Teaching and learning. (A NEW DIRECTION)

January 19, 2011

Recently the nature of my work in the field of all things culinary has changed. After a usual busy holiday season of cooking for the masses, I am now focused on teaching cooking classes. This has been going really well since my extreme enthusiasm for cooking delicious things seems to be particularly contagious.

Specifically, I am developing classes in different venues around Manhattan and Brooklyn including the gleaming Astor CenterGer-Nis Culinary and Herb Center and an excellent art-focused mission called 3rd Ward. Each has its own style of education to offer at different levels of intensity but my mission, no matter which kitchen I am teaching in, is to get home cooks excited and empowered.

By demystifying ingredients and techniques, answering (any and all) questions applying the goods I have acquired cooking all over the world, I aim to help students make a little more sense of the fundamentals of cooking. When one becomes confident in the kitchen and armed with a sharp knife and a little understanding, the whole cooking process is streamlined. Then, the tasks at hand don’t seem quite as daunting and folks will (ideally) cook even more than they already do. I work the recipes to be accessible to the average cook, something they will prepare on their own without hesitation. Menus are created to consist of dishes that use a variety of cooking styles and a wide range of ingredients so that everyone gets as much out of a session as possible, no matter what their level of skill.

As for Up Chef Creek, I see potential for a new direction starting here too. My idea is to communicate a tiny part of a class in each post. A interesting tip or technique, a great recipe or an excerpt of a discussion that came up. In other words, things divulged from a classroom setting, turned into a blog post and, well, we can see what happens from there. Oh yes! And video… on the instructional level as well. Another new improvement that I would like to make at Up Chef Creek with the conceptualization of this new direction.

Please. Enjoy. Stay tuned.


Photo: K. Slingluff

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