At L'École Culinaire, career-minded students dive into the culinary arts and focus on one cooking course during each 10-week period, so that they can emerge prepared to enter the workforce. In addition to the college program, the staff of professional chefs caters to amateurs by teaching intimate, interactive cooking classes where they demonstrate how to complete an entire meal from the cocktails to dessert.
As a personal chef and motivational speaker, Cheryl Mochau will spark the culinary creativity of a hungry audience in a two-hour demonstrative cooking demonstration. Guests will get firsthand insight into eight party-optimized recipes including shrimp tarts, spinach-and-feta phyllo squares, pineapple punch, and a ranch torte ideal for dipping. During cooking demonstrations, Cheryl explains the health credentials of each ingredient, answers questions from audience members, and suggests celebratory serving ideas that rival a nacho-cheese ice luge. Practical advice on party-menu planning and kitchen-safety tips are sure to prevent a host of music-stopping debacles. While instructors take care of cooking duties during live demonstrations, onlookers can sample the items in the spotlight, soaking up inspiration to craft culinary clones in their own mad-scientist kitchens. In addition to savory knowledge, the up to 120 attendees will take home door prizes and printed copies of the featured recipes.
Experienced chef Nancy Harris broadens culinary horizons in cooking classes informed by her catering expertise with Touch of Home Catering. Students in the September 22 class at Schnucks learn the basics of cooking favorite summer dishes, helping backyard cooks move beyond hot dogs served between two frisbees. Newly minted flame trainers will gain basic skills, and attendees of all experience levels benefit from time-saving techniques. On September 29, Nancy transitions to fall-friendly slow-cooker methods that lighten the stress of holiday dinners and free witches from spending all of Halloween over a cauldron. After sampling the gamut of dishes cooked during class, pupils go home with a head full of knowledge and a list full of recipes.
Kitchen Affairs is a full-service, gourmet kitchen shop that has been helping inexperienced chefs discover their domestic potential for nearly 25 years. Single-session classes impart techniques from the most basic egg beating to mastering more than a dozen ethnic cuisines and regional specialties. Choose a class on Kitchen Affairs' diverse calendar to become an expert architect of some of your favorite dishes, including family-style pizza, homemade sausages, sushi, and horse feather with sunshine soup. During the Romantic Chocolates class ($45), experienced instructors teach Cupidian lovers the dark secrets of truffles, crème brûlée, and chocolate mousse cake with finger-licking fashion. Many classes are demonstration only, some are hands-on, and all are delicious. Reservations are required.
Young Chefs Academy provides a fun, safe, and motivating environment for kids to become acquainted with the art of food and food presentation. Engaging chef instructors instill lessons of kitchen etiquette and safety in youngsters growing up in a world full of laser can-openers and sharp pasta rakes, giving children a capable handle on their surroundings as they journey into the land of food. Classes educate a variety of age groups, with specially catered classes for the kindergarten elite and junior line cooks, combining nutritional meals with basic food-prep skills that teach how to correctly follow a recipe to edible fruition. Senior flambéists are offered advanced classes that dig deeper into kitchen secrets and hone specific skills and techniques that expand the parameters of cooking creativity. Most classes last 90 minutes.
Discover World Cuisine promotes local agriculture through a series of community programs that highlight locally sourced ingredients as well as the restaurants and cafeteria food fights that use them. The consortium of chefs, sommeliers, and foodies hosts cooking classes and dinners throughout the summer months that spotlight dishes from Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. Organic food and wine festivals also feature international nibbles as well as live music and giveaways.
Proceeds from the events support Discover World Cuisine’s community outreach program, which partners with area schools to introduce kids to new foods and help them develop healthy eating habits. Classroom sessions balance hands-on instruction with activity sheets to teach students to select and prepare low-cost, nutritious meals.