From our kitchen to Nevada County ‘family’ |

From our kitchen to Nevada County ‘family’

Jeff Olson
Special to The Union

Even though many local gardens are lying fallow this winter, kale is overflowing at the garden outside the Hospitality House shelter in Grass Valley.

Hardy greens, like lacinato kale, can stand up to the cold.

That's why we at Hospitality House kitchen are making a kale Caesar salad for 400 at this year's "Night of Giving," which takes place Saturday at Miners Foundry in Nevada City (see box or today's Prospector magazine for details on the event).

Sriracha Kale Caesar Salad has a subtle spiciness. The kale is mixed with a creamy dressing that provides the perfect foil for the hearty greens.

It is quite ironic that, although I am not a huge fan of kale, this has proved to be a great winter dish for a buffet. The greens look festive, the ingredients are easily sourced and it is accessible even for those that don't normally like kale.

This year, for Saturday's buffet between 6 and 8 p.m., our three current culinary students will prepare the Sriracha Kale Caesar Salad, along with Chicken Madeira, medley of Mushroom Baked Rigatoni and a Red Rice Quinoa Salad.

Recommended Stories For You

We started the culinary job training program over two years ago. It incorporates farm-to-fork menus into the classes. For instance, grilled zucchini hits the lesson plan when home garden donations (of zucchini) are at an all-time high.

The six-week program covers food safety, nutrition, fundamentals of cooking in the modern kitchen, as well as moist and dry heat cooking techniques, knife-work, recipe, basic mise en place, including basic sauce-making, the six functions of baking, soups, cooking and flipping eggs, pizza and pie making — as well as menu planning.

Sixty-five students enrolled in the program in the last two years. Of those, 67 percent of graduates have moved into their own housing or are employed — or both.

The seed money grant for the culinary job training program expired in October, so if you would like to sponsor a culinary job training session, call 530-615-0852.

More info at

Jeff Olson is Hospitality House Kitchen Manager and instructor for the culinary training program.


Who: Mikail Graham presents

What: 2016 Night of Giving for Hospitality House

Where: Miners Foundry, 325 Spring St., Nevada City

When: 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17

Admission: $20 donation (no one will be turned away at the door for lack of funds)

Tickets: at the door, Miners Foundry Box Office, Bread & Roses Thrift Store, BriarPatch Co-op ($2.50 fee for non-co-op members) or online at (additional $3.50 online fee)

More information: Miners Foundry: 530-265-5040 or; or Hospitality House: or 530-271-7144.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.