Monday, April 22, 2024

This Long Beach cooking class teaches harvesting your own cultures, Jewish baking styles (with lunch included)


Remember when we hosted that Long Beach cooking class and dinner Chef Jason Winters of Speak Cheezy to have a class where you got to learn about sourdough pizza and take home his grandmother’s starter? We wanted to continue in that very vein as Long Beach continues to experience a renaissance in its baking scene: Yup, we’re getting James Beard recognitions for bakeries like Gusto. The Washington Post calling Speak Cheezy’s sourdough pizza some of the best in the nation. Bakeries like Colossus moving their sourdough pizzas to a daily offering after exploding on Friday nights.

But one of the most respected (and long-lasting) pillars of that scene is about to share her incomparable knowledge as it is connected to the mighty world of Jewish culinary traditions.

So who is involved with this Long Beach cooking class and lunch?

Chef Harmony Sage, co-owner of Long Beach Beer Lab and leader of Long Beach Bread Lab, and her diligently detailed, fermentation-focused, carb-y creations are approaching nearly a decade of presence in the city—and it is about time she shares some of her talents with the food lovers of Long Beach.

Abbey Metcalf of Locali Seasoned—the one-woman, dinner-hosting machine at Partake Collective—myself, and Chef Sage are hosting a very special class-meets-dinner where you will not only get to learn the art of cultivating your own backyard cultures, but hear about the world of fermentation and baking from one of Long Beach’s finest through the lens of Jewish history, baking, and culinary traditions.

“The significance of fermented foods in Jewish cuisine is one that runs deep,” Sage said, “and it has really sat at the epicenter of my entire career here in Long Beach. To be able to share that beyond the walls of my business is an opportunity I have long sought.”

Exploring the world of Jewish culinary traditions with one of Long Beach’s finest

Harmony’s starter—which guests will be taking home—have long been used to create the sourdough that put her loaves and their Margherita pizza on the map. Even better, she grew the culture from the skins of fruits she harvested from her mother-in-law’s backyard in Bixby Knolls. Those same cultures? Used to make the brewery’s many wits, saisons, sours…

And she wants to share the ability to do just that with this Long Beach cooking class-slash-lunch: Yup, the class will mix their own starter while listening to Chef Sage speak about the fundamentals of cultivating a wild sourdough culture and how to maintain a starter at home.

This is on top of learning how to create a fermented mustard (of which a jar you shall take home if you participate), pickles (of which you’ll take a jar home), and the free-range ability to learn from Chef Sage.

Attendees will also, of course, get to enjoy some food—a Shady Grove Foods roast beef sandwich served with Chef Sage’s house made rye bread—and take home a recipe booklet.

Even more, while Los Angeles is dotted with a healthy dose of Jewish delis and spaces, Long Beach lacks in that sense—and to be able have a direct, one-on-one experience with someone like Chef Sage is an uplift our local Jewish culture and community.

So let’s break some bread—quite literally.

The dinner takes place Sunday, Feb. 25, from 4:30PM to 7PM at Partake Collective, located at 456 Elm Ave. and tickets will be $105 per person. For more information and tickets, click here.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.


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