Public cooking & gardening classes

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation offers public cooking and garden classes based on the philosophy of the Kitchen Garden Program. Classes are run at the Learning Centre at Collingwood College in Melbourne and all proceeds go to furthering the work of the not-for-profit Kitchen Garden Foundation in bringing pleasurable food education to Australian children.

Looking for a great gift? Public Cooking and Gardening Class Gift Vouchers are perfect for keen cooks and gardeners. View voucher options in our online shop here.

Workshops kindly supported by Phillippa's.

Book a 2014 cooking or gardening class between now and 30 April 2014 and go in the
running to win a KitchenAid Chef’s Basic Food Processor valued at $399.95!

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Food of the Land, with Rohan Anderson of Whole Larder Love - Saturday 10 May
HURRY - ONLY A FEW TICKETS LEFT! Rohan Anderson is a modern-day hunter-gatherer and we’re thrilled he will be joining us to share his passion for living simply and in harmony with the land. The class will feature unique dishes created with seasonal produce and most likely some wild meat, depending on what’s available at the time. This could be yabbies, quail, duck, deer or rabbit  - you’ll have to come along to find out! The morning will conclude with a rustic lunch shared with a glass of wine and good conversation. Read more »
An Introduction to Aquaponics, with Ian Campbell - Saturday 17 May
Aquaponic systems combine hydroponic growing techniques with a fish tank to create a self-sufficient and highly successful growing environment. This introductory class will take you through the basic setup of aquaponics, which is very popular in Kitchen Garden Schools.

You will learn how to grow abundant produce and edible fish in an efficient setup you can easily create in your home garden.  Read more »
Cheesemaking - Romano and Persian Feta, with Isobel Piper - Saturday 17 May
Popular presenter Isobel Piper is back to lead another fun session in the art of cheese making focusing on Italian classic Romano and versatile favourite Persian feta. Isobel will show you all the tips and tricks you need to know to make these cheeses from scratch with easily accessible equipment and ingredients. Read more »
Aromatic & Fresh Asian Cooking, with Ben Cooper from Chin Chin - Saturday 24 May

Learn to create truly unique Asian dishes with flavours that really pack a punch in this class with Ben Cooper, head chef at uber-popular Melbourne restaurant Chin Chin. Ben specialises in using the freshest ingredients and cooking techniques of predominantly Thai, but also Malay, Chinese, Indian and Laotian traditions, to create aromatic dishes with vivid flavours. His hawker-style food is fun, experimental and designed to be shared.
This class is a rare opportunity to cook alongside a true master of modern Asian cuisine and hear tips and tricks you just can’t get from a recipe. Read more »
Urban Food Gardening in Small Spaces, with Karen Sutherland - Saturday 24 May
SOLD OUT! Next session Saturday 9 August. Only have a balcony, courtyard or small backyard? No problem! This class will show you how to grow your own food even if you think you don’t have enough space. 

Learn how to maximise the productivity of small spaces using a range of sustainable organic gardening techniques, and grow your own delicious, fresh food at home. Read more »
Edible Garden Design, with Karen Sutherland - Saturday 31 May
Are you a beginner gardener who would like some advice from an expert? This class is all about helping you make the most of the space you have. Following a discussion on the principles of organic gardening you can directly discuss your garden and plans with organic expert Karen Sutherland, who will share her experience and tips for making your garden a success. Read more »
Passionate Italian, with Guy Grossi - Saturday 31 May
SOLD OUT! Treat yourself to a morning of fun and fabulous cuisine with vibrant Melbourne chef Guy Grossi. You’ll be entertained and inspired as you learn the skills to create fine Italian food. Guy is a true master of gourmet Italian food and will guide you through creating simple, elegant and divine dishes from the home country.

Following a sell-out class in 2013 Guy is returning to the Learning Centre full of energy and enthusiasm to share his knowledge on creating fine Italian fare.

‘The highlight of the day for everyone was meeting Guy Grossi! He was so humorous, relaxed and generous with his time.” Read more »
Curing meats Calabrian Style, with Teresa Oates - Saturday 14 June
Back by popular demand! Ever wanted to try your hand at curing meat at home? Teresa Oates, co-author of overnight classic Mangia! Mangia!, will demystify the process for you. This is not a demonstration class – expect to get hands-on as you learn age-old skills that you can easily replicate at home.
In this session you’ll experience the flow between heritage, veggie patch and larder, and gain an insight into kitchen rituals that make food meaningful as well as pleasurable.
  Read more »
Espaliering with Merrywood, with Jenny England - Saturday 14 June
Learn the ancient agricultural practice of two-dimensional tree-shaping in this class led by local expert Jenny England from Merrywood Plants.
Espaliering has a number of benefits, including maximising space in small gardens (generating greater produce from trees in pots, for instance), as well as the ability to train your fruit trees along walls, providing them with extra heat and extending the crop’s growing season. Espaliering can also make for beautiful garden spaces, and the options are many for those looking for a decorative aspect to their fruit orchard. Read more »
Flavours of Napoli, with Massimo Mele - Saturday 21 June
HURRY - ONLY A FEW TICKETS LEFT! Join Massimo Mele in the Learning Centre kitchen and create a Neapolitan feast in classic Italian style using ingredients fresh from the garden. Warming winter fare and a fun-filled morning will bring the heart of Naples to you.

A firm believer in farm-to-table cooking, Massimo grew up on the family farm learning, growing, picking and cooking fresh produce. Massimo says ‘the one thing that makes Italian food amazing is ingredients, it’s that simple’.

In this class Massimo will share his food heritage focusing on classic techniques and making the most of local, fresh produce in a range of traditional dishes. Read more »
Introduction to Permaculture, with Adam Grubb - Saturday 21 June
The basic principles of permaculture can be applied to any garden space. It’s a simple process of ensuring all elements of the garden work together.
In this class Adam will introduce basic permaculture principles and design processes for creating harmonious connections between people and landscape for thriving, abundant, productive gardens. Read more »
A French Farm Kitchen, with Annie Smithers - Saturday 19 July
Annie Smithers has led the way in the garden to table experience, first with her iconic Annie Smithers' Bistrot in Kyneton and now with du Fermier in Trentham - where up to 90% of the produce used in the classic French country cuisine comes straight from her abundant garden.

Join Annie for this hands-on workshop and learn to create warming winter dishes that will take you straight to a French family table. Read more »
Weaving Garden Structures, with Seila Hierk - Saturday 19 July
Why spend money on plastic or metal trellis frames that don't last when you can make them yourself from organic and readily available garden materials? In this popular class you will learn how to make natural willow structures for your garden including a trellis and a fan that can be used for growing peas and other twining and climbing plants. Read more »
Fabulous Filled Pastas, with Rosa Mitchell - Saturday 26 July
It's so easy to make pasta at home and in this class Melbourne favourite Rosa Mitchell will draw on a lifetime of cooking knowledge to give you the skills to do it yourself. The group will explore different types of pastas made using traditional and modern methods and focus on making filled pastas such as cannelloni, ravioli and a really traditional lasagne – not what you might think! Read more »
Winter Fruit Tree Pruning, with Fleming's - Saturday 26 July
Is your garden full of fruit trees you don’t know what to do with, or are you struggling with certain trees that just won’t produce? Or would you just like to know how to get the absolute most out of your orchard crops? In this hands-on workshop, popular presenter Titch from Fleming's Nurseries will guide you through the concepts behind pruning, as well as showing you a range of techniques to apply to different trees to ensure an abundance of fruit. Now is the time! Read more »
Organic Gardening for the Advanced Gardener, with Brian Hosking – Sat 2 August
Organic gardening offers a way of gardening with nature, avoiding the use of chemicals and artifical fertilisers. It is based on a set of key principles that, once learnt, will help you create a bountiful and healthy home garden. In this garden workshop, Brian Hosking will lead the group through a demonstration of organic gardening principles as well as hands-on techniques.

Suitable for experienced gardeners and attendees of the Organic Gardening Principles for Beginners Class in March 2014 this class will launch straight into advanced techniques for organic gardening. Topics will include pest and disease control, addressing soil nutrient deficiencies and companion planting. Read more »
Urban Food Gardening in Small Spaces, with Karen Sutherland – Saturday 9 August
The second Urban Food Gardening in Small Spaces class with Karen Sutherland in 2014.

Only have a balcony, courtyard or small backyard? No problem! This class will show you how to grow your own food even if you think you don’t have enough space. 

Learn how to maximise the productivity of small spaces using a range of sustainable organic gardening techniques, and grow your own delicious, fresh food at home. Read more »
Vibrant Vegetarian Wontons, with Lauren Burns - Saturday 9 August
Good vegetarian wontons are hard to come by, so often it's easier and much tastier to make your own!  Once you know how, wontons are easy to whip up and perfect for putting together a spontaneous meal for friends using fresh garden produce.
Lauren Burns, Olympic gold medalist and naturopath, is passionate about vegetarian cooking and sharing techniques to make life-giving, delicious food. Lauren will pass on her passion as well as tips for creating a tasty menu based on a range of wonton dishes and a light and delicate Japanese salad.

Read more »
A Bushfood Garden, with Wendy van Dort - Saturday 23 August
The vast array of edible – and beautiful – indigenous plants needs to be seen to be believed. You can learn how to grow these incredibly useful, unique and hardy plants under the expert coaching of popular presenter Wendy van Dort.

This class will provide an overview of the benefits of native plants, how they are grown and how they can be used in the kitchen, along with hands-on techniques for growing your own at home. The workshop will include specific information about the plants as well as a design element where you will be given guidelines around situating and maintaining your bushtucker garden. Read more »
Traditional Tapas, with Frank Camorra from MoVida - Saturday 23 August

Literally meaning ‘lid’, a ‘tapa’ is a covering of bread that bartenders once placed on top of drinks in Spain to keep away the dust and flies. Tapas has evolved to now mean hundreds of different bar snacks. Frank Camorra, renowned chef and the force behind the incredibly popular Movida restaurants, is the master of this cuisine in Melbourne and beyond.
In this workshop, Frank Camorra will share his best-loved cooking tips and show you how to recreate his signature Spanish tapas. Read more »
Creating Wicking Beds, with Seila Hierk - Saturday 30 August
Wicking beds are efficient growing systems that help to keep your plants happy and flourishing by retaining moisture in your garden and drastically reducing the amount of watering needed. The wicking system is similar to a self-watering container, a reservoir of water is stored underneath the plants and the water moves upwards into the soil for the plant roots.

In this hands-on workshop you will learn how to use readily available materials to convert existing garden beds to wicking beds and also create one from scratch. Read more »
Truffle Masterclass, with Sara Hinchey The Truffle Hound - Saturday 30 August
Would you like to have the elusive truffle demystified? During this class Sara Hinchey, The Truffle Hound, will show participants that anyone can use and enjoy truffles in their cooking. Participants will create and eat deceptively simple delicacies, all of which showcase the gorgeous and subtle flavour of the black truffle.

Learn how to source, select and showcase the freshest and best Australian grown truffles from an expert and passionate truffle lover. Read more »
Bees in the Backyard - Advanced, with Rooftop Honey - Saturday 6 September
We welcome back apiarists Vanessa Kwiatkowski and Mat Lumalasi to lead an advanced home beekeeping class! This advanced class will cover the latest on the honey bee’s plight and give you the tools to be a successful home beekeeper.

Participants need to be reasonably confident in their basic knowledge and skills to attend this class. Read more »
Sensational Seasonal Cooking, with Matt Wilkinson of Pope Joan - Sat 6 September
Join Matt Wilkinson, chef and co-owner of popular East Brunswick café and restaurant Pope Joan, for a fun-filled morning of cooking focussing on beautiful, fresh seasonal produce. The start of spring brings with it fresh new shoots and an array of tasty produce. Learn to create simple flavour combinations using fresh spring produce from exuberant Matt, he’ll even throw in some handy gardening tips and jokes for good measure!

Matt’s energy is boundless and you’ll love his charming, relaxed presentation style and enthusiasm for good food. Read more »
Fundamentals of Grafting, with Merrywood Plants - Saturday 13 September
In this hands-on workshop we'll be guided by Chris England of Merrywood Plants through the theory and practice of grafting fruit trees. We'll cover the basics - why and when to graft and what kind of trees respond best to grafting - before using specialist tools to try your hand at grafting.

  Read more »
Italian Sausage Making, with Teresa Oates - Saturday 13 September
How about feeding family and friends with your own fresh Italian sausages? Passionate and knowledgeable Italian cook Teresa Oates will show you it’s easier than you think! Teresa will guide you through the flavour combinations, ingredient ratios and construction techniques that go into this ancient fare. We’ll make a few different varieties on the day, and share some over lunch, with salads and bread, a glass of wine and some great company.  Read more »
Baking Biscuits & Slices, with Andrew O'Hara from Phillippa's - Sat 25 October
Learn how to turn everyday pantry ingredients into top quality treats for all occasions with popular presenter Andrew O’Hara from Phillippa’s Breads, Pastries and Provisions. In this hands-on class Andrew will show you how to create biscuits and slices at home which are just as moreish as Phillippa’s well-known products. A morning of baking topped off with a seasonal lunch and tastings of freshly made luscious baked goods – what a treat!
Read more »
Build a Sustainable Wall Garden, with Karen Sutherland - Saturday 8 November
If you’re short on space or looking to increase the growing capacity of your garden a wall garden could be the way to go. Join Karen Sutherland of Edible Eden Design for this hands-on class and learn simple ways to ensure your wall garden is an abundant success. You will create your own small wall garden to take home. Read more »
Luscious Greek Yoghurt & Traditional Feta Cheese, with Isobel Piper - Sat 8 Nov
Making yoghurt and cheese at home is much easier than you may think! Popular presenter Isobel Piper is returning to the Learning Centre kitchen to lead a class all about making creamy Greek-style yoghurt and tempting Persian feta. Isobel is generous with her knowledge and has mastered the art of breaking down cheese and yoghurt making processes into easily digestible steps to ensure your success at home. You will be inspired and empowered to produce delicious dairy products from scratch in your own kitchen. Read more »