Sunday, September 7, 2003

Cooking classes add dash of new ideas



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The best cooks always yearn to learn more. They love to talk about food, swap recipes, watch others cook - and of course, eat.So what satisfies this hunger better than a Food Network show and costs far less than culinary school?

Recreational cooking classes - affordable one-shot sessions that usually include a meal, sometimes wine and always a good time - fit the bill. Greater Cincinnati boasts several excellent recreational cooking schools. If you're interested in signing up, here are a few things to keep in mind.

•  The basic types of cooking classes are "demonstration" and "hands-on." In demonstration classes, students watch the teacher cook, ask questions and eat. Hands-on classes allow students to cook under direct supervision from the teacher. If you want to learn a specific technique, hands-on classes are best. But there are fewer hands-on classes, and the sessions cost more than demonstration sessions.

If you've never taken a cooking class, start with a less-expensive demonstration program to see if you like it. You can always ask questions, and maybe get a little hands-on coaching at the end of class.

•  Register early and ask about the school's cancellation policies. Many schools won't return your money if you cancel last minute.

•  Call or e-mail cooking schools to get on their mailing lists, or visit their Web sites. Cooking classes fill up in late summer and early winter.

Here are just some of the fall highlights from Greater Cincinnati cooking schools, with contact information.

•  Chef Oma's Kitchen, 1546 Knowlton Ave., Northside, 724-2287; linda888@aol.com.

Linda Richardson offers classes on preparing raw foods. (Fall classes to be announced.)

•  Cooks' Wares, Shops at Harper's Point, Symmes Township (11344 Montgomery Road), 489-1211; and The Marketplace at Settlers Walk, Springboro (756 N. Main St.), (937) 748-4540.

Marilyn Harris teaches class on Octoberfest foods Oct. 6 at Harper's Point ($55), and a session on "Elegant Holiday Buffet" ($55) Nov. 5 at Settlers Walk. Chef Steve Hellmich demonstrates knife skills ($30) Nov. 17 at Settlers Walk and again Nov. 18 at Harper's Point ($30). These classes are 6-9 p.m.

•  Dorothy Lane Market School of Cooking (6161 Far Hills Ave.), Dayton, (937) 434-1294; www.dorothylane.com.

Joan Boaz prepares shrimp and grits, pecan tartlets and other Charleston Low Country cuisine dishes Sept. 23. ($50). Kathy Neufarth offers a choice of six hands-on classes to get a head start on baking holiday cookies: Oct. 7 or 14; Nov. 4 or 11; and Dec. 2 or 9 ($50). Cincinnati native and cookbook author Judith Fertig prepares an "All-American Dessert Buffet" Oct. 2. ($65). These classes are 6-9 p.m.

•  Jungle Jim's Market School of Cooking, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, 674-6059; www.junglejims.com.

Rita Heikenfeld presents "Fast and Simple Weeknight Pasta Dishes" 6:30-9:30 p.m. Sept. 22 and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 23 ($45). Wine director Dave Schmerr pairs American wines with Carol Tabone's Roasted Pork with Onions, Sage and Fennel, Creamy Potato Gruyere and other homey dishes noon-3 p.m. Oct. 4 for "Wine and Food from an Early Autumn Harvest" ($60). And cookbook author Nick Malgieri cooks sweet and savory Italian specialties 6:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 14 and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 15 ($60).

•  Kremer's Market, 755 Buttermilk Pike, Crescent Springs, (859) 341-1067.

Maggie Green demonstrates Grilled Salmon Sandwiches, Bread and Tomato Sandwiches and other tailgate football fare Sept. 24. Celestial pastry chef Betsy LaSorella makes everything chocolate - chicken mole, Chocolate Marquis and Tuxedo Strawberries - Oct. 15. And chef Meg Galvin gets ready for the holidays Nov. 5 with Trumpets of Beef with Arugula, Mini-Peppermint Baked Alaska and more. All these classes are $45, and are 6:30-9 p.m.

•  Wild Oats Market (Rookwood Commons), Norwood, 531-8015.

On Sept. 18, Leonard Hollander prepares Tempeh Sloppy Joes, Tofu Mousse and other vegetarian dishes ($10). Hollander follows with a Sept. 25 class on "alternative desserts," including berry trifle, chilled melon soup and guilt-free brownies. ($10). These classes are 7-8 p.m. More fall classes will be scheduled later.

•  Williams-Sonoma Grand Cuisine, Kenwood Towne Centre, 793-3445.

Chef Jackson Rouse of The Iron Horse Inn in Glendale presents the best foods of summer and fall Sept. 22. Lisa Kindle of the Bonbonerie in O'Bryonville creates tiramisu and other Italian sweets Oct. 6. And Bonbonerie cake decorator Richard Prince cuts out extraordinary holiday cookies Oct. 20. All classes are $40 and are held 7-9 p.m.

E-mail cmartin@enquirer.com




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