The Sustainable Food Center’s the Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre program has offered free cooking classes to underserved or at-risk Austinites for almost 20 years, and now for the first time, members of the general public can take cooking classes at a new SFC commercial kitchen that will help offset the cost of the free courses.

The nonprofit, which runs a number of local food programs, including the downtown, Sunset Valley and Triangle farmers markets, moved into its new headquarters off East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard this summer, and in the new building is a teaching kitchen that seats about 20 students.

Starting with a knife skills class on Sept. 10, the Happy Kitchen will offer cooking classes several times a month on topics including healthy lunchbox meals, ancient grains, tamales, holiday gifts, flexitarian and seasonal cooking, and how to break down a whole chicken. The weeknight and weekend classes, which take place either over the lunch hour or in the evenings, cost between $20 and $50 each.

Program director Joy Casnovsky says that they’ve wanted to offer more classes for years, but because most of the free classes take place in community centers and churches, they decided to wait until they had their own space. The sleek new kitchen is also a place for them to test recipes and train the more than 40 facilitators who teach around Austin.

You can learn more or register for classes at sustainablefoodcenter.org/happy-kitchen/classes.