New faces, classes at Allyson’s Kitchen

The face of Allyson’s Kitchen founder Allyson Holt may still grace the store’s Web site, but new faces are heading up Allyson’s cooking classes these days.

Not one to stay put for too long, chef Cristina Topham, who came to Allyson’s from a series of private yacht galleys, has moved on to other endeavors, including pitching a book about her experiences cooking and traveling the Caribbean. Topham remains in the Rogue Valley, though, and may teach cooking classes from her home.

Taking the helm is Marilyn Moore, who directed Rogue Community College’s culinary arts program for nine years and teaches cooking through Southern Oregon University’s extended campus programs. Moore, 53, is a culinary educator certified by the American Culinary Federation and a local food-sanitation guru. In 2007, she self-published “Is It Safe to Eat in Your Kitchen?” a 50-page crash course in restaurant-industry food-handling procedures for the home cook.

A graduate of Portland’s Western Culinary Institute, Moore has worked in 10 restaurants over the years but put most of her energy into a catering business. Within weeks of answering Allyson’s advertisement for a new chef, Moore added an advanced version of Allyson’s popular “Confident Cooking” series. She kicks off the original 10-week format on Monday. The five-week advanced course starts June 10.

“I call it the new Allyson’s Kitchen,” Moore says.

Chef Mare, as Moore calls herself, will have help from a strong cast of local chefs, some she’s known since culinary school almost two decades ago. On Tuesday, chef Trey Hansen of Ashland’s new Tease restaurant will demonstrate beef Wellington. Pilaf founder and Slow Food advocate Susan Powell is on the schedule for a Thursday class on spices and a May 26 lesson in cooking seasonally from ingredients available at local farmers markets. Moore says she also is courting Tim Keller of Firefly and Jacksonville Inn fame — now at the Nunan Estate’s Carriage House Restaurant — for a July class.

Check out the full class schedule with prices at Allyson’s Web site or call 482-2884 for availability.

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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