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Aug 24, 2008 03:16 PM

KC- Cooking classes

I've seen a number of different cooking classes offered. There's Communiversity, JCCC, and the KC Culinary Center. I'm sure there are others, but I haven't heard of them.

My question is: Which place in KC offers the best classes for a beginning cook? I know the basics, like baking and chopping, but would like to start cooking, for lack of a better word, more gourmet stuff.


P.S. If anyone knows of cooking classes in Lawrence, please let me know about those as well.

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  1. Does Whole Foods offer cooking classes next door at their 93rd and Metcalf location?

    1. Whole Foods *does* offer cooking classes. Cupini's used to offer cooking classes, but I don't know if they still do. Also, in Lawrence, The Merc and The Bay Leaf both offer cooking classes. I've taken several at the Culinary Center and several at The Merc. The Merc's prices are a lot more reasonable. My experiences at the Culinary Center have been mixed... some of the classes, I've learned a lot and some were very remedial. I don't know a ton about bread baking in the slightest, but I felt like I knew more than the teacher than taught the regular bread baking course. The last one I took, was a couple's cooking class and the head chef at the CC taught it, and it was great. I learned a lot and it was very hands on. I really enjoy the CC space in general- it's just kind of a fun and creative atmosphere. The ones I've taken at the Merc have been fabulous- an Indian flatbreads class and kind of an everyday entertaining class. I kind of felt like you got a lot more bang for your buck with the Merc ones, just because the prices are so reasonable. The Bay Leaf prices also seem reasonable and the classes look interesting, but I haven't taken any there yet.

      Community Mercantile Co-Op
      901 Iowa St, Lawrence, KS

      Bay Leaf
      725 Massachusetts St, Lawrence, KS

      Culinary Center of Kansas City
      7920 Santa Fe Dr, Overland Park, KS

      10 Replies
      1. re: Katie Nell

        I can't seem to find a link to The Bay Leaf's classes, except directly from my e-mail... maybe you'll be able to find it. At any rate, here is the August line-up:

        Nora Kaschube, graduate of The French Pastry School, shows the simplicity and elegance of this mouth watering treat, from Pavlova's to delicate mushrooms. Meringues are a wonderful fat-free dessert that can be made decadent and impressive with the additions of berries, whipped cream, ganache, nuts or chocolate.
        Date & Time: Sunday, August 17th from 1:00-3:00 pm
        Instructor: Nora Kaschube
        Fee: $30.00

        Learn how to make scrumptious frozen desserts. Premium full-fat ice creams, fat-free frozen yogurt, fruit sorbets and refreshing frozen drinks ALL made in 20-30 minutes!
        Date & Time: Wednesday, August 20th from 6:30-7:30 pm
        Instructor: Connie Detweiler
        Fee: $25.00

        Karen Adler, cookbook author, specializes in creative recipes and will share with us her tantalizing grilling techniques and secrets. Karen will prepare several great recipes that you'll want to add to your repertoire, including Quick Pickled Garden Vegetables, Stir-Grilled Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Fresh Herbs with Grilled Flatbread and a Garlic Vinaigrette, Too Many Zucchini, Tomato, Onion & Cheddar Layered Casserole, Stuffed & Grilled Chicken Breasts, Mixed Berry Meringues with Pistachios. Come enjoy a class with Karen and her expertise as she prepares a lovely grilled lunch made with the freshest ingredients the late summer market has to offer!
        Date & Time: Saturday, August 23rd from 11:00-1:30 pm
        Instructor: Karen Adler
        Fee: $45.00

        All of you dessert bakers out there will love to have Anne Broz's recipe for this scrumptious, delectable chocolate cake! Come benefit from Anne's expertise in pastry and desserts from Kansas City's American Restaurant. Anne will share tips and recipes.
        Date & Time: Sunday, August 24th from 1:00-3:00 pm
        Instructor: Anne Broz
        Fee: $30.00

        There's more to Mexican grilled foods that fajitas! This class will explore dishes from many regions of Mexico. We'll start with Mango & Lemongrass Sangria with Nuevo Chips & Dip. We'll learn how to wrestle a big banana leaf onto any food you'd like to grill or slow smoke in the rainforest style. We'll then try out Mayan Pit Pork with Soft Corn Tortillas made fresh... you'll never buy the packaged kind again! Jicama & Orange Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette refreshes the palate before our final indulgence, Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. Come join Judith Fertig, local cookbook author and lifestyle & food writer for this great class.
        Date & Time: Thursday, August 28th from 6:30-8:30 pm
        Instructor: Judith Fertig
        Fee: $45.00

        These savory nibbles satisfy without the crackers, chips and other carbs. Tea Smoked Eggs, BLTiny T's, Bleu Apples & Pears, and of course Retro Rumaki... you'll never want an entree again! This class will be hands on as well as demonstration with recipes.
        Date & Time: Saturday, August 30th from 1:00-3:00 pm
        Instructor: Paula Naughtin
        Fee: $30.00

        Oh, and while not nearly as exciting, Williams Sonoma also offers cooking classes and demonstrations, some of them free. I've never been to those either.

        1. re: Katie Nell

          Do you know if they have ever offered any classes in canning?

          1. re: emassow

            I can't remember... I can't find that e-mail anymore, and I still can't figure out how to find their classes on their website. The Merc is offering one though:
            So Easy to Preserve
            Thursday · September 25 · 7-9 PM
            taught by Mary Ellen Barnes
            Nothing is more enjoyable during the cold winter months than the taste of summer freshness. Join Mary Ellen for a journey through the how-to's of food preservation. Starting with the basics of water bath canning, pressure canning and dehydrating, this class will bring you up to date on the latest USDA guidelines for the safe preservation of garden produce. Mary Ellen will also demonstrate the ease of canning apples. The class will examine jars of home preserved foods and enjoy sampling different sweet spreads.
            $15 per person, $13 for Merc Owners & seniors

            1. re: emassow

              It's too late this year but the K-State Extension (in Olathe) offers canning classes. Last year they offered one in early summer and then another in July. Here is their contact information. You may want to e-mail and find out when they will be offering the class last year, I just spoke the instructor and she was telling me that there was a HUGE response this year and that they had to turn people away.

              1. re: amy_rc

                Looks like they're still having canning/preserving classes at the Bad Food CO-OP at 1909 McGee as part of their Urban Homesteading series. I can't vouch for the quality of the classes, but it looks like the instructors have credentials.

                Also, classes in bread baking, beer brewing, bee keeping, cheese making, and lacto-fermentation (that is, stinky cabbage).


                1. re: amy_rc

                  Oops, I said last year...what I meant to say was you might want to e-mail and find out when they will be offering classes next year.

                2. re: Katie Nell

                  Which Williams Sonoma? Are you talking about the Plaza location? Just found the Bay Leaf last week. Very exciting!

                  1. re: mscheapskate

                    I think all of the Williams Sonoma locations do some kind of demonstrations/ classes. I think I get the e-mails for the Leawood location, but I would guess the Plaza location does events too.

              2. I received the September class schedule for the Bay Leaf, and thought several hounds might be interested in this class:

                *DESSERT CLASS WITH MOLLY*
                Join Molly Krause for an evening of sweets and cocktails. She will share some of the favorite cocktail specials that have been served at Krause Dining, as well as her latest inspriations of dessert. Recipes, tastings, and drinks provided.

                Instructor: Molly Krause
                Date & Time: Wednesday, September 24th at 6:30 pm
                Fee: $50.00

                1. any class taught by a krause is a good bet. the couple owns a restaurant they currently run out of there home in lawrence and their food is amazing. the food they serve is very sophisticated, so any class would surely be a learning experience for a chef of any experience level.

                  1. And The Bay Leaf's October classes...


                    This class is called "Mise en Place & Execution of a Four Course Menu." It will be offered October 8th & 9th as well as the 15th & 16th. This two day event will include dinner and the opportunity to invite a guest to sample the meal you prepared. These are small classes and hands on. The menu will feature: First, an easy, beautiful and delicious first course. Second and third are fish and meat: fabrication, sauces, side dishes and specializing the plates. Fourth is dessert, including sauces and garnishes. An outline of the class follows:

                    DAY 1 (8th or 15th) - 10 AM - Discussion of menu planning, how to find culinary inspiration, shopping/sourcing ingredients. You will break up into small groups to start preparing the meal for the following evening. Light lunch included - see how the real kitchen eats! Class will let out mid-afternoon.
                    DAY 2 (9th or 16th) - 3 PM - After a review of the menu, you will continue food preparation for the evening's meal. You will focus on how not to fret at the time of service. The class will conclude with enjoying the meal with wine. The best part is that there's no clean up - we will take care of that for you!

                    INSTRUCTORS: Robert & Molly Krause
                    DATE & TIME: October 8th & 9th or October 15th & 16th (Wednesdays at 10 AM/Thursdays at 3 PM)
                    FEE: $150 for the two day class; $85.00 for additional guest for the Thursday meal

                    *AUTUMN GRILLING*

                    The cooler temperatures of October are perfect for grilling! The romaine lettuce on the grill is a show-stopper and you'll love how quick and simple it is. You'll be amazed at how delicious apples are when grilled. Come join us and relish in the wonderful foods of fall. Menu: Grilled Romaine with Citrus Vinaigrette; Grilled Feta & Olive Stuffed Chicken Breasts; Creamy Parmesan Polenta; Tomato, Pepper & Onion Ragout; Grilled Apples with Gooey Brown Sugar & Toasted Pecan Sauce.

                    INSTRUCTOR: Karen Adler
                    DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 18th, 11 AM to 1:30 PM
                    FEE: $45


                    Come and mix up a batch of cupcakes, then we will use candies and royal icing to decorate the fanciest car cakes to be seen around town! You can drive them home to impress your family and friends. Class is for kids ages 6 to 10.

                    INSTUCTOR: Jennifer Glenn
                    DATE & TIME: Sunday, October 19th, 12:30 to 1:30 PM
                    FEE: $20.00

                    *UNCOMMON GIFTS*

                    Make memorable, distinctive gifts of wholesome goodness to give to loved ones this holiday season. You will leave this class with a smile on your face, the taste of fresh baked goods on your palate and four made-from-scratch gift mixes complete with recipe gift card. Mix recipes include: Holiday Scones, Ghirardelli Brownies, Biscuits Supreme and Hearty Soup.

                    INSTRUCTOR: Connie Detweiler
                    DATE & TIME: Monday, October 20th, 5:30 to 7 PM
                    FEE: $30

                    *KNIFE SKILLS*

                    A hands-on knife skills class, given by a representative of Wusthof-Trident Cutlery Co. Learn proper and efficient techniques for chopping, slicing, carving, knife care and sharpening. You will receive a complimentary Wusthof-Trident knife!

                    INSTRUCTOR: Clark Stone
                    DATE & TIME: Tuesday, October 21st, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
                    FEE: $45


                    Come learn how to make extremely flavorful fried eggrolls paired with a hot, sour, salty and sweet dipping sauce. To accompany the eggrolls we'll make Thai Pineapple Fried Rice. Come ready for hands-on practice rolling & frying eggrolls.

                    INSTRUCTOR: Dawn Haverkate-Ens
                    DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 25th, 1 to 3 PM
                    FEE: $35

                    *CAKE 24/7*

                    Have your cake and eat it, too, morning, noon and night! Breakfast, brunch, snack and dessert. Chocolate-Apricot-Almond-Coffee Coffee Cake, Apple-Lassie Cake, and Toastable Pound Cake. Hands-on, and of course plenty of cake tasting!

                    INSTRUCTOR: Paula Naughtin
                    DATE & TIME: Sunday, October 26th, 1 to 3 PM
                    FEE: $30