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Food and Drink

Batavia Township destination for cooking classes kicking off with barbecue

Dave Voirin will lead "Abbey Farms Fresh Flavors – Cookin’ with Chef Dave" classes.
Dave Voirin will lead "Abbey Farms Fresh Flavors – Cookin’ with Chef Dave" classes.

Abbey Farms will host a choice of seven cooking classes, kicking off with the art of barbecue June 13 at the agritourism farm in Batavia Township.

It’s the inaugural season of “Abbey Farms Fresh Flavors – Cookin’ with Chef Dave” demonstrations, a news release stated. All classes take place at Abbey Farms: The Emporium, 2855 Hart Road, Aurora, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Adam Voirin, chief operations officer of Abbey Farms, said the classes evolved from complimentary feedback about the food served at the seasonal Pine Tree Café, which opened in 2015.

“Dave Voirin (Chef Dave) creates and cooks all of our menu items that we serve in the Pine Tree Café during the Christmas season,” Adam Voirin stated in the release. “Since I first hired him to make the chili for the concession stand during Pumpkin Daze, Dave has enthusiastically jumped into every challenge with both feet.

“We always get questions from purchasers for ideas about using our jarred food products, too,” he said. “The classes are a way we can continue to challenge Chef Dave, as well as showcase some of our popular food items.”

Dave Voirin is a retired police officer who knows his way around the kitchen as well as the streets of Aurora, where he was a beat officer for many years. As the fifth child of 13, he hung around his mother’s busy kitchen, watching her cook. He peppered her with questions because many of her recipes were “all in her head.”

Chef Dave is a self-professed foodie who collects recipes and cookbooks – and then cooks them, adding his own flair. When tasked with operating the kitchen at Abbey Farms in 2015, he knew he had to up quality control, so he took food safety and preparation classes. Since his retirement from the Aurora Police Department, he also works periodically at the Wheaton Meat Co. in Wheaton.

Each purchaser of the $39.95 cooking class ticket will receive two drink tickets for a selection of wine or beer; hors d’oeuvres using Abbey Farms’ products and a Chef Dave snack; class demonstrations with samples of three or more recipes; and tips and tricks in an interactive discussion.

Details and tickets can be found at www.abbeyfarms.org/tickets. Information also is offered at 630-966-7775, ext. 3. Perks are offered for taking multiple classes.

The dates and topics will be June 13, Did Someone Say BBQ?; June 27, Super Snazzy Summertime Salads; July 11, Fantastic Finger Foods; July 25, Christmas Chili in July?; Aug. 8, Back That Hitch Up – Let’s Tailgate!; Aug. 22, Beat the Heat with These Sweet Treats; and Sept. 12, Picture Perfect Pumpkin Party.

The nonprofit farm is celebrating 70 years in 2019. All proceeds from events and product sales benefit the monks of Marmion Abbey.

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