Interest in diet and the consumption of healthful and delicious food is widespread, but, truthfully, many folks find it difficult to translate interest into action.  A lifetime of unhealthy eating and cooking habits can be very hard to break.  As a solution to this problem, two Salem women are collaborating to offer a series of innovative cooking classes emphasizing easily prepared, plant-based, local, and seasonal dishes.  The first class, Plant Food Basics, occurred April 5.

Amy Church, owner of Willamette Valley Kitchen Company and Leslie K. Curry, certified life coach and wellness educator, met each other through the Salem Chamber of Commerce’s Business Women’s group, and discovered a common interest in cooking delicious food and in helping people to make more healthful dietary choices.

Church became the owner of Willamette Valley Kitchen Company (the former Carl’s Cuisine), when she purchased the business in September of 2015.  She carries on the practice of offering gourmet kitchen equipment, fine cutlery, hard-to-find gadgets, and inventive and original cooking classes.  Curry taught her first cooking class in Salem, 46 years ago, when she began her career teaching macrobiotic cooking at the Salem Cultural Center.  Her career has encompassed nutrition education, owning and running two restaurants, and working for Whole Foods, as well as a private practice in life-coaching and wellness, which make her uniquely qualified to help people make painless and positive changes in the way they eat.

The series can be taken together or as stand-alone classes, and includes:

Beans and Grains – protein, fat, sugar, and salt: what to believe?

Wed April 12, Sat, April 15, (repeat menu) or Sat June 3 (new menu)

Prepping and Menu Planning – 30-minute Meals

Wed April 26, Sat April 29, (repeat menu) Wed June 7 (new menu)

Power Greens & Sea Veggies – it’s not just kale

Wed May 10, Sat. May 13, (repeat menu) or Sat June 10 (new menu)

Wed 6:30 pm-9:00 pm; Saturday 10:00 am – 12:30 pm. All classes are held at Willamette Valley Kitchen Company : 333 Chemeketa St NE, Salem

Eating with others, rather than alone, is one of life’s great pleasures and fosters healthy eating habits.  Part of the cooking series is a Spring Veggie Supper Club, where attendees can enjoy cooking with others interested in incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their meals and afterwards, sit down to eat together in convivial surroundings. Dinners will include appetizer, salad, entrée, fruit course, and a non-alcoholic beverage, with wine available for purchase.  The supper club will meet on Wednesday evening from 6-9 pm April 19, May 17, and June 21.   Two other classes, one on pickled and fermented foods and healthy gut bacteria (Wednesday May 3 6:30-9:00 pm) and one on breakfast dishes (Saturday May 20 10am -12:30pm) are also scheduled.


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