For me, summer is when I stretch my wings in the kitchen, experimenting with new recipes to use my weekly CSA. While common sense and my growing collection of cookbooks lead me to many dishes, nothing helps me learn like advice and direction from a pro. Plus, cooking classes are fun.
Class schedules from several venues have popped into my in-box over the last few weeks, including Memphis Cook’s Exchange, L’Ecole Culinaire, and Whole Foods’ new school called Salud. Cooking enthusiasts will likely fine many classes of interest covering international cuisines, seasonal salads, baking, and classes for children.
At Memphis Cook’s Exchange, hands-on classes held at the Whitton Farms Cannery kick off July 19 with a cake baking workshop from Chef Sue Hall. The class ($50) will include carrot cake, fresh strawberry cake, and German chocolate cake, selected by Hall because “they are my favorites.”
Hall also is planning a bread baking workshop August 16 ($60) where participants will make Italian yeast bread (loaves, rolls, and focaccia), English scones, and chipotle cornbread. The following month, look for pumpkin stuffed ravioli with sage butter sauce (be still my heart!) plus manicotti and fettuccine dishes at an autumn pasta workshop on September 27 ($60).
At L’Ecole Culinaire in Cordova, classes for the public join the school’s professional curriculum, offering an extensive schedule priced from $65 to $95 that runs through December 13. Classes include an international series (Moroccan cuisine June 20, Spanish cuisine August 8, Argentina cuisine September 26), several home canning and preserves classes starting September 27, and a class July 25 built around Julia Child’s iconic book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1, along with special classes for children and a course for baking dog treats.
At Salud, Whole Foods’ recently launched cooking school, classes run from $35 to $119 with most falling in the $50 range. The schedule is far-reaching, including both hands-on and demonstration classes, sessions for children, and couple’s cooking, such as Date Night: Summer in Italy on July 12. Other appealing choices: grilled summer salads on July 10, summer berry desserts on July 19, and pasta fresca on July 23, where participants will prepare, among other things, shrimp and scallop fettuccine with lemon, capers and cream and Limoncello ice cream floats.
Memphis Cook’s Exchange (901-603-7907)
L’Ecole Culinaire (901-754-7115)
Salud at Whole Foods Market (901-969-4368)