About 20 years ago, I fell into teaching cooking classes.
I was working at Williams-Sonoma as a sales associate. It occurred to me no one in the city was teaching cooking classes. And if anyone should be doing them, it should be the Williams-Sonoma store! So I went to my manager with the idea. She presented it to the district manager who approved it. I was very excited. I told my boss I would start trying to locate some of the former teachers from the Kitchenry, a cooking school that had closed. She said, “no, you teach the classes”. So I became a cooking class instructor.
It wasn’t a real stretch of imagination because I had already spent several years running my own part-time business, Butler’s Catered Desserts. And I had been doing cooking demos at the store. But I taught myself how to cook through reading cookbooks, watching cooking shows and lots of trial and error. Me doing the cooking and baking was one thing…teaching others was something else.
What I didn’t realize at the time was some of the ability to teach was already there. I had taught Sunday school. And I had been an on-the-job trainer in several positions at various jobs. So again, I would teach myself how to do something…this time, I would teach others how to cook. I went back to the cooking shows and watched Julia Child, The Frugal Gourmet and Maida Heatter. I also delved deeper into my cookbooks to truly learn more about food and not just lean on techniques I had mastered.
For several years, with the help of my manager, Seretha, and a dietician, Karen (who was working at W-S part-time), we created menus using store ingredients & tools, fresh vegetables and various meats and seafood. We attracted a core group of students who were even willing to commit to a series of classes. I even continued to teach classes, for awhile, when I left W-S to become the executive chef at Longview Mansion.
Now, I’ve decided to head back to the kitchen to teach cooking classes again. And I’m looking for students.
What will these classes offer you as the student? Good food, helpful tips and some hands-on participation. And the classes will take place in a loft here in downtown Kansas City.
If you are interested in attending a class, please do me and yourself a favor and take a survey. I need your input to make sure the class meets your needs in terms of convenience, cuisines, cost, variety, etc. To save time, please give some thought to your favorite foods, flavors, restaurants, etc. before you take the survey. The deadline for completing the survey is May 1st, 2011.
Thanks for your interest. Once I gather results from the survey, I will contact you via email with complete details on date, time, menu and directions to the Idea Loft.
See you in class,