I love to cook and find myself glued to the Food Network channel every chance I get. I love discovering new recipes and trying them out. To expand my horizons, I even took some cooking classes here and there…but in my experience they tend to be a crapshoot.
Most classes are too big, in size, for me to feel connected with the chef teaching it. I also tried classes at places like Williams Sonoma…..which was not such a pleasant experience. You and 20 other people are huddled uncomfortably around a counter in the middle of the store, trying to catch what the instructor is saying over the normal chaos of being in a store that is open for business. Nope! not the way I want to learn things.
Fairfield County, CT is such a smorgasbord of restaurants offerings all sorts of cuisines. While I learn and experience a lot by going to each restaurant, talking to the staff about the food and trying all these different cuisines…I continued to crave for a more meaningful learning experience. I often thought to myself… “wouldn’t it be lovely if I could learn about these different cuisines from around the world and tap into the minds of the chefs that bring them to us”.
I felt like I hit the jackpot when I discovered Clarke Culinary Center in SONO. I started taking a series of classes taught by chefs of the Barcelona restaurants. And I loved every minute of it! When the series ended, I was glad to hear that Clarke Culinary Center is planning a whole new set of classes to be taught by popular and noteworthy area chefs. I have now been going there for over a year for a variety of classes and still loving every minute of it.
What is so special about Clarke Culinary Center, you ask? Well! They know how to do it right.
First of all, they hold the classes in their state-of-the-art kitchen at their showroom in SONO. They make sure that the classroom size stays small and intimate. I have not seen more than 10-11 people in a class. The advantage is that every attendee is able to hold meaningful conversations with the chef in the house…and learn from all his/her experiences. These chefs tell amazing stories about food, and their origins – as they cook. Like where did steak tartare come from? (trust me, you don’t want me to tell you the answer to this one!) :-)
Most classes are designed in a way that you are served a different and appropriate wine with each course that the chef prepares and presents to you. You will never leave hungry or thirsty from one of these classes.
Marco, Jackie and Valeska take such good care of you while you are there. They make sure that you are comfortable, that your wine glass is never empty and that you are thoroughly enjoying your time there.
Classes range from $85-$100 a session and they last for about 2 hours. I feel it is well worth it. Clarke’s standards are high …and only the well renowned chefs from the area are invited to teach. As a result, you get a lesson in cooking from the best of the best, along with amazing, belly and soul satisfying food and wine.
Could one ask for more?
To learn more about Clarke Culinary Center, click here.