Chefs wear shirtfront stains like medals of honor, which is why ceremonial recognition often devolves into a food fight. Grab a few marks of merit with today’s Groupon to The Cooking Coach 101. Choose between the following options:
- For $35, you get one admission to a group cooking class at Surfas Test Kitchen (a $105 value).
- For $99, you get two private in-home cooking classes (a $210 value).<p>
Whether ensconced in the modern technological wizardry of the Surfas Test Kitchen or amid the pots and pans of a private home, Beth Hirsch, the Cooking Coach, comfortably unveils the secrets of food, fire, and presentation in three-hour sessions. With stove and oven, her pupils summon pre-chosen dishes from a menu of themes and techniques, such as international and ethnic foods, or classic breakfast staples including waffles, french toast, and waffles stapled to french toast. Students test comprehension with recipes as Hirsch imparts the skills needed to confidently read between the lines. The lessons, which make ideal last-minute holiday gifts, touch on and reorganize each part of kitchen life, from recommendations on how to stock and stack a pantry to practical tactics for grocery and produce shopping, such as discerning which fruits are seasonable.
Under careful tutelage, the Cooking Coach’s apprentices handle all knives and preparations themselves as she dishes up important safety tips and imparts good habits of cleanliness. As a cherry on the cooked sundae, the lesson ends with plating and presentation for startlingly attractive dishes tuned to entertaining guests or breaking the news that the in-laws can’t stay forever.
The Cooking Coach 101
In a gym, a personal trainer helps people who want to learn workouts that are customized to fit their lifestyles and goals. Beth Hirsch aims to offer her clients a similarly singular experience—but in the kitchen. She's a home chef who's been cooking and entertaining for more than 30 years, in addition to experience working for caterers and restaurants. Over the years, she's met parents who resorted to feeding their kids mostly prepackaged meals and fast food because they weren't confident in the kitchen. She's taken college students and newlyweds under her wing to teach them basic kitchen skills after they headed out on their own for the first time. Inspired by helping people learn the skills they need to eat and live better, she pooled all her knowledge and started The Cooking Coach 101, an in-home cooking school.
For each lesson, Beth paraglides to her clients' kitchens to teach them whichever kitchen skills they'd most like to learn. Her repertoire includes knife skills, how to make basic sauces, basic baking, and how to create all sorts of ethnic dishes, from Italian to Moroccan. She'll also take a look at their pantries and kitchens to help them get properly organized, as well as teaching them how to read recipes, create a meal plan, and shop for groceries effectively. For those who'd rather learn in a group, Beth also leads group classes inside Surfas Restaurant and Gourmet Food.