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Italian Cooking Class in Benzonia

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May 20, 2014
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Grow Benzie
5885 Frankfort Hwy.
Benzonia, MI United States


Deb Query

Presenters Rosalie McLenithan and Joanne Walrad on a recent trip to Italy.

A fun evening where attendees will learn how to prepare a full Italian meal and enjoy eating it is planned in Grow Benzie’s Incubator Kitchen. Joanne Walrad and Rosalie McLenithan, presenters, are second-generation American sisters of 100% Sicilian descent with both sets of their grandparents having come from from Sicily. They have organized this fundraiser on behalf of Grow Benzie. Dinner will include: Appetizer: black olive tapenade served on Italian bread crostini; Vegetable side: marinated vegetables; Main entree: Chicken Marsala with mushrooms on Angel Hair pasta; Dessert: Tiramisu. Each course will include preparation instructions and demonstration.

The evening will include not only an authentic, delicious Italian dinner and cooking instructions, but also history and stories from Italy, including highlights from the presenters’ trips to Italy. “The fact was, that everywhere we looked, there was fantastic art. The food and desserts were works of art,” says Rosalie. “Simple, but fanciful” best describes Italian food adds Joanne. 

Both ladies grew up in a Grand Rapids Italian neighborhood with a large Italian family. They attended Our Lady of Sorrows, which was started by the immigrants of Sicily. In the Grand Rapids Public Museum, there is a shrine that is an exact replica of the shrine they still carry to this day during Easter week in Montelepre, which is near Palermo. Montelepre area is where their grandparents are from. Both love to cook for their family and friends and “family means everything to us” say the presenters. Their Grandmother’s big toast was “if you have the love of Jesus, your health and your family. You have everything.” She said it in Italian, though! Their father was a famous bread maker and was well known in the Grand Rapids area for his Italian bread. The presenters have still not been able to duplicate his recipe. Both are retired and are organizers for the 6th annual Frankfort Lupus Walk, scheduled for June 7, 2014. 

Reservations are required and the event will be limited to 20 people. Please RSVP to Deb Query 231 882 9510 by Friday, May 16 or by emailing [email protected]
There is a fee of $20 per person, which includes all food and instruction. No alcohol is included. Attendees can bring wine if they wish. Proceeds benefit Grow Benzie. 

For more information and reservations, contact Deb Query, Director, 231 882 9510 [email protected]www.growbenzie.com

Grow Benzie is a community based farmstead dedicated to enriching the lives of children and all Benzie County residents by fostering independence and self reliance through education in agriculture, nutrition, job training and life skills. Grow Benzie is located at 5885 M115, Benzonia, MI 49616 and is a 501 3 (c) designated charity