Kitchen Confidence |Restaurant Consulting &Training
Private Cooking Classes
…because everyone needs a little.
Wedding Presents & Gift for Grads
Getting Hitched? Private cooking lessons make a great gift for the groom or bride to be. Everyone needs a handful of dishes in their repertoire.
I’ll teach you skills and recipes you’ll use for a lifetime – all for the cost of one night out on the town. Or give the gift of a cooking demo dinner for the newlyweds and their friends to share.
New Grads will appreciate a gift that will help them transition from ramen and pizza to real food, even if living on a budget. Setting up a new kitchen, filling the pantry or buying gear – buy wisely and eat well.
In addition to individual or couples classes, small group classes also available.
Gift certificates are available in $80, $160 and $240 increments. And can be used toward any session.
Every session is tailored to the client and includes:
- recipes, tips, nutritional info, resource recommendations.
Scroll down for sample sessions and to buy the gift of Kitchen Confidence for your newlyweds, new grads, or yourself!
I finally learned how to make good chicken soup!
- R.B., empty nester, now cooking for two
Informative in a relaxed setting. All of the great tips and ideas for prepping and cooking are very useful.
- B.D., Healthcare professional
I enjoyed everything and see the importance of mise en place for example. I really appreciate learning to cook grains. Now I feel confident when cooking and eat grains daily.
- L.R., Professional services
Tip of the Week: “Big Mess of Greens”
One of the first things to come into markets in early spring are greens. We get very excited by the pinks (rhubarb, radishes) and greens: chards, spinach, mustard greens, mache, dandelion greens. And of course, ramps which are both pink and green. Be still my heart.
Back to our beans. Fava beans are in stores in the Northeast now. Favas are one of these spring vegetables that people both love and lament. If you’re unfamiliar with them, I almost hate to introduce you to them. Once you’ve had them, you’ll get sorta hooked, and you’ll be a little unhappy about it. You see favas are a moderate pain in the a** to prepare.
First, you must remove the beans from their big spongy pods. (They look a little like overgown English peas or big, fat green beans.) The ratio is something like a big bag of pods to yield a cup or so of shelled favas. (In truth, you can grill whole fava pods if you can find tender young ones. Not so easy but pretty tasty.)
Then, you blanch the beans – boil briefly then plunge into ice bath. Then you can remove each bean from its next encasement. (Really, it’s like Mother Nature put a chastity belt on these beans.) Peel away a bit of one end and then pinch the other, the bean will pop out.
But it’s not so hard, and it can be done in stages, while catching up on the phone or watching Ellen. They are sweet, buttery textured, bursts of spring.
Once you have your beautiful fava beans stripped, blanched, peeled, you can saute them with a bit of salty pig parts, or toss them into a great one pan meal like so:
Here I took some beautiful red chard, slivers of onion and garlic, tossed them with some olive oil, the blanched favas and some wheat berries. (Remember the cook once, eat twice rule: make a big batch of wheat berries and dip in for a cup of cooked kernels as needed. You can even freeze a batch or two.)
This is a completely satisfying meal and completely vegan. If you choose to, you might add shaves of parmesan or top with some lamb chops or roast chicken. But it stands on its own. A dish like this is infinitely variable and intensely satisfying. Savory, chewy, bright with little sweet green tastes of spring. Just enjoy and don’t hate me for hooking you on favas. In fact, the next time your blanching and peeling, give me a call and we’ll catch up while we work.
Learn to shop, cook, eat – better…with a skilled and patient cooking coach in the comfort of your own kitchen.
- Private cooking classes – offered to individuals and small groups.
- Date Night Dinner – I cook with you then clean up and scoot out to let you enjoy your dinner and dessert.
- Individuals – one-to-one coaching to shore up your knife skills, learn a new technique or simply master new recipes. I work with you in your kitchen, on your schedule.
- Small groups – explore new cuisines with a group. In this demo-style class, we will cook a meal in your home together (2-6 people). Participants take home three recipes.
- Culinary excursions – private or small groups – visit a restaurant and learn a new cuisine. Visit a farmers’ market and learn how to cook seasonal and local foods. Pick an ethnic market or cuisine and I’ll develop a lesson for you around it. Great team-building experiences, too.
Building on years of corporate training, classes I’ve taught at Boston Center for Adult Ed and Whole Foods, I’m delighted to offer private culinary classes.
Everyone begins with a baseline assessment to understand your goals. This may include a pantry review and kitchen equipment inventory.
Then, you choose modules to meet your identified needs. Each two hour session includes:
- recipes highlighting techniques (roasting vegetables to deepen flavors; knife skills used);
- nutrition (e.g. increasing fiber and iron by adding dal; building umami into meatless meals);
- cookbook recommendations.
- Forget Fishsticks! – Enjoying sustainable seafood at home. What to shop for, how to prepare it. Sustainable seafood 101 and great recipes and tips. Cooking fish en papillote, Shrimp-fried rice, Whole fish en croute (baked in salt crust); even an easy microwave poached fish with ginger-scallion sauce.
- Demystify Food Shopping - learn what food labels: “low fat” “sustainable” “organic” “natural” “free range” and what they don’t mean. Know the “dirty dozen” you should always buy organic?
- Essential Kitchen Equipment - what tools do you really need? Which gadgets can go? Know your sauté from sauce pan and why choosing the right tools matter.
- Ready, Set, Cook - organizing and stocking your pantry, planning meals and food shopping, learn simple tips for success in the kitchen.
- Basic Knife Skills - while prepping vegetables and fruits for later use, practice skills to make you a better and more efficient cook. Knife sharpening included!
- Wine – yes! Whine – No! - cooking with wine. Basics of pairing wine with food.
- Dude Food - game day favorites, dinner for a date, perfect steak at home.
- Great Grains - increase your enjoyment and your nutrition with grains. Simple tips and easy recipes for breakfast to dessert.
- Excellent Emulsions - you’ll never buy mayo again. From vinaigrettes to mayonnaise to aioli. How about hollandaise?
- Easy and Elegant Eggs - from poaching to scrambling, omelettes, souffles and frittatas. Perfect deviled eggs.
- Cook Once, Eat Twice - tips and recipes to help you get even weeknight dinners on the table fast.
- Stir-fry like a Wok Star - learn to season and cook with a wok.
- In Praise of the Braise - from Dutch ovens to Tagines master this technique for deep flavors from humble ingredients.
- Picking Chicken - one bird, three meals. Poaching, stock and soup making. Roasting.
- Cooking en Papillote - cooking in parchment for fun presentation and light, healthy meals.
- Dumplings - who doesn’t love a dumpling? Learn how to fold, pleat, boil and pan-fry.
- No Bones Cooking - learn recipes and techniques for surprisingly good meat-free meals.
- Seasonal, Local - visit a farmers’ market and learn what’s in season and how to prepare it.
Let’s Get Cooking!
- Pick one class or a bundle of three for a 15% discount.
- Don’t see what you’re looking for? Let me know and I can build one for you!
- Email Me to discuss your goals and what we can do within your budget – no commitment just a chat.
- All referrals that lead to new clients earn referring client one free session.
Kitchen Confidence gives back:
Once per Quarter I donate a free class to fundraisers I support. If your school, temple or church, non-profit has a silent auction and you’re looking for a fun and unique item, how about a Date Night Dinner for two or a private cooking class? Recent donations supported:
- Lovin’ Spoonfuls Food Rescue (see Tailgate 2013).
- a fundraiser for a surviver of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado.
Restaurant Consulting & Staff Trainings
Following years of successful training in corporate settings, I’ve developed workshops for chefs that address the challenges of serving food-allergic diners and sourcing sustainable seafood.
In the past, I’ve trained executives on managing dispersed teams, telecommuters and job-shares; taught cooking to at-risk kids and more. What can I design and deliver for your staff?
Teach a Chef to Fish – Sustainable Seafood Class
“In an hour, Jacqueline took the dizzying library of information that exists concerning sustainability and eco-responsibility, and she distilled it down to a meaningful and consumable truth: think, care, and do your level best to be a careful and vigilant purveyor of seafood. Better, to be a more careful and gentle human being. And rather than leaving the seminar punch drunk, we were energized to learn more and to help realize a better future for not only the diners of tomorrow but their children, as well.”
Serving Food Allergic Diners
The goal of my latest training – Molecules Can Kill – Plus Other Fun Facts about Food Allergies – is to empower chefs and restaurateurs to safely serve food allergic diners.
Food allergies are on the rise, but few states require restaurateurs to train staff. Massachusetts is a leader but even so, few restaurants are taking steps to train staff on this topic. This is one area where mistakes can be not only costly, but deadly. Confusion and misinformation among restaurant staff is still too common.
- An online training for serving allergic diners shows workers using Latex gloves.
- A self-proclaimed expert urges diner with gluten intolerance to eat Japanese food to be safe.
- A restaurant produces a special allergen menu showing items as having dairy, but omitting another key allergy – egg.
At least two of these errors are potentially fatal. Are you confident your staff would avoid these mistakes?
Eating out is a social event. Allergic diners eat out with their families, co-workers, and friends. They Yelp about it. Did you know there’s even a Yelp-type site for allergic diners? See AllergyEats.
Lose one guest, lose a group of sales. Get it right and reap the benefits of customer loyalty and increased sales. Conversely, consider the cost of killing a guest.
In one study, 25% of restaurant staff polled said that food allergic diners could safely eat a small amount of the trigger food. 33% thought frying would destroy the allergens. What allergens are lurking in your new craft cocktails?
The training fits into a pre-meal session. (one hour including Q&A)
In it we cover:
- hidden allergens,
- allergies versus intolerance,
- myths about food allergies,
- basics of cross-contact,
- best practices.
Learn how to:
- minimize risks in serving an increasingly allergic dining public,
- get a valuable resource guide, and
- discover simple steps you can take to address this growing issue.
As a food writer, consultant and trainer who developed food allergies late in life, I’m dedicated to educating restaurant staff on the basics of food allergies and how to avoid serious and potentially lethal mistakes.
Contact Me today to receive your Risk Assessment Checklist and to schedule a training for your staff.