Food & Spirits: Cooking, or at least watching The Food Channel, has become a national obsession. Cooking — whether your see it as an art form, a creative expression, a career, entertainment, team building or a value proposition — is hot!
One way to hop on the cooking craze is to take a class. Attending a cooking school is fun, either near home or better yet, in some exotic locale. This opportunity intrigues even individuals who shudder at the thought of "going back to school." Some classes are billed as demonstration only, meaning that you observe the chef and taste the results.
The most rewarding courses are experiential. These are a combination of lecture, demonstration and student participation, where everyone is involved in the preparation and critique of the results after they are consumed. Building on this model are courses that last from one to several days, to a week or longer.
Typically, these courses include excursions to local markets, fish mongers, bakeries, wineries, olive oil producers, chocolatiers, organic farms, local bistros and more, where first hand knowledge and experience is acquired by interacting with the folks on the front line of food production.
Their passion is palpable and their enthusiasm is contagious. Before you know it, you can't wait to get back home to delight and impress your friends with your culinary prowess. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your apron and get cooking!
Here are just a few of the options waiting to entice you. Check out their websites and turn your culinary curiosity into your latest passion:
3) The New Orleans Cooking Experience offers cooking vacations, half-day, private and special event classes in a charming 1790's Creole Plantation located right in the heart of New Orleans. The highly personalized, small classes focus on authentic Creole cooking. Renowned Chef, Frank Brigtsen, of Brigsten's Restaurant created the course curriculum and teaches many of the classes himself. The interactive nature of the classes makes learning easy and fun while the multi-course meal including wines makes for cementing newly made cooking acquaintances into fast friends.
4)Let's Get Cookin — Westlake Village, California — for 25 years, Phyllis and Vince Vaccarelli and Staff have personally and with the help of super star visiting chefs inspired both hobbyists and budding professionals to pursue their culinary interest.
6) The International Kitchen — Since 1994, Karen Herbst and her staff are industry leaders offering a gourmet selection of over 90 cooking school vacations that are sure to please every globetrotter.
Why Attend a Top Cooking School?
We’ve come a long way from the Swanson turkey TV dinners I grew up with as a child. We’ve moved on to the endless array of multi-ethnic dinners available in every supermarket frozen section. We revel at the make-and-store-your-own meals for the week, under the watchful eye of a culinary coach. Or we enlist a private chef at your beck and call.
Although our national curiosity with cooking may have been initially ignited by Julia Child and her entertaining way with French cuisine, it's our current crop of star-quality chefs and the possibility of emulating their success in the kitchen that has captured our imagination.
France has always paid homage to their culinary masters awarding them with Michelin Stars, fame and fortune. We in America have just begun to revere the talent that comes out of the kitchen. So much so, that these days learning to cook is an appealing avocation that runs the gamut from casual hobby, to gourmet obsession, to serious profession.
Yes, you can fire up your culinary curiosity by attending a cooking school.
Just do it!
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