Central Market partners with local hospital for healthy classes

York’s Central Market House wants to help Yorkers find their next cooking discovery.

The market’s chief operating officer, Cindy Steele, attended a Saturday demonstration in its performance kitchen, and it inspired her to go out and buy parsnips, an ingredient she normally wouldn’t use.

“It’s a very unique thing to have in a market house,” Steele said of the performance kitchen. She has never been to another farmer’s market with anything like it.

The show kitchen is designed to look like one people would find in their homes, with cabinets, a refrigerator, oven and counter space with built-in stove top. Surrounding the kitchen is seating for market-goers attending the cooking classes, grabbing a sample or stopping by to watch the action.

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It was acquired in February from the York County Economic Alliance, and since then the market has hosted cooking classes and other educational demonstrations there with Memorial Hospital in Spring Garden Township to promote healthy living. The hospital was recently acquired by UPMC Pinnacle.

Kelly Sanders, left of York, teaches Tim Kaye how to make her vegan crab balls while filming in Central Market's Performance Kitchen for his Youtube series, Vegan Quest, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. John A. Pavoncello photo

Central Market recently made the partnership official, agreeing to bring on Pinnacle for a yearlong sponsorship.

Steele described the educational focus as “a brainchild between the both of us” and said she thought it would be a great addition to the market house.  

Memorial also is supportive of buying fresh, local ingredients and supporting farmers, “which is important to us,” she said.

Shoppers can walk by and see the chefs in action on a live stream playing on two big screens next to the work space. They can learn different techniques, such as how to chop an onion or make a special sauce, Steele said.

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Anyone can rent the space, and it is also often used by people such as Tim Kaye, who for the past two months has come in Wednesday nights to use the kitchen for his YouTube series, Vegan Quest.

John Beck, right, films Kelly Sanders, left of York, and Tim Kaye at Central Market's Performance Kitchen for Kaye's YouTube series, Vegan Quest , Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. John A. Pavoncello photo

The market plans to add a lot of classes over the coming year, including a class for seniors on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Behind the performance kitchen is YorKitchen, an incubator kitchen available for startup businesses so they will have a clean, health-inspected space to practice along with offering their creations for sale in the market.

But the kitchen also is open to the community. In the past few weeks, Steele said, a group of girls cooked and ate together for a “friendsgiving,” and a class from York Academy came to bake cookies.

The market is hoping to get a sponsor for this space as well.

Central Market's performance kitchen is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m, or for rent in the off hours, and YorKitchen is for rent by the hour 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Additional information can be found at yorkitchen.com.