Restaurant chefs and non-professional cooks with a flair for using fresh, local ingredients are needed by New Roots, the West End project to provide better foods in an area deemed a “food desert.” Local chefs and home cooking enthusiasts are invited to Cook to the Root, a cocktail reception at Monnik Beer Co.,1036 E. Burnett St.  from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, April 9.

Volunteer cooks are needed to lead on-site cooking demonstrations for New Roots’ 11 bi-weekly Fresh Stop Markets. There are a total of 121 event slots to fill this growing season, according to New Roots executive director Karyn Moskowitz in a story in the Courier-Journal.  Moskowitz hopes to fill every slot by the end of the event Sunday.

New Roots is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating “food justice” for communities that have limited access to fresh food. New Roots organizes communities to create shares in a market, which uses the group’s combined buying power to negotiate wholesale prices from farmers. Shareholders then purchase fresh foods on a sliding scale.

Farmers provide fresh foods at the Fresh Stop Markets organized by New Roots, where it is organized for pickup by shareholders. New Roots wants each market to have cooks on site to demonstrate what to cook with the seasonal foods available at each market. The recipes are shared with the community.

The Cook to the Root event Sunday at Monnik Brewery is to garner interest in the program and recruit volunteer cooks, both professional and skilled amateurs. Chefs volunteer give their time but take home a share as a gift. The events kick off June 7 and run for 22 weeks.

Complimentary beet-infused tequila cocktails, beet beer and farm-fresh bites prepared by Monnik’s executive chef Meghan Levins will be available. Spaces are limited and reservations are needed. Call (502) 509-6770 for information or go to to donate.