Members of the Fort Leavenworth Spouses’ Club learned to make two new dinner dishes via Zoom under the direction of Jason Wiggin, owner and chef of The Suburban in Leavenworth, April 6.
Kristine Krivensky, FLSC second vice president, said the event was a way to include the entire family.
“We have been working hard to keep going during the pandemic. It has been challenging to find new ways to be social while being socially distant,” Krivensky said. “This was a great suggestion from one of our members to do something fun that can involve our spouses and families. All the while, we are learning a new recipe that we can use in the future.
“We wanted to work with a local restaurant and knew that The Suburban opened last summer during a difficult time for all local and small businesses,” she said. “We want to maintain supportive relationships with the community on and off post.”
Wiggin taught participants to cook pan-seared Atlantic salmon and herb-roasted chicken breast with parmesan and herb risotto, baby spinach and bacon sauté, and a beurre rouge sauce. The Suburban pre-measured all of the ingredients for 25 orders. “(These dishes) are something that is approachable that I think people will cook in their homes,” Wiggin said.
Wiggin also shared cooking tips and skills like how to properly dice onions, the benefits of letting protein rest after ‘cooking and before serving it, proper plate presentation and more.
“There are a lot of people that think cooking food is scary, and it doesn’t have to be. It’s really simple. I like when I see that spark moment in people’s eyes,” Wiggin said. “Once you learn the core fundamentals of it, you’re golden. You can do anything.
“The whole point of this whole thing is no matter what you get in the end, it’s that you created it and you get to take ownership and pride in that,” he said. “I’m just hoping they learn some fundamentals and how to make a good meal.”
Liz Stone, FLSC special events chairperson, was one of the members who participated in the class.
“I’ve been to the The Suburban and the food is so good. I love how creative Chef Jason is with the menu,” Stone said. “I am always looking to add new dishes into our rotation, and I am really excited at the opportunity to learn from Chef Jason and maybe even pick up a new skill in the kitchen.
“Growing up southern, food has always been an important part of family life. I love gathering around the table with family and friends and catching up on each other’s day.
… Things are always changing in the lives of military families, but we can always come back to the kitchen to connect and spend time together,” she said. “I believe cooking is an excellent hobby and an important life skill. I love to cook with my daughters, to teach them what to do in the kitchen and to develop a good relationship with food.”