From the Blog

Enjoy the Holiday Season with Czech-Inspired Cooking Classes

New Pioneer Food Co-op November 4 Category: Stronger+Together

Join the Czech and Slovak Museum from the comfort of your home on Zoom and learn from Czech-born Chef Tom Slepicka in these hands-on interactive classes.

Slepicka graduated from culinary school in his hometown, Brno, located in the Czech Republic. While still in school, he established a successful full-service catering company which operated in the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, and Austria. Slepicka moved to the U.S. with his wife in 2014. From 2015-16, he operated the Czech Deli at the NewBo City Market. The goal of his courses is to make tasty and high-quality meals accessible to everyone.

Find many of the ingredients for these classes and recipes at New Pioneer Food Co-op.

Their 4th Christmas Series consists of 8 classes. 7 classes are brand new, with the Vánočka class (sweet, braided bread) being a repeat from the previous year.

Please note that you can attend any class in this series without having attended its predecessor.

You can join us for all 8 classes (the entire series) and get 2 classes totally free, or select the 5 that sound the best to you and get 1 class free; or lastly, you can purchase classes individually.

November 4, 6-8:30PM
Christmas Cookies II
Snow Mini Wreath Cookies

This modern and delicious cookie consists of a meringue top in the shape of a wreath, a delicious peach preserve, and a perfect vanilla bottom. All parts of this cookie complement each other and together create a one-of-a-kind cookie that will be like nothing you have ever seen. You will prepare all parts of the cookie totally from scratch, including the preserve. While preparing these cookies, you will practice multiple cooking techniques that can be later used in other baking and cooking.

November 11, 3-6PM
Slovak Christmas Buns Bobalky

These Slovak Christmas Mini Buns are commonly present as one of the courses during traditional Christmas dinners. In our class, you will prepare two versions: one sweet with poppy seed and honey and one savory with sauerkraut, onion, and caraway.

November 15, 6-8:30PM
Christmas Drinks & Pralines

In this class, you will prepare traditional Czech & Slovak egg liqueur (similar to eggnog), Czech and Slovak mulled wine, and a couple of easy-to-make pralines.  All totally from scratch.

Note: Suitable for vegetarians.

November 29, 3-6pm
Christmas Log – Decadent Christmas Roulade

Old Christmas traditions of burning a wooden log in a few European countries (Portuguese, Germany, and others) inspired French chefs to invent a delicious and decadent chocolate dessert, which is called Bûche de Noël (translated Christmas Log). Burning wooden logs wasn’t an original tradition in Czech and Slovak, but in the last few years, this dessert has grown in popularity in Czech and Slovak households. And now, it has turned into a Christmas tradition and a great new addition to the Czech and Slovak Christmas series.

December 6, 6-8:30PM
Czech Christmas Meal – Fish in Black Sauce

In this class, you will prepare a back-to-basic fish recipe, fish in a black sauce, which is the oldest Czech ways of preparing Christmas Eve fish (usually carp). In our class, you will substitute carp with white fish, but all other steps will be authentic. The sauce is a delicious combination of moderate fish flavor, caramel, spices and seasoning, and prunes. They are all served with traditional bread dumplings.

December 13, 6-8:30PM
Czech & Slovak Gingerbread House

For the last couple of years, these series have included traditional Czech and Slovak-decorated gingerbread cookies. This year, you will take it one step further and prepare the entire gingerbread house the same way Czechs and Slovaks do. This house will be prepared in just enough time to be displayed at your home for the Christmas season. The class will be a lot of fun for all ages (with adult supervision), and after class, you will be one step closer to being prepared for Christmas.

Note: Suitable for vegetarians.

December 16, 3-6pm
Vanocka – Sweet Czech Braided Bread

Vánočka is often called “Houska” in the USA. The name “vánočka” comes from “Vánoce”, which means Christmas in Czech. It is a scrumptious sweet bread with raisins and almonds, which is very common to serve on Christmas morning in the Czech Republic (December 24th). It can be served plain, with butter, or with butter and preserves/jam. Because it is very delicious, people buy it in the Czech Republic all year long.

New Pioneer Food Co-op About the Author

New Pioneer Food Co-op

New Pi is a food co-operative, owned by over 35,000 members, home-grown in Iowa. We welcome everyone to our store, regardless of membership, and focus on local and sustainable food solutions. New Pi has strong roots in Iowa City’s local food community, and continues to partner with local growers, food, and sustainability organizations to enrich Linn and Johnson County communities.