Located a few miles outside of Fort Collins, the big red barn that houses Farm Fusion might as well be a world away from the hustle of that college town. In late fall, the land stretches before you in shades of umber and sienna, broken only by a shimmer of sunlight on a lake. It’s an apt setting for Dawn Broeder’s new venture: a cooking school with a hyperlocal approach to farm-to-table cuisine.
Before Farm Fusion, Broeder taught culinary arts classes at Fort Collins High School. After building up the program, she wanted to dive deeper into the world of food…so she bought a food truck. The Farm Fusion truck hit the road in 2015, and Broeder spent the next few years making contacts with local farmers and purveyors, honing her menu, and getting her name out into the community. Then, ready for a new adventure, Broeder retired the truck and returned to her childhood home outside of Fort Collins, where she spent two years constructing a barn on the property. She debuted Farm Fusion In The Kitchen cooking school this past July.
The barn’s kitchen is large and airy, offering plenty of space for the five to 10 participants in each lesson. Broeder’s lineup of classes ranges from basic knife skills to cheese-making (utilizing local milk) to a tapas course; the latter might include aïoli made from just-gathered pink, blue, and green eggs courtesy of the chickens milling about in the yard. Ingredients come from the farm itself or from other local growers. “I don’t use processed food in any of my teachings,” Broeder says. “We will rarely use anything that we don’t make.”
Broeder has big plans for growing Farm Fusion: There’s space for outdoor dining when the weather is warmer, and Broeder has plans to construct an outdoor kitchen too. She also wants to offer yoga workshops, paddleboarding on the property’s two lakes, and to grow a pumpkin patch next fall.
“I’d love to have people come and pick a pumpkin and make pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins,” Broeder says. “I have lots of visions, I just have to take little baby steps.”
If you go: Farm Fusion offers classes on most Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays; private classes and events are also available. Upcoming class topics include cheese-making, gluten-free cooking, pasta and sauces, cooking with kids, and edible holiday gifts. Class prices start at $59 for adults. For more information and to view the full schedule of classes, click here.