Culinary Essentials - Basic Kitchen Skills
First apartment? Out on your own? Engaged or newly married? Shopping in the frozen food isle? This course is designed specifically for budding cooks and is based on the concept that you should know how to feed yourself and your family wholesome and tasty freshly cooked meals. A seasoned LifeLearn culinary arts instructor will introduce basic kitchen skills while teaching you how to prepare several fundamental foods: beef, chicken, pasta, eggs, vegetables, and more. The class format will feature a combination of demonstrations and hands-on cooking. We'll cover kitchen knives, which ones you need, and how to use and sharpen them. You will also learn about other essential kitchen equipment, how to choose ingredients, and where to shop in our area. Typically 4 sessions, syllabus in the right column.

Bill practices crepemaking skills
with Hank watching

These courses were inspired by a TV program I watched hosted by chef and author Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel. In this episode Bourdain breaks from his typical format of visiting a remote destination to explore their food culture. In this special "Techniques" episode he begins by saying that every American should have basic proficiency in the kitchen. He invited recognized chefs to teach specific topics. For example, Jacques Pepin teaches the omelet. You can watch it on YouTube:

Beef Bourguignon (stew)
Knife Skills - chopping an onion
Roast Chicken
Note: Some content may be blocked by YouTube.

Class Photo

What makes my classes better than just watching TV is hands-on experience in a real kitchen with an experienced instructor. In my classes we also discuss how and where to shop locally for specific ingredients. While the content may remind you of basic home economics, I seem to have struck a nerve with this offering: it immediately filled to capacity and generated a wait-list.


Syllabus & Notes:

Class 1: Eggs - Let’s Break Fast
• Quiche Lorraine
• Omelets
• “Italian” French Toast
• Whole Wheat Pancakes

Class 2: Beef - It’s What’s for Dinner
• Beef Stew
• Steak au Poivre or Meatloaf
• Mashed Potatoes
• String Beans

Class 3: Chicken - Don’t Chicken Out
• Whole Roast Chicken
• Pan-Sauteed Chicken Breast
• Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary
• Broccoli

Class 4: Pasta - A Penne for Your Thoughts
• Red Sauce
• Pesto Sauce
• Spicy Peanut Sauce

Discussion Topics:
Knife Use & Sharpening
Basic Equipment: Pots & Pans
Ingredients & Where to Shop

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