Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Cooking School

So who among us hasn’t thought about taking a cooking class? Or maybe even teaching a cooking class?

With the popularity of the Food Channel, “Top Chef” and the like more people (I wish I had the numbers) are getting into the whole idea of learning more about what we eat. The number of students applying to culinary schools is also up.

Many years ago I took a Chinese cooking class at a local community college. It was totally lots of fun and I learned how to bone a chicken, how to crack an egg with one hand and all about seasoning. I also met some truly great people. But this was long before cooking classes became popular. Heck it was long before I even met my husband and we’ve been married thirty years!

The classes are usually divided into three catagories: One, those that count toward a career; two, those where a chef demonstrates a dish and then everyone gets to eat it and those that are hands on. I prefer the hands on. I think it is the best way to learn.

I guess I’d take some sort of Italian class although since Spanish cooking is becoming so popular that might be fun. Or maybe a knife skills class. Of course, that would mean I’d have to get some good knives.

What cooking class would you take?

Rita Connelly
Rita Connelly

  1. I love cooking school.

    I once spent a week at the Santa Fe School of Cooking in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was a wonderful vacation that not only involved cooking but going to Hatch, New Mexico for the roasting of the green chiles; going to the home of Cheryl and Bill Jamison and eating barbecue with them. They have written many BBQ “bibles” and meet local artists.

    Another time (there’s an obvious theme here) I went to the Hudson River Valley and spent three days in various inns cooking behind the scenes with the chefs. Maybe I can find that document and share it with you.

    But my favorite cooking school is The South Bay School of Cooking, http://www.southbayschoolofcooking.com as my friend Annette started it. She had a vision and jumped on the merry-go-round to get it. I think she’s already celebrated her 4th anniversary; I cannot remember.

    Her cooking school is hands on. And everyone participates and everyone has fun. How do I know that? Well, I’ve read the feedback, the testimonials.

    Since I don’t live in Manhattan Beach any more I cannot participate.

    I went to a cooking school once in Tucson and didn’t really like it. I was banished to grate tomatoes, about 2 dozen of them.

  2. I, too, went to a Chinese cooking class years ago at a community college. It was totally hands-on. There were about 10 of us and we eached help prepare a complete meal: appetizer to dessert.

    I distinctly remember a gelatin dessert that was very subtle in flavor and very firm, like Jell-o gigglers. They told us the gelatin was derived from cow hooves. No surprise there. I ate it anyway.

    I never would have attempted any of these recipes on my own as the ingredients were so foreign. Taking the class took the fear out of the unknown.

    None-the-less, I only made one of the recipes afterwards — it turned out fine. Not sure why I didn’t make more except perhaps for the fact that I had to stock my pantry with so many new items that it would have taken me years to use them up.

    I think it was the adventure aspect that I liked the most. The thrill of the hunt. Then I was ready to go off and try something new.

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