Culinary Education II

by TRH on August 27, 2013

in Miscellany, News and Reviews

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It just so happens that this week we’re on the cusp of registration for some of the most accessible cooking class programs in the city. The City of Winnipeg’s leisure guide has been out a couple weeks now and program registration starts tomorrow. If you don’t have the paper copy and don’t feel like picking one up you can access it online at Winnipeg.ca. I’ve taken a number of classes from them over the years and while the quality of location can vary the instructors are almost uniformly excellent. The classes themselves vary fairly wildly and cover a number of cuisines. Make note though that they offer both demonstration and hands-on classes and at a demo you will not be doing any of the work. Personally I’m more a fan of the hands-on approach as I find I’m more likely to keep making the recipes that way, demonstration feels to me like paying $$$ to watch the food network (even if you generally do get to eat.)

The Leisure Guide

The leisure guide registration system has a (deserved) reputation for being less than reliable and a giant pain in the ass. That said it’s important to fight with it on the first morning if you want your choice of classes.

View the courses at the city website then register at leisureonline

Demonstration:

I had a whole section to write here about a woman named Kathy Man who I must have taken six or seven courses with over the years. She used to do fantastic hands-on cooking classes often out at St. John’s leisure centre. Unfortunately she eventually decided hands-on was too much work (she’s very much a perfectionist and would try to simultaneously be in every kitchen) and eventually started only doing demos at which point I stopped signing up. She definitely knew her stuff for everything asian, unfortunately it seems as if last spring was her final class.

There are a number of Indian demo workshops, all one night affairs concentrate on a single dish or type of dish. I took one Indian course through the Leisure guide several years ago and quite enjoyed it though the instructor was very nervous and not completely prepared as it was her first event. If it’s the same woman I’m sure she’s an old pro by now.

Hands-on

Still keeping up the tradition of the hands-on courses are Jim and Barbra Pappas. Longtime teachers of the Greek cooking courses they’ve expanded out into cuisine at large and particularly dishes for dinner parties. They’ve recently shifted away from 4 week courses and gone to themed one nighters (probably a better idea.) I love Jim and Barb, they always know their stuff, the recipes are well researched/tested and usually come with alternatives to make them even more versatile. They generally teach at Arthur A. Leach which while not an amazing classroom does allow multiple kitchens to run and everyone to have a hand in preparing the recipes. At the end of the class everyone stuffs their faces and usually has some extra to take home. These two now teach more than half of the offerings in any one term and I’m starting to wonder what exactly the city will do once they choose to cut back or retire from it.

Diana Coutu also offers instruction of pizza making at Diana’s Pizza. She has won numerous international awards but $58 to make a medium pizza has always seemed like a bit much to me.

In the past a chef named Lionel Brunel has offered continental courses like “French Crepes” and “Sauces” that I quite enjoyed. I’m not sure if he’s stopped doing courses for good or if he’s just taken the fall off but he’s heartily recommended.

Liquor Marts Foodie Series

-Assiniboine park partners with the liquor marts and the leisure guide for these. These are demonstration courses that include wine/beer/liquor pairings to go with the various dishes. As mentioned in the last post I took a Charcuterie course with Alex Svenne from  7 ¼ through this and loved it as an evening out in the cold of February. There is one every week or so and they cover everything from regional cuisines to “The Difficult Dinner Guest.” Definitely interesting as they bring in great local chefs to teach and include a variety of other tidbits in with the lessons.

 

Outside the Leisure Guide:

DeLuca’s

DeLuca’s offers Italian cooking courses on a fairly regular basis and are demonstration. For $50 you ge a four course meal, the recipes and a demo but from what I understand it’s more of an eat first, watch as an afterthought thing (please correct me if I’m wrong)

The Food Studio:

I hadn’t heard anything about this before a friend asked if I’d been. They offer a variety of courses andevents. May have to check it out sometime.

 

There’s others I’m sure, I’d love to see suggestions either via twitter/email or in the comments.

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