One of the entries on the ever-burgeoning list of upscale shops in trendy Beacon is the Beacon Pantry. In business for two years, this gourmet food store specializes in cheeses — there are more than 50 in its case — as well as charcuterie, fresh bread from Café Le Perche in Hudson, and desserts from Middletown’s Something Sweet Bakery Café.
Not content, however, with meeting southern Dutchess County’s gourmet food needs, owner Stacey Penlon has opened the Kitchen at Beacon Pantry, a cooking school and special-event space located behind the Main Street shop. At the moment, the school’s curriculum includes four classes, each about two hours long; would-be chefs can sign up online to learn about “Classic Sauces”; “Appetizers”; “Beginning Butchery,” taught by Barbara Fisher of neighboring Barb’s Butchery; and “Cooking for the Week.” These courses join the Pantry’s “Cheese 101 and Wine Pairing” class, which has been offered periodically since the shop opened and routinely sells out. “We want to continue our work bringing great food to the people of the Hudson Valley,” says Penlon of this new venture. “Our vision for the store is to educate people about food, and these classes go along perfectly with that vision.”