Because the guidance of television cooking shows is limited, home cooks may still end up burning salad or using the toaster to thaw chicken. Today's Groupon offers in-person help: for $45, you'll get an expert cooking class at Chefs, Inc. (an $80–$95 value). You can choose any single cooking class on the calendar that is $80–$95; this deal is not valid for classes that are part of a weekly series.
Part specialty biscotti bakery, part venue space for private events, even part set for movies and television shows including The Biggest Loser and this gig with Top Chef ’s Fabio Viviani, the dainty yellow storefront of Chefs, Inc. most importantly holds eight state-of-the-art kitchen stations for hands-on cooking classes. After a lecture and demonstration, an expert chef will prevent chicken-thawing accidents and offer helpful tips throughout the preparation of the evening’s delectable menu. Afterward, you'll get to taste your mouthwatering creations, unless there is a bear in your class. Check out the class schedule for the list of offerings, including Spanish Tapas, Vegetarian Entertaining With Pizazz, Fresh Pasta Making, Simple and Amazing Soufflés, and French Classics. Menu items vary from class to class. Whatever you choose, you’ll find yourself whipping up premiere, multi-course menus such as this one from the Elegant Italian class: pancetta-wrapped figs with goat cheese, saffron risotto with scallops, rack of lamb with herb pesto, apple and frisee salad, roasted fennel with parmesan cheese, and a hazelnut semifreddo with chocolate sauce.
Chef Leslie McKenna, who Bon Appétit dubbed “caterer to the stars,” started Chefs, Inc. after working in the kitchens of presidents and celebrities, as well as at Maxwell’s Plum and Jake’s Manhattan in New York City, Primi in Los Angeles, and Valentino’s in Santa Monica. She has also taught at the Epicurean Cooking School, Bristol Farms, and the Village Kitchen Shoppe. Along with her notable team of equally adept chef instructors, Leslie has developed an insatiable catalogue of classes and courses for foodies and those desperately in need of a hobby other than LARPing.
Customers of Chefs, Inc. are busy learning new culinary techniques, but four Yelpers took a break from the kitchen long enough to give it 4.5 stars. This couple loved their experience:
- This is a professional operation designed to help people to help themselves in the kitchen, and the instructors are excellent, patient and talented. – Kat N.
- …I really enjoyed the class myself and it was a great way for us to spend time together since we're both so busy. And Chef Diane Brown made the whole experience fun while we learned. We will definately [sic] be taking more classes! – Ray M.
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.
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