When other kids played in the street, imagining lives as astronauts or cops, Leslie McKenna played in the kitchen, already a chef in her heart. Her childhood passion persisted, earning her a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University, praise in the pages of Bon Appétit for her pastas and desserts, and a job as Bob Hope’s private chef. In 2005, she decided to share her love with a new generation of aspiring culinary artists, so she founded Chefs, Inc. as a place to learn, cook, and have fun.
Today, her school hosts a wide array of cooking classes, when it isn’t occupied as a film set by shows such as Millionaire Matchmaker. The classes range from Julia Child’s classic French recipes to a dipping-sauce course focusing on grilled and fried eats slathered in custom condiments. She even teaches a knife-skills class, preparing students to slice and dice food like a professional, quickly chopping money or deftly cracking the fruit of the money tree to reveal the paycheck inside.
In their urban kitchens from San Diego to Seattle, Hipcooks trains budding culinarians to build their own gourmet dishes from scratch. With more regard for cooks' instincts about taste than exacting recipe measurements, the classes are meant to be social learning experiences capped with a shared dinner. And the meals students learn to make are designed with a practical purpose in mind: an attempt to conjure up romance could feature a dinner of mushroom turnovers, pan-seared steak with polenta, and chocolate souffl?, and surprise guests may provoke an emergency menu of honey-pear salad and pistachio-crusted fish. Like a discriminating competitive eater, other courses focus on a specific cuisine. In Una Noche en Espa?a, for example, the chefs produce a wide variety of tapas, while students in Shortcut to Nirvana set the table with spicy curry and vegetarian samosas from the Indian subcontinent.
Conrad Gallagher has many roles?television personality, restaurateur, and cookbook author, to name a few?but the same passion for cooking that he puts into each of these tasks garnered his restaurant a Michelin star when he was 24, making him the youngest starred chef at the time. He began his training in Ireland at the age of 12, when most other kids are too busy playing games or collecting seagull feathers. Conrad's persistent dedication paid off in the form of numerous awards and accomplishments, including preparing a St. Patrick's Day dinner for President Bill Clinton at the White House. These days, Conrad stretches his talents to other fields, such as menu planning and restaurant development. He also schools laymen in the kitchen with cooking lessons that focus on specific genres, including Italian, French, and seafood. Gift certificates are available for purchase.
Piccolo Chef's cooking school employs incisive instructors to teach competent kitchen skills, instill the confidence to cook alone, and train the taste buds of kids and adults alike. Parents wishing to cultivate culinary independence can attempt to instill a penchant for handcrafted healthy food with one of Piccolo Chef's teen-centric classes, or younger children can graduate beyond Easy-Bake Ovens during simpler classes including the 5 Ingredients or Less! lesson. Adult cooking classes, including the Feeding a Family lesson packed with sophisticated picnic-lunch items, boost culinary prowess and expand all students' culinary horizons.
When she was growing up in India, in Britain, and in North America Kaumudi Marath? ate an eclectic array of international foods. While living in the United States, she began to blend Indian cooking techniques and spices with American ingredients, resulting in what she dubs "California Indian." Rather than keep these culinary gems to herself, she established Un-Curry to introduce others to her style of cooking and to shatter the belief that all Indian food is made of curry.
This introduction takes the form of catering and cooking classes, which cover a variety of subjects. Spices 101 grants students the low-down on spices including cumin and asafetida, and Indian Bread Basket teaches students the techniques for making naan. Marathi Salad Bowl plucks recipes from Marath?'s home state of Maharashtra, which is known for its rich vegetables, and California Indian takes students on field trips to local farmers' markets in search of seasonal veggies and matching sweater sets.
The methodology I employ is an experiential approach that enables students to feel confident in speaking almost immediately. My classes are designed to help the student feel comfortable and to get her/him interacting and speaking with others right away.