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Feb 20, 2008 01:41 PM

Chef Reccommendations - Cooking Class at Your Home

I am looking to do a private cooking class at my place (GTA) for my boyfriend's birthday as we share the common interest: cooking.

I heard about Chef Carmen ( but I would like to know if there are any other chefs - looking for Food and Fun.

If you have any suggestions... that would be fabulous.

Also if you have any previous experience with Chef Carmen, please do not hesitate to give me some feedback.


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  1. Suggest Chef Michael Benninger aka We had him over last month and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

    1. I really enjoyed Massimo Bruno.
      He gives you a crash course on homemade italian, probably about 7-8 dishes. A very bubbly and funny gentleman. Enjoyed every minute of our 4 hour dinner party tonight.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Suresh

        Check out Ezra Title from Chezvous dining. I hosted a birthday for my husband and he did an amazing job of it. Personality plus, he is very engaging and his food is excellent. Think seared tuna, homemade gnocci, short ribs, polenta, homemade sorbets....everything was fantastic. Can't say enough about him. He's been getting a lot of media lately and he deserves it.

        1. re: millygirl

          millygirl, I checked out his website and things look fabulous. Thanks for the info!

        2. re: Suresh

          I really enjoyed the authentic home town Italian food. The menu was so diverse and tasted incredible. I still make some of the dishes at home. Massimo turns the meal into a real experience. As mentioned above Massimo makes it fun, friendly and warm experience. You cant help but feel that Massimo is like a long lost friend as soon as you meet him.

        3. Thanks cynalan and Suresh.

          Just wondering what the price range is... Some chefs seem to charge a flat fee + ingredients. How did the chefs you've recommended work out?

          3 Replies
          1. re: exquisite

            $50 per person, when we had 5 peeps.

            1. re: exquisite

              $75 pp for 12 people for 5 course meal included the chef and a server. We supplied our own wine.

            2. might be pricey but Chef David Adjey does home dinner parties -

              15 Replies
              1. re: JamieK

                Thanks for your recs. I decided to go with Chef Ezra this time. Won't know how it will turn out will late March but I will surely post up my experience.

                On a side note, I contacted Chef David Adjey and yes he was pricey. Celebrity chefs are definitely out of my price range... wow. I guess his cooking classes (where they gather people in one place as opposed to coming into our home) should be less pricey.

                Super excited! Thanks once again.

                1. re: exquisite

                  Oh exquisite I am so excited for you, and jealous!!! I know exactly how you feel and I'm so happy you went with Chezvous. Next time you speak with Ezra please tell him Millygirl (aka Judy) sends her regards. He is such a great guy! Trust me you will not be disappointed. He is so professional, his food is fantastic and he has a great personality to boot! He provided us, and our closest friends with a wonderful evening, that we will never forget. Please let me how it went. Ohhhh, so exciting. BTW, if you can, get the gnocci squash tortellini - AMAZING!!!!

                  1. re: millygirl

                    millygirl, I'll be sure to let him know. I can't wait already... I will let you know how the meals go. I guess if the gnocci is that impressive, I gotta try that for sure! I AM SO EXCITED!!! :D

                    1. re: exquisite

                      Hey exquisite, just wondering how things went with Chezvous? I hope you were as happy as we were?

                      1. re: millygirl

                        millygirl, i for some reason thought i posted my feedback... weird... anyway here is the copy and paste of what i wrote before for about:) (I had it copied and pasted to another email I wrote for my friend)

                        So here is my feedback:

                        I had Ezra come in at 7pm and he arrived just in time. He prepped 15 minutes and he started the "lesson" for us. But at the end, he did most of the cooking, and we watched, because we preferred to do so at that point (had a few glasses of wine to start off...).

                        Our menu was as follows:

                        Jerusalem Artichoke Soup -- I was skeptical about it because I had no idea as to what it was, but it was actually quite good and definitely unique in taste.

                        Lobster Gratin with Lemon-Porcini Crust -- Requires technical skills but he taught us from the beginning till the end. Also, he asked us in advance whether we wanted him to bring in live lobsters or we want the lobsters to be "sleeping", and we told him to bring in live ones so that we can learn how to do things from scratch.

                        Truffled risotto - Fabulous. I don't usually enjoy eating onions but in his risotto, it was just perfect. I licked the plate clean.

                        Molten Chocolate Bread Pudding (he brought us home made roasted marsh mellow ice cream to go with the bread pudding that we made, it was amaaaazing!) YUM

                        Overall, my bf and I had the best time learning. He gave us lots of useful tips on everyday cooking, and it was really fun. We finished with a bottle of porto. FABULOUS evening.

                        Once again, THANKS A TON FOR THE RECS!

                        1. re: exquisite

                          Can i ask what this set you back? im looking at getting a gift for some friends and this sounds like a great idea.

                  1. re: Suresh

                    Sorry Suresh but I completely disagree. I hired Chef Ezra for my husband's 50th birthday party to cater for 15 people. Many months later our guests are still talking about what a fantastic night it was. The food was stellar and it was worth every penny.

                    1. re: millygirl

                      I think Suresh may have been referring to David Adjey as overpriced, and he's probably right!

                      1. re: JamieK

                        I did get a quote for David Adjey. And YES, it was not the price range I was looking for. Actually very faaaar from it.

                  2. re: JamieK

                    I hired Adjey for a home dinner with my husband's clients. What a mistake. Adjey doesn't seem to understand that when he's hired as a chef for a dinner party, that's what the job is. Instead I got the Restaurant Makeover road show. He was unprepared, disruptive and the meal was average at best. He doesn't seem to take things very seriously. Since then I have hired two other chefs for dinner parties that were a fraction of the price and ten times the quality that Adjey brought to the table. I wouldn't hire him again.

                    1. re: yogagirl

                      lol surely you don't need a $$$ chef when others can create better dishes. that's actually very disappointing. i thought you would get what you pay for.

                      1. re: exquisite

                        Okay let me admit right off the bat I've never had David Adjey's food at Nector or otherwise. Having said that, I get the impression that he is all about 'the celebrity', rather than the food. It does not surprise me in the least.

                      2. re: yogagirl

                        Not surprised to hear this. There was a reason that he was let go from Nectar.

                        1. re: yogagirl

                          Yogagirl is spot on. We had the same experience with Chef Adjey at a dinner party at our home. I was baffled at how unprepared he was. Very odd considering how far in advance the evening was booked. It's not as though he was given 10 minutes notice!

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