Opened in February 2009, Katie's Cooking School places budding kinderchefs in a warm, fun, home kitchen-like atmosphere to build confidence and self-sufficient home cooking skills. Your Groupon is good for any two of Katie's classes. Each child will learn the basics of measurement, basic cooking techniques, the chemistry of snacktioneering, and the controversial history of Go-Gurt. Group recipes rotate with the seasons and holidays, but are always both kid friendly and sophisticated. Other options include Parents' Night Out on Fridays and Saturdays, which lets moms and dads enjoy a night of salsa dancing or mailbox baseball while whippersnappers whip up treats, then eat them while watching a kiddie flick. Parents interested in tagging along with their young gastronomes can join the Mommy and Me classes, designed for cooks aged five and younger on Thursdays and select Sundays.
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.
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.
Since 2006, OceanFresh Seafood has sourced high-quality fish and crustaceans from the great blue yonder and brought them to the Simi Valley. The seafood emporium delivers these edibles in a few ways: party platters teeming with snow crab, prawns, and poached salmon; catering services for clambakes and oyster bars; and DIY cooking kits and classes. With raw materials in hand, customers can prepare sushi under the guidance of an expert maki roller or test out their culinary skills at home with maine lobster tails and Maryland-style crab cakes.
Chef Craiger Van Zee started his grilling career at age 12. Now, after 40 years in the food and beverage industry, Chef Craiger has become a strong proponent of the saying "practice makes perfect." Through To Grill or Not to Grill, the chef has passed his hard-won cooking experience to more than 3,500 students. Chef Craiger smoothly divulges tips and advice to classes with cooking demonstrations and field trips to the mystical talking spatula, and helps clients master their own grills with at-home group lessons tailored to the grill's specific make and model.
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.