Custom Private Lessons

I will design a custom private lesson for you and your family or friends in your home for up to 6 people, kitchen size dependent. (Although there is a possibility to accommodate groups larger than 6 people. Contact me to learn more). Below are some potential categories or options that you can choose to focus on during your session.  Depending on your goals, lessons will be between 4 – 5 hours including time for eating.

FOOD FROM A SPECIFIC NATION OR CULTURE: This is a chance to learn general cooking principles from a specific region you love, and to make a variety of recipes within that food genre. Options include:

  1. Italian: Could include fresh pasta, polenta, risotto, homemade pizza, rustic soups, crostini, or even gelato! 
  2. Middle Eastern: Includes foods from Morocco, to Israel, to Iraq, and beyond! Learn new spices and how to balance flavors in dishes like tagine, soups, couscous, hummus, spiced meats, or falafel.
  3. Indian: Practice classic Indian dishes like curries, naan, sag, vegetable dishes, and more. Gain comfort with Indian spices and learn how to cook in ways that truly blend flavors together.
  4. Japanese: Sushi, ramen, miso, teriyaki….learn some of Japan’s most notable cuisine! If you have never made sushi before, it’s a fun way to impress your friends at your next dinner party!
  5. Latin:  From fresh coastal fish, to Brazilian spiced meat, to central American salsas, to creative Mexican tacos…these dishes will play with Latin flavors and broaden your definition of “Latino” cuisine.
  6. Mediterranean: A chance to learn to cook healthier foods that are customary in Mediterranean cuisine, such as chicken or seafood, whole-grain salads, and delicious vegetables. Olive oils, potent cheeses, and nuts add depth of flavor.
  7. French:  This could include classic French foods like delicate soups, customary sauces, stuffed meats, whole roasted chickens, etc. French food is heavy on technique, flavor, refinement, and butter! Plus, it looks beautiful.

INCREASING COMFORT AND MASTERY OF GENERAL CULINARY SKILLS:   If what you really want is to refine your overall culinary skills, rather than learn specific recipes or food types, then I will select a somewhat random menu in order to highlight a variety of techniques.  You will have time to practice skills like knife use or sharpening, how to cook meat perfectly, how to create balance in a dish, how to make sauces or stocks, how to enhance flavor, etc. Some examples:

  1. Tapas/Appetizer meal:  This would be several small plates of different genres that require a high level of skill and flavor balance.  The sky’s the limit in this category and will challenge you to practice a variety of different techniques.  
  2. Creating a meal from start to finish: This is a chance to master a single meal that you can re-create (from appetizer to side dish to entrée to dessert). We will plan it together, then practice each step so you can surprise your sweetie one night or wow a group of friends.
  3. Freelance cooking:  Many cooks want to shift away from recipes as they hone their skills. We would choose meal types that have infinite possibilities, such as stir-frys, grain salads, fresh pasta w/ pan sauces, soups, etc. I will guide you in creating flavor combinations that balance salt, fat, sweet, and acid. Ultimately, this would be a flexible and creative class that focuses on general principles as I coach you on how to “wing it” confidently.

SPECIFIC RECIPES OR FOOD CATEGORIES YOU WANT TO LEARN: I have listed some ideas below, but you can also say “Erica, I have always wanted to learn to make X!”  Maybe you want to bake the perfect chocolate cake. Or perhaps you have a dietary restriction that you need some help with. Or maybe you have always wanted to make homemade ravioli! I can customize the lesson around your specific goals.

  • Specific recipes: If you are wondering how a restaurant makes a menu item or food that you love, then let’s make it!  It could be crème-brulee, beef wellington, pork tenderloin, fish tacos….you name it!
  • Dietary Preferences: Do you eat paleo, vegan, vegetarian, or even an anti-inflammatory diet? If so, you can expand your repertoire and go beyond the standards.  Specific dietary needs don’t need to be boring. You can cook with just as much flavor and refinement using substitutes and creative techniques. Let me help you get out of your food rut.
  • Farm to Table: This menu will be built around whatever local foods we can get depending on the season.  From bison to trout to huckleberries to root vegetables to rustic breads…the goal is to learn to create recipes from the foods that are available in the region and cook them to perfection. This is the chance to increase your confidence as a locavore.
  • Eating a healthier diet: Are you ready for healthier versions of the foods you enjoy?  I will design a menu that enables you to substitute ingredients or modify techniques so you can still savor the flavors and foods you love. I can work with a nutritionist or physician to meet your needs.

PRICING: Your fees cover all food, shopping time, creation of recipes and/or teaching materials, prep time, set up/clean up, wine or other desired drink, and 4-5hrs of instruction.  Below is a list of the standard price based on the number of people. If you desire a class that is particularly complicated, long, or customized, there may be an additional cost:

  • 2 participants – $500
  • 3 participants – $720
  • 4 participants – $920
  • 5 participants – $1100
  • 6 participants – $1260

If your group size is larger than 6, I can likely still accommodate you.  There are two options: 1. If your kitchen is large enough–and you have enough cooking equipment–we can still do the lesson in your home. (I will bring some equipment but it may not be enough to cover the entire group).  2. If you don’t have a large kitchen, we can explore the possibility of your group paying an additional fee to rent space at a local commercial kitchen that can handle larger numbers. Call me to discuss options and pricing.

Published by tinytownculinary

Private Chefing. Custom Cakes. Small Party Catering. Cooking Lessons

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