint.  Emiliana from Jarredlaunched her line this past October and she pickles everything from cherries, onions and green tomatoes to mushrooms.  Her packaging is super cute and she currently sells at the Marin Farmer’s Market and the Ferry Building.  Her pickles of any varietal would be perfect as a side, on a picnic or as a cocktail garnish.

About 30 people joined in the Pickle Party and Emiliana lead the group, from start to finish, through pickled peaches, green beans and beets.  It’s a hands on affair, but in the most casual and laid back sense.  Cocktails, beer and wine are there for sipping while you chop, peel or jar, as well as dinner is a part of each cooking class.  Since pickling doesn’t produce the most balanced of meals, another La Cocina entrepreneur made an authentic Nepalese feast which was awesome!  Another bonus, everyone went home with two jars of pickled delicacies.

If you enjoy a night out doing something different, learning to cook, meeting new people or supporting a great organization, a cooking class is a great way to go.  Check out the La Cocina class schedule here.  If you want to support the organization, you can do that with money donations, volunteering and buying their family of products.  And…don’t miss the Street Food Festival coming up on August 18th.  It’s a day-long feast in the mission with artisan food vendors and craft cocktails, all supporting the organization.

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