Hands On at The Kitchen Classroom
Have fun and a feast while learning skills and tips
While I enjoyed my years in school, the hands-on learning and eating at The Kitchen Classroom blows all of my other classes out of the water. Here, students learn, participate, and eat, all in a low-key and social atmosphere. Like other cooking classes, Richmond’s Kitchen Classroom is equipped with all of the necessary appliances and tools for students to roll up their sleeves and be active participants, not just casual onlookers.
Rolling up my sleeves at The Kitchen Classroom
I’ve taken two very different classes now and am looking forward to adding another to my calendar.
My first experience was truly an immersive lesson in useful kitchen skills: using a whole chicken. The instructor, owner of a small organic chicken farm in the area, taught us how to cut up the chicken and make use of every usable bit, including making stock. We prepared a meal using our chicken parts, plus side dishes, then ate that meal. There were even plenty of leftovers to take home. The class was better than YouTube, because I could ask questions and get feedback.
I also tried an international class, Flavors of Morocco, featuring northwest African spices and techniques. We made – and ate –skillet roast chicken with preserved lemon and thyme, carrot salad, an herbed couscous, and lemon cake. I worked as a team with three other guests, each of us actively involved in preparing and learning – and chatting.
A range of classes
Guests can learn how to make desserts, create pasta from scratch, use a knife correctly, prepare seafood, use mushrooms, and make a perfect romantic dinner. Classes include a diversity of regional and global specialties, such as French, Indian, Southern American, German, Thai, and Cajun. Participants can try their hand at cocktail creations, learn tricks for healthy cooking, and more. While learning to make delightful dishes, students also glean useful take home cooking tips. Plus they eat and drink as they learn. (Wine and beer are available to purchase and enjoy during class.) Recipes are provided afterwards, too, for putting newfound skills to use.
These learning labs are owned and managed by culinary professionals. Warren Haskell and Dave Booth are experienced chefs and instructors. Beth Dixon leads the drinks program – many Richmonders recognize Dixon for her time behind the bar at Can Can in Carytown, Perch in Scott’s Addition, Comfort, Heritage, or other great local restaurants. Cheese monger Sara Adduci of Belmont Butchery ensures the classes use the best cheeses.
Most classes are for ages 14 and above, providing for a fun family experience. Some are designed as date nights. The experience makes a memorable evening for friends and for solo home chefs, as work stations are designed for up to four people.
The diverse classes at The Kitchen Classroom do often fill up, but the calendar includes enough offerings that you’re likely to find a class to satisfy your appetites for learning and for chowing down.