Oh what fun it is to play with knives in the kitchen
By Brita Belli
Whether you are a novice chef looking to add international cuisine to your repertoire or a home cook in need of more inspired family dinners, there is a local cooking class that can help you reach your goals. Here are a few of our favorite places to improve our culinary skills:
Ridgefield’s celebrated French restaurant allows you to take a closer look at how a three-course French meal, in keeping with the season, is prepared, cooked, and served. Chef Bernard Bouissou provides the cooking in a demonstration-style class, after which attendees are invited to sit and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Lesson and meal are $75: 203-438-8282 (bernardsridgefield.com).
Author of The Brazilian Kitchen, Chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz is passionate about her native food, teaching you how to make everything from empanadas and brigadeiros (Brazilian truffles) to moqueca (fish stew). If you gather together a group of at least six, Chef Leticia will host a cooking class either in her Wilton home or yours—and you get to pick the menu: firstname.lastname@example.org (chefleticia.com).
Clarke Culinary Center
At this cooking center in Norwalk, you’ll learn cooking techniques from master chefs like Matt Storch from Match in South Norwalk; master chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt of Norwalk’s Chocopologie; and Michel Nischan, sustainability leader and chef of Dressing Room in Westport. At $85 to $100 per class, a gleaming, spacious, state-of-the-art kitchen awaits, where you’ll learn Scandinavian cooking and pie-making from Knipschildt, yellow-fin tuna tricks with chef Storch, or a host of other regional and seasonal specialties: 800-842-5275 (clarkecorp.com).
French cooking will always hold particular allure for would-be gourmets, and chef Emilie aims to demystify fine French cuisine with classes—$69 to $79 per person—offered in her Trumbull kitchen. You’ll learn everything from quiche Lorraine to homemade pastas, French macaroons, and beef burgundy. She does Italian, too. There are also kids’ classes and custom classes available: email@example.com.
This Fairfield cooking school is designed to put you at ease and let you try your hand at all sorts of creations—from spicy seasonal soups to home-style tomato and pesto sauces to inspired salads. Classes are held in instructor Tracy Holleran’s Fairfield home, with a ten-person limit to ensure everyone gets to participate as much as he or she desires: 203-258-4610 firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can’t get more serious about indulging your desire for gourmet cooking skills than to sign up for the six-week cooking school offered at Winvian, the lavish getaway tucked in the Litchfield Hills. For six consecutive Wednesdays, in March and April or November and December, you’ll learn French cooking from the masters—from egg-based dishes like quiches and soufflés to French onion soup and bisques, seafood tips, chicken specialties, and myriad ways to stew and sauté meats. The per-person cost is $2,400 and includes apron, knives, and equipment: email@example.com or 860-567-9600 (winivan.com).