That old classic of the American kitchen, "The Joy of Cooking," is the inspiration behind the Community Library's Our Moveable Feast benefit dinner and auction this year. One of the special aspects will be six diverse cooking lessons offered as auction items by Wood River Valley chefs, both professional and amateur. Our Moveable Feast will be held March 8 at the Community Library in Ketchum.
Ketchum resident Gay Odmark will teach eight students on preparing an Indian dinner at Neil Zussman's Sun Valley home. Born in Lahore, India, Odmark learned to cook in her family home.
"I am sure that sampling the food in this year's 'The Mistress of Spices' India room will encourage everyone to learn how to make Indian food for themselves," organizer Peggy Goldwyn said.
Odmark explained that the kind of Indian cooking she does is from the north with a Persian influence.
"My Indian curry has lamb, chicken, lentils and vegetables," she said. "It's creamy and spicy but not hot. There will be some tricks to the trade, and some secrets of things you can keep in the fridge."
Her favorite cookbooks are "The Cooking of India" from the Time Life Series, which is now out of print, and Madhur Jaffrey's cookbooks "Quick & Easy Indian Cookery" and "Illustrated Indian Cookery."
Community Library Executive Director Colleen Daly will hold a lesson on vegetarian cuisine for five people in her home. Daly believes in experimenting with seasonally available ingredients, and a bonus is her habit of including a poetry reading as a course. Her favorite cookbooks are "Fresh Food Fast" by Peter Berley, "Sunday Suppers at Lucques" by Suzanne Goin and, naturally, "Cristina's of Sun Valley."
Private chef Sam Campbell will conduct a class on fresh and local foods. A world traveler, he dove for lobsters in Tonga off a yacht but also swears by the produce at Atkinsons' and the meats and fish at Mountain Pride.
"Promoting what is available nearby is something we all should try to support," he said. He recommends Jamie Oliver's cookbooks, but is also a fan of those written by fellow chef Cristina Ceccatelli Cook.
The secrets of Chinese cooking will be taught by Yulan, a former TV journalist in China. She now caters locally using fresh ingredients and a minimum of spices while featuring colors and textures. The meal will include dim-sum, dumplings and stir-fry rice noodles.
One of the valley's favorite chefs, Esta Hornstein, will conduct a class for six in Jewish comfort at the home of Sondra and Robert Kantor. In her catering business, Esta bases her dishes on the food she grew up with in New York and New Jersey, where her family had delicatessens.
"The aromas remind me of home," she said.
The Silver Spoon cookbook is her favorite.
Vinnie Carpenter of Rasberrys will teach baking skills at a high tea in the artful home of Jeanne Meyers and Richard Carr.
The six culinary professors urge everyone to donate a favorite cookbook to the "cook's corner" of the auction.
For more information on the event call the Community Library at 726-3493.
Dana DuGan: email@example.com
What: Fundraising event for The Community Library
When: Sunday, March 8, 5:30 p.m.
Where: The Community Library, Ketchum. Two entrances.
Tickets: $100 per person. Call 726-3493
Extras: Four movies, "Babette's Feast," "Big Night" "Eat, Drink, Man, Woman," and "Mostly Martha" will be shown free at the library at 7 p.m. each Wednesday in February, with Magic Lantern owner Rick Kessler as the emcee.