Wichita chefs’ summer cooking classes let you learn from the best

05/19/2013 9:36 AM

08/06/2014 1:39 AM

Just because you start the summer as a so-so cook doesn’t mean you can’t finish it as an accomplished chef.

Several culinarians in town are offering cooking classes this summer, presenting instruction in areas ranging from vegan cooking to meat smoking.

Here are some of them:


Well-traveled and accomplished local cook Adriene Rathbun opened a cooking school called Social in 2009. It’s based out of her luxurious home kitchen at 158 N. Roosevelt in College Hill. Her classes over the years have covered everything from handmade pastas to crepes. They’re demonstration classes that usually include elements of participation. At the end of each class, which usually consists of about eight to 12 people, participants gather around Rathbun’s dining room table to sample with they’ve just seen cooked.

Rathbun has just completed her spring and summer schedule, which is posted on her website and includes topics such as Lebanese appetizers on May 30, summer pies on June 29 and farmers market cooking on July 23. For a full list of summer classes, visit findyourwingsocial.com.

Most classes cost $45. To make reservations, call Rathbun at 316-990-4493. Participants are asked to RSVP no later than two days before the class.

Jackie’s Zest for Cooking

Jackie Smith is another experienced local cook who runs hands-on cooking classes out of her decked-out home kitchen at 2030 N. Red Oaks.

Smith, who has experience running cooking classes for Williams-Sonoma, grew up cooking in Iowa around parents who loved to entertain.

She has classes scheduled through June that include “Memorial Day Grill Out” on May 23, “Easy Spring Italian Entertaining” on May 30 and “Grilled Pizza Party” with guest cook Don Hysko on June 1. Classes cost between $25 and $65.

For a complete list of classes and to register, visit www.jackieszestforcooking.com/ or call 316-737-1424.

Cooking at Bonnie’s Place

Local chef Bonnie Aeschliman’s summer calendar at her Cooking at Bonnie’s Place, 9747 E. 21st St., is filled with classes led by local chefs, including Carrabba’s Joe Parten on June 23. She also has Pete DeFazio from Defazio’s, Bobby Lane from Chester’s Chophouse, Jeremy Wade from Lakeside Club and several other well-known names committed to summer cooking classes. They usually cost between $45 and $60.

Aeschliman also is offering cooking camps for children and teens throughout the summer.

For a complete schedule of her classes, visit www.cookingatbonnies.com/.

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen

Chef and owner Tanya Tandoc offered several classes over the winter and fall at her restaurant at 1725 E. Douglas, and she plans to do so again this summer. But her schedule isn’t ready yet, she said. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page, which will have the schedule when she completes it.

All Things Barbecue

The grilling store at 615 W. Douglas offers grilling classes every month. Though the owners are taking June off, they’ll resume in July with classes that teach everything from mastering the grill to smoking meats. They usually cost between $45 and $60. Call 316-440-3950 for more information.

Garden Grill Cafe

Miguel Larcher, the chef and owner at Garden Grill Cafe, 300 N. Main, frequently teaches vegan cooking classes. At 6 p.m. on June 18, he’ll lead a demonstration cooking class and dinner that costs $60 per person. Then, in July, he’ll launch a vegan cooking series that will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. on July 9, 16 and 23. It will cover everything from knife skills to sauce preparation, and students will take the food they prepare home with them. It’s $150. To make reservations, call 316-978-9213.

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