Do dietary restrictions or visions of burning your house down keep you from baking your own goods?
If so, Zinzi Chamanifard has some wisdom and tricks she will be sharing with experienced and aspiring bakers at her upcoming class, “Bake with all you’ve got!” The interactive and hands-on class will be held at Moonflower Community Cooperative, 39 E. 100 North, on Wednesday, Aug. 16, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Chamanifard assures those intimidated by the complexities of baking, “When you have your own kitchen and some good music, you’ll be OK.”
To those wary of the potential Frankenstein results (or price tags) of gluten-free or vegan substitutions, Chamanifard said, “You would be surprised about what you can create with what you’ve got – everyday household things.”
Chamanifard, who is originally from Cape Town, South Africa, holds a culinary degree in hospitality. She first arrived in Moab six years ago on a student exchange program. Since then, she spent several years as a line chef at the Desert Bistro and baking for Sweet Cravings. She now calls Moab home, and recently started her own business, Zinzi M Catering Services.
“(She) has been making a name for herself at the Farmer’s Market,” Moonflower General Manager Derek Whitworth said. “It will be great to get her here in the store, and it will be great to let the community members interact with her and get to learn from her knowledge.”
Chamanifard has been slinging fresh cakes and breads at the Moab Farmers Market held each Friday at Swanny City Park. It was there that Moonflower Community Outreach Coordinator Lara Gale approached her about teaching a class.
“It’s my first time with Moonflower,” Chamanifard said. “I’m pretty excited about it.”
Chamanifard said the class will explore different substitution options for various dietary restrictions. She said the class will be hands-on and fun for everyone.
“I am excited to meet new people,” Chamanifard said. “I am a chef, so I am there to learn a thing or two. In hospitality it’s all about learning, exchanging recipes, and exchanging cultures. It’s about infusing that information to make something new or better. You never stop learning. I am as excited to learn from people as I am to teach.”
Chamanifard welcomes students of any age, and said that attendees will assist her in baking several surprises.
Whitworth said that cooking classes and educational outreach are a large part of Moonflower’s mission.
“We are always looking for new ways to involve talented community members, to give them a platform for classes, to keep people engaged (and) to keep it interactive,” he said. “It’s a great way for people that might not have a restaurant venue to interact with the community and showcase their skills. It kind of highlights them.”
Sign-up sheets for “Bake with all you’ve got!” and other upcoming classes can be found on the west wall upon entering the store.
“Anyone can show up,” Whitworth said. “Usually, it’s always adults, but yesterday someone asked if they could bring their kid with them. I said, ‘Yes, please,’ because we are always trying to interact with the kids and get them hyped on healthy food. One of our goals is to teach kids how to make healthy food for themselves so if their parents aren’t around they don’t just eat junk.”
Local chef teaches tricks of the trade at Moonflower Coop on Aug. 16
“I am as excited to learn from people as I am to teach.”
When: Wednesday, Aug. 16, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Moonflower Community Cooperative, 39 E. 100 North
Cost: Free; sign-up sheet posted at Moonflower
Anyone who is interested in teaching a Moonflower class should contact Whitworth or Moonflower Community Outreach Coordinator Lara Gale with ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.