A Brief Look Back
A heartfelt thank you to all of you that took the time to email, call, send cards or stop by A Cook’s Cafe in our final three weeks. It was an emotional time for all of us there. I asked my wife just one question after I locked the door on June 30 — “We did good here, didn’t we?”
The next day was a long, bruising day but everything was removed from the space. When I locked the door for the final time and looked at that big open space, I didn’t have any of the sadness that I had the day before. What I saw was a big empty box, void of any humanity or feeling. I deeply realized at that time that any warmth, laughter, emotion, smells, tastes, craziness of cooking classes, we created (meaning all of us, customers and staff). We all nurtured it. It was all about us and not the space. Without us, it was just an empty box. So again, thank you. Thanks to our staff. Thanks to you, our customers.
Private Cooking classes are what’s next.
Cooking classes, but more intimate, more focused on the individual, completely customized and designed to make you a better cook in your own kitchen. Together we can make that happen!
The activity that gave me the most joy at the Cafe was cooking classes. My goal then was to empower everyone who came in to leave with an enhanced recipe repertoire and some new cooking skills. Judging from the responses I have received from you over the past month, apparently that worked!
So now that the pressures of running a small business are behind me…I would like to continue those classes, but begin teaching cooking, either beginning or advanced, in the comfort of your own kitchen…or maybe even in my own (I have a tiny kitchen, big enough for just one, maybe two people besides me).
One thing that I have had time to do since I closed (has it only been 3 weeks?) is immerse myself in new cookbooks, new blogs and classic recipes (other than gardening, which as many of you know is a passion too). Making bread has been a daily adventure!
And, I have been reading with fascination the new book, SaltFatAcidHeat, Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat and finding ways to incorporate some of her great ideas into private classes. (Samin learned her trade in the kitchen at Chez Panisse in San Francisco, and taught Micheal Pollan to cook when he was writing Cooked).
How Would a Private Class Work?
Mostly what to keep in mind is that each class would be focused on you. What you want and/or need to learn to do in the kitchen.
It might be a family or group of friends, or a company team building event or celebration in your home, or…
Or it could be just you, or a couple of you who would like to bring more fresh food, more interesting and a variety of menus into your home. It may be cooking to a new diet or learning exciting new skills, or ingredients you have always wanted to master. There is a lot that can be done.
Perhaps it could be some classic French dishes (a la Julia Child). Or maybe a class on knife skills, making pasta, kitchen fundamentals, Italian, Asian or haute cuisine. My goal is now that I have the time, to individually make an impact on you and your family by helping you re-invent the kitchen in your home.
Send me an email at Private Cooking Class or firstname.lastname@example.org about what you may be interested in and we can start the dialogue about location, scope of the class, costs and times. I would provide all food materials (unless you had something on hand…like a whole rockfish, or a garden full of fresh vegetables!)
I look forward to hearing from you. And again, thanks for all you have done for the Cafe over the years. And let’s keep cooking!
The Cafe Gang at the Governor’s Cookout 2016
The Chesapeake School of Cooking
The Mission of cooking classes is quite simple: To assist everyone to be better cooks in their own kitchens. Kitchens are the hearts of the home. They are where families and friends come together. By offering cooking classes that are extremely hand-on and welcoming, the Cafe has been a part of hundreds of peoples lives over the years, by teaching that kitchens are happy and creative places. People of all ages, and all skill levels have a lively and learning experience in our kitchen.