Edible Excursions + Parties That Cook Hook Up in the Mission District

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Pie founder Karen Heisler and baker Kyrsten Rubin
Mission Pie founder Karen Heisler and baker Kyrsten Rubin

San Francisco’s Mission District is said to be the area’s most diverse neighborhood, both in terms of its people and restaurants. The oldest neighborhood in the city, just south of downtown, the district is a magnet for foodies with its chic, comfy restaurants and abundance of lusty Latino and South American flavors.

Recently, two of the area’s event planning companies, Edible Excursions and Parties That Cook, teamed up to offer cooking and tasting group programs.

Offering intimate culinary tours for groups, Edible Excursions focuses on San Francisco’s culturally rich regions, including: Mission District, the famed Ferry Building Marketplace and Farmers Market and North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto.

These are all areas of the city where a passion for local and organic food is shared by restaurant owners, artisans and foodies alike. Epicurean concierges lead groups into the heart of the Bay Area food scene to experience delicacies that are coupled with behind-the-scenes stories.

Parties That Cook, meanwhile, has been a great choice for teambuilding activities and group cooking classes for over a decade. With its headquarters in the San Fran area, their expert event planners offer one of seven corporate event options, all of which are educational, entertaining and customizable. The company provides private homes or rented kitchens in the area, and they emphasize seasonal menus and add-on corporate gifts.

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WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN THE MISSION 
One example of their joint culinary adventures is called the “Mouthwatering Mission: Cooking Class & Tasting Tour.”

On this tour, groups begin at Mission Pie, a local green-certified bakery whose primarily young employees (more than half are younger than 25 years old) learn all there is to know about this legendary dessert. Sourcing as much as possible from local farms and distributors, Mission Pie creates mouth-watering desserts which include their Walnut Pie, replacing the good ol’ Pecan Pie, thanks to the area’s vast crop of local walnuts.

The culinary tour also visits other area restaurants like El Farolito, where groups can try authentic tacos, and Mission Minis, where miniature cupcakes are fresh out of the oven. The next stop on the tour is La Palma Foods. The Mexican market sells fresh ingredients that your group will use to prepare their own culinary creations.

The tour ends at La Cocina, San Francisco’s first incubator kitchen, designed to help low-income entrepreneurs develop their skills and build sustainable small businesses. Here, Parties That Cook’s chefs will join your group for a hands-on cooking class. Highlights of the class include a cooking demo where attendees will learn a few tricks from the chefs, like how to dice an onion without a tear. During another portion, groups are divided into teams to create a few dishes from their Latin-inspired small plates menu. Of course, groups will enjoy their delicious dishes during the tour.

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