Stan Nicolaides often recalls eating at the kitchen table of his “yia yia,” the affectionate Greek term for one’s grandmother. There, he was unable to go play until he’d downed plates and plates of moussaka and gyros. Even then, it was clear he belonged in the kitchen.
Now, Stan makes his own rules while dishing out falafel, kebabs, and gyros named Best Greek Food two years running by SantaBarbara.com. After sopping up creamy hummus with fresh pita bread, guests have Nick whip up a chicken breast with thyme and lemon while he chatters in Greek.
Drawing on traditions passed down through the generations before her, Nimita Dhirajlal prepares vegetarian Indian cuisine following the Ayurvedic philosophy. To that end, she cooks to promote health with a menu based on only vegetarian ingredients, as well as to nurture the community by using locally sourced ingredients. At Nimita's Cuisine, she shares not only her meals through catering services, but also her techniques for preparing the piquant dishes through cooking classes.
Dhirajlal?a culinary instructor since the mid '90s?leads classes that teach students how to cook intuitively with a knowledge of the spices and methods, rather than just how to follow a recipe. At the end of each three-hour class, she invites the students to sit down and enjoy their vegetarian creations together, after first promising to not incite a food fight.
She also offers catering for large groups and delivers weekly baskets packed with meals such as saag paneer, butternut squash garbanzo curry, and moong bean daal to subscribers' doorsteps each Monday.
Warehouse Discount Center is primarily a purveyor of home appliances and plumbing wares, although it also hosts in-store cooking classes led by experienced chefs. Amidst an outside grilling theatre, using the finet equipment, Chef masters Craiger Van Zee and Chef JoAnn Hecht teach students the finer points of roasting, grilling, and preparing international dishes. Students are able to sample delicacies created and also take home a new set of culinary skills along with information packets.
Chef Craiger has been in the culinary business for more than four decades and heads up his own educational venture, To Grill or Not to Grill. He has taught more than 3,000 students how to sear and season on the barbeque and enjoys sharing his knowledge with groups of all sizes. Chef JoAnn comes from a teaching and catering background and tailors her classes to complement the seasons.
When Chef Nikki Dailey graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in New York, she spent some time perfecting her craft at five-star restaurants. But those kitchens couldn’t contain her love of seasonal, local, and organic cuisine, so she founded HEATculinary. The business brings her signature style of cooking right to students with in-home cooking classes that focus on fresh ingredients grown nearby and proper cooking techniques. HEATculinary also offers a variety of cooking-themed programs, including personal culinary classes, culinary boot-camp, group events, and catering.
Signature service: Gluten-free living consultation
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Pro Tip: I believe we attract more of what we feel. I inspire happiness and health through better self care.
Stan "The Man" Nicolaides first heard the siren song of the kitchen at his grandmother's table, which hoisted mountains of homemade moussaka and moist, juicy gyros. While his grandmother's Greek cuisine remains the closest food to his heart, Nicolaides also expertly serves up menus consisting of Caribbean fare such as andouille sausage in orange marmalade, urbane American dishes such as shrimp cocktails and crab cakes, and Old-World Italian pastas such as hand-folded mushroom tortellini. Beyond his own restaurant, Greek House Cafe, he's worked at the Four Seasons Biltmore, taught at Roblar Winery, and recipized raw ingredients alongside such celebrity chefs as Julia Child, Jacques Pépen, and David Hasselhoff's talking microwave from Knight Rider.