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Thread: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

  1. #1
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    Default Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Now that my mom has died and my dad needs to take care of himself, he's expressed interest in taking cooking lessons with me. Are there any particular places or teachers you would recommend?

    My dad would prefer private lessons, either on their premises or his home.

    Thanks in advance :_)
    "By concealing your desires, you may trick people into being cruel about the wrong thing." --Steven Aylett, Fain the Sorcerer
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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Hmmm, the UH has Adult Education classes for all sorts of things. Maybe they have cooking classes (?).

    Sorry about your mom btw.

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    When you think about it, that's a very interesting question.

    There are many cooking schools in Hawai‘i, but I think just about all of them are geared for the professional cooks. I don't think that's what your father is looking for. Cezanne's suggestion is a good one (Adult Education classes).

    I remember watching a program on Soko ga Shiritai about a cooking school for men. In Japan, men usually don't cook at home, but when they get older and their wives die, they have to learn how to cook for themselves, so this cooking school was geared for men, most of them old, but there were also younger men who just wanted to learn how to cook.

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyopicJoe View Post
    Now that my mom has died and my dad needs to take care of himself, he's expressed interest in taking cooking lessons with me. Are there any particular places or teachers you would recommend?

    My dad would prefer private lessons, either on their premises or his home.

    Thanks in advance :_)
    This is so cool, MJ. I love seeing your posts about looking for draperies and cooking lessons. It sounds like your dad is dealing with the loss of your mom in a healthy way. Without using your user name, I'll post your request on Facebook as I have at least a couple of FB friends who are chefs and who might have contacts.

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    kcc's culinary arts program has some great weekend cooking classes. here's the link where you can pull the pdf: http://programs.kcc.hawaii.edu/~cont...ring/index.htm

    one year, eric's mom paid for an entire semester of those classes and her cooking repertoire really took off. according to eric, she went from a woman who often served canned vegetables & chewy steaks to someone who'd cook tender lamb chops sauced with a reduction from the pan juices and make chicken soup from scratch.

    we went to a couple ourselves and enjoyed them. you get fed at the classes, too. instructors are often working local chefs but they sometimes have guests (spring semester instructors include wanda adams from the advertiser? sb? & chef kevin of kevin two boots, kailua). granted, they're not cheap--$35-150 per class if i remember, depending on the subject matter, ingredients being used, and so on. i highly recommend them, and in fact, if we can wrangle it this semester, eric and i would like to take a couple more classes (knife skills & the sauce francaise one that will be taught by a le cordon bleu grad).
    superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath) & acedia (sloth)--the seven deadly sins.

    "when you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people i deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly..."--meditations, marcus aurelius (make sure you read the rest of the passage, ya lazy wankers!)

    nothing humiliates like the truth.--me, in conversation w/mixedplatebroker re 3rd party, 2009-11-11, 1213

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Quote Originally Posted by cezanne View Post
    Hmmm, the UH has Adult Education classes for all sorts of things. Maybe they have cooking classes (?).

    Sorry about your mom btw.
    Yeah, UH and the community colleges are good places to start. The DoE also runs classes out of some of the high schools, though they don't have a very good web site.

    Thanks for the condolences, Cezanne.


    Quote Originally Posted by Honoruru View Post
    I remember watching a program on Soko ga Shiritai about a cooking school for men. In Japan, men usually don't cook at home, but when they get older and their wives die, they have to learn how to cook for themselves, so this cooking school was geared for men, most of them old, but there were also younger men who just wanted to learn how to cook.
    I love those Japanese culture shows. I hear a lot of Japanese women are divorcing their husbands, so they're also needing to learn to cook.


    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    This is so cool, MJ. I love seeing your posts about looking for draperies and cooking lessons. It sounds like your dad is dealing with the loss of your mom in a healthy way.
    Yeah, my dad has been surprising me. I hope it lasts, though I know there will be ups and downs.

    Thanks for checking with your Facebook friends. By chance, is one of your friends Alton Brown? ;_D


    Quote Originally Posted by cynsaligia View Post
    kcc's culinary arts program has some great weekend cooking classes. here's the link where you can pull the pdf: http://programs.kcc.hawaii.edu/~continuinged/archive/spring/index.htm
    Thanks for the link and your personal endorsement of the classes, Cyn. I printed out the schedule of classes for my dad to look over. It might be pricey, but it'll be worth it for my dad.
    "By concealing your desires, you may trick people into being cruel about the wrong thing." --Steven Aylett, Fain the Sorcerer
    "You gotta get me to the tall corn." --David Mamet, Spartan
    "
    Amateurs talk technology, professionals talk conditions." --(unknown)

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    The Williams Sonoma store at Ala Moana has free cooking classes and some sound very basic...I signed up for a couple in Jan. and Feb. because I must admit that I have never really enjoyed cooking. They have an Italian cooking class that sounds like fun but it was already full. All of their classes are on Sundays.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Castle Hospital offers classes on healthy cooking.
    http://www.castlemed.com/cgi-bin/class.cgi?3636
    For example, January's class ($15)
    Chef Paul Onishi will teach healthy methods for creating versatile noodle dishes that are packed with nutritious ingredients, good for any time of year
    .
    Maybe other hospitals or insurance companies sponsor classes, too?
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    [...]
    Maybe other hospitals or insurance companies sponsor classes, too?
    Hmmm...the Kapiolani Womens Center on Artesian and Beretania has, in the past, offered very reasonable priced healthy cooking classes. It might be worth a phone call. It's not at the hospital, rather at an office building with easy, free parking!

    Alohacandy...I may have to look into the W-S classes. Sounds like fun.

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    I was a regular "student" at my favorite W-S store in So. California. The classes were very casual, informal but well taught. Plus, you got to eat what was cooked. The store at Ala Moana has a much better set-up and should be very interesting. I learned a lot of basic techinques at the classes. Over the years, I've been fortunate to have had private lessons with a friend who was a Cajun Chef, many demo/lessons at restaurants among other places. They are really fun!
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    I think the best place to learn how to cook is right here on HT. One can cook by the book and get predictable results. Or one can experiment and develop their own style suited for their particular tastes.

    I've scoured cookbooks and watched those cooking shows on HGTV and realized these recipes are elaborate and more often built from scratch. Who in the real world has time to cook from scratch all the time?

    10-minute meals that taste like a $25 entree at a decent restaurant can be done with little flair using off the shelf packaged mixes or sauces intended for other mundane prescribed dishes. Spaghetti sauce from the can makes an excellent marinade for Marinara Chicken. Single serve apple sauce adds that delicious taste to chili. Packets of chicken flavored powder from packaged saimin makes for an excellent replacement for Chicken Boullion. Not enough meaty taste in your beef stock? Use powdered beef gravy to intensify a more hearty stew, soup or anything requiring beef.

    Being the cook in family of six heavy eating boys you tend to shop cheap but make every ingredient count for a hearty and satisfying meal to feed the troops. But you do it without reinventing the wheel.

    If your dad wants to learn how to cook really tasty meals, I believe those of us here on HT can offer up some easy, fast and cheap meals that taste better than what you can get at a restaurant.

    Case in point, my 5-minute miso salmon or butterfish dish: One raw salmon or butterfish steak or fillet buttered both sides with miso paste. Add Salt and/or pepper to tasted with or without a spritzing of lemon juice. One serving of frozen mixed veggies on the side.

    Set everything on a microwavable safe plate, cover with saran wrap and microwave on high 4-5 minutes. Let stand for a minute, remove saran wrap, add rice and eat.

    The saran wrap steams the fish allowing the miso to become infused with the meat. The frozen veggies defrost and while steaming adds flavor to the fish.

    One plate, five minutes and you have a great dish complete with side veggies. If you're cooking for one this is an excellent recipe with little cleanup and great flavor that can be made quicker than a frozen TV Dinner and tastes wayyyy better.

    You need tips on cooking better? Use corn starch instead of flour as a thickening agent for hearty stews. Corn starch allows for a silkier sauce than the more gritty texture of flour.

    How to cut down on acidic tasting sauces using tomatoes? Add sugar to reduce the tartness of tomatoes without losing the taste of it.

    Here's another favorite of mine: Thawed chicken on a roasting pan. Cover with the cheapest spaghetti sauce from the can. All your seasoning and spices are in these sauces. Sprinkle brown sugar over everything, add some raw veggies and even sliced potatoes around the chicken. Place in the center rack of your pre-heated oven (325-degrees) for 30-minutes. Remove and you have a great roast chicken marinara style.

    Cooking is really easy, it's the prep that makes for a great tasting dish, so use off the shelf items like salad dressing made from Balsamic Vinegars and other spices to add some kick when cooking chicken. No need to make the marinades from scratch unless you're vying for a cooking trophy.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    I think the best place to learn how to cook is right here on HT.
    Gee Craig you gave some yummy sounding recipies. You should start a thread of "10 minute prep recipies". Once ingredients are assembled, the dish can take no longer than 10 minutes to put together and pop in the oven or microwave.
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    Gee Craig you gave some yummy sounding recipies. You should start a thread of "10 minute prep recipies". Once ingredients are assembled, the dish can take no longer than 10 minutes to put together and pop in the oven or microwave.
    That long?!!! How 'bout a thread with a max of 4 ingredients that takes 5 min. to assemble?! That's my kinda cooking!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    That long?!!! How 'bout a thread with a max of 4 ingredients that takes 5 min. to assemble?! That's my kinda cooking!
    I allowed for 10 minutes so there was time to mix and stir and and heat before adding the splash of cooking wine.
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    I allowed for 10 minutes so there was time to mix and stir and and heat before adding the splash of cooking wine.
    Mix? Stir? Heat? Wine? 4 steps? I'll compromise with 7 1/2 minutes!

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Just a little lesson I learned from a chef: There is no such thing as "cooking wine". If you wouldn't sit down and enjoy a glass of it, it shouldn't go into your food!

    I have always followed his advice. Usually, at the same time...........
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    Just a little lesson I learned from a chef: There is no such thing as "cooking wine". If you wouldn't sit down and enjoy a glass of it, it shouldn't go into your food!

    I have always followed his advice. Usually, at the same time...........
    I use whatever alcohol is available.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    MJ...I just received an eNewsletter from Williams-Sonoma and they're offering free basic technique classes on Sundays in January. Check out this schedule.

    From the newsletter:

    Essential Cooking Techniques

    We’re pleased to offer hour-long technique classes at your
    local Williams-Sonoma store. Presented free of charge, each
    class is dedicated to a specific topic and led by one of our
    culinary experts. Class size is limited, see below for class
    descriptions and reservation information.

    During our three-part series in January, we’ll help you master several basic cooking techniques. Our first class will introduce you to braising, which involves slowly cooking meats and vegetables in seasoned liquid until the food is full flavored and meltingly tender. In the second class, you’ll learn all about sautéing and panfrying, two techniques that are ideal for everyday home cooking. In the third and final class, we’ll show you how to sear meats and vegetables, as well as to simmer soups, sauces and more. Each class will also discuss the best pans to use with each cooking method.

    All of our technique classes offer how-to demonstrations, innovative recipes and delicious samples. Space is limited, so please call your local Williams-Sonoma store today to sign up.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    My cousin Jean Hee-Watanabe puts out great local style cookbooks with her latest "Quick and Easy" meals. This one's a real winner...get it now at all book retailers.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Quote Originally Posted by alohacandy View Post
    The Williams Sonoma store at Ala Moana has free cooking classes
    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    I was a regular "student" at my favorite W-S store in So. California.
    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    MJ...I just received an eNewsletter from Williams-Sonoma and they're offering free basic technique classes on Sundays in January.
    Thanks for the heads up! I called them today, and all their January classes are booked . They're considering starting Monday classes (probably if there's enough demand). I got myself on the waiting list and crossing my fingers.



    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    Castle Hospital offers classes on healthy cooking
    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    Hmmm...the Kapiolani Womens Center on Artesian and Beretania has, in the past, offered very reasonable priced healthy cooking classes
    You know, I never considered medical centers as a source of cooking lessons, but it makes sense (at least for healthy cooking). I feel bad for patients on restricted diets. The limited menu is really tough.



    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Being the cook in family of six heavy eating boys you tend to shop cheap but make every ingredient count for a hearty and satisfying meal to feed the troops. But you do it without reinventing the wheel.

    ...

    My cousin Jean Hee-Watanabe puts out great local style cookbooks with her latest "Quick and Easy" meals. This one's a real winner...get it now at all book retailers.
    I like your cooking philosophy, Craig. Wow, you have to cook for 6 growing boys? Your techniques must be down right practical. Kinda reminds me of that Semi-Homemade lady.

    Thanks for pointing out your cousin's book. Geared for local tastes, I imagine. I'll have to check it out.
    "By concealing your desires, you may trick people into being cruel about the wrong thing." --Steven Aylett, Fain the Sorcerer
    "You gotta get me to the tall corn." --David Mamet, Spartan
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    Amateurs talk technology, professionals talk conditions." --(unknown)

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    I went to the cooking class at Williams-Sonoma. It was pretty good. More of a demonstration than a hands on class (they don't really have the facilities for that sort of thing). Even though you have to sign up, it's sort of a first come first serve. It's just based on the honor system (I suppose they keep the class time a "secret"). I recommend showing up 15-20 minutes before the class starts, if you want a front "seat" (standing room only).

    That class was on braising which always makes me think of broiling, but it's slow cooking at medium heat. Sorta like a crock pot?

    I had fun. Nothing you couldn't learn from a cook book, but there's something different about being in the presence of the food as it's cook (like the wonderful smells).
    "By concealing your desires, you may trick people into being cruel about the wrong thing." --Steven Aylett, Fain the Sorcerer
    "You gotta get me to the tall corn." --David Mamet, Spartan
    "
    Amateurs talk technology, professionals talk conditions." --(unknown)

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Did your dad go with you, MJ?

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    Did your dad go with you, MJ?
    Naw. He wants me takes the classes and then "teach" him what I learned. The blind leading the blind!

    If I can arrange private lessons, he'd probably be willing to attend that.
    "By concealing your desires, you may trick people into being cruel about the wrong thing." --Steven Aylett, Fain the Sorcerer
    "You gotta get me to the tall corn." --David Mamet, Spartan
    "
    Amateurs talk technology, professionals talk conditions." --(unknown)

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    Why not try getting a small crock pot. They come with easy directions and there are other books out there with many recipes. The beauty of this is
    many are versatile and can be had for a couple days but not taste like the
    same thing. Many years ago I wrote a cookbook for a friend and got him a crock pot and it really was successful for him.

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    Default Re: Can you recommend cooking lessons / teacher?

    A crockpot is a great idea, Leash, not to mention easy. MJ, if your dad doesn't mind leftovers or freezing leftovers for future meals, a crockpot might be the place to start. I'm a single person household and find the 3 quart crockpot plenty large for one meal and 3 leftover meals. Last month I bought one for $16.75 at KMart. It's the lowest tech version I could find because that's all I need. Oh, and the exterior design (art, not shape) is so corny, so retro. Reminds me of the first CP I owned in the 60s! The nostalgia factor was worth the $16.75! There are also liner bags available at grocery stores to make cleanup a non-issue!

    I use mine the most for steelcut oatmeal breakfasts. Before I go to bed I add the water and oats, turn the CP on low and a healthy breakfast is ready in the morning. Since I'm a lazy cook, I double the batch and end up with 8 future breakfasts. Oatmeal freezes well and can be frozen in individual servings for easy microwaving.

    There's also a plethora of recipes on the internet, too. I believe there's a Yahoo group devoted to CP recipes with an occasional review.

    ETA: Another small appliance idea...a George Foreman grill. I wouldn't be without one. Great for hamburger patties, steak, chops, fish steaks...both sides are grilled at the same time. Average time is about 5 minutes to cook a piece of meat or fish.

    I told ya I was a lazy cook!
    Last edited by tutusue; January 12th, 2010 at 09:53 AM.

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