EATS’s virtual cooking classes reveal local family’s histories |

EATS’s virtual cooking classes reveal local family’s histories

Park City resident Maddie Magee will present an online cooking class, "Appalachian Autumn Ratatouille with Maddie Magee,” at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept 16. The class is part of the weekly series hosted by EATS, a local noprofit. Magee, who studied nutrition education at North Carolina State University, embarked on a late-summer backpacking excursion to find inspiration in the Appalachian Mountains for his recipes.
Courtesy of Maddie Magee

What: EATS Virtual Cooking Classes

When: Weekly

Where: Zoom, details will be provided upon registration

Cost: $15


EATS Park City’s mission is not only to encourage the public to Eat Awesome Things, as it states in its acronym, but also to encourage people to be mindful and choose healthy eating.

To further its mission, EATS hosts weekly cooking classes presented by local residents and other certified nutritionists who create tasty and nourishing dishes, said program manager Natalie Kane.

Due to the novel coronavirus, these cooking classes, which are usually held in person, have been moved to a virtual format, according to Kane.

“We didn’t just want to cancel these classes, because we still know the importance of connecting with people over food,” she said. “So, while we’re socially distanced, we’re going around Park City to find people who would be interested in facilitating classes that will expose us to various cooking traditions, and we’ve found there is a rich history of food up here.”

The next scheduled class is titled “Appalachian Autumn Ratatouille with Maddie Magee,” which will run from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Registration is $15.

Although Magee, who grew up in Park City, isn’t a certified nutritionist, he has a personable way of connecting people with food, Kane said.

For the last five years, after finishing studying nutrition education at North Carolina State University, he went on a backpacking trip around the world and exposed himself to food, eating behaviors and food culture, she said.

His passions are in developing more sustainable food systems, making healthier eating choices easier and exploring nutrition history at

“Maddie reached out to us when he moved back to Park City and said he was interested in working and volunteering for us,” Kane said. “We thought he’d be the perfect person to teach a class for us.”

After EATS asked him about hosting a cooking class, Magee embarked on another backpacking trip for inspiration.

“When he returned he told us he knew exactly what he was going to teach and handed us his recipe,” she said. “He was inspired by his trip and the flavors of the Appalachian Mountains, and put together a meal that would be seasonally appropriate now. The recipe looks delicious.”

The week after Magee’s class, EATS will present a class by another Maddie, Maddie French, a registered dietitian who teaches cooking classes at Red Butte Garden, will create a Midwestern Harvest Dinner on Sept. 23.

“Maddie is from Salt Lake City, and she has volunteered for us before,” Kane said.

French’s dinner will consist of cheesy chickpea and tomato-stuffed zucchini boats and panzanella, according to Kane.

“Maddie plans on including a lot of higher-level nutrition topics in her class,” she said.

With the September classes filled, Kane is already working on scheduling October’s classes, which will be announced soon.

“Since October is connected to the harvest, we’re looking to schedule some seasonal cooking classes,” she said.

Those facilitators include another EATS friend, Miriam Garcia, known for her work in the communmity through Holy Cross Ministries, will teach a class about traditional Mexican food, Kane said.

“We’re excited to have this opportunity to showcase our local community with these classes,” she said. “And we encourage people to sign up for as many as they want.”

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