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teaching classes

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
for many years I taught classes and camps, cooked demos on a very regular basis. For the past two years I've laid low and not taught much at all. Within the past month 4 people have asked that I teach them how to cook.

Just curious as to how many of you teach classes?
What kind?


I'll start.....

Kids, ice cream camp.....5 days of creating ice creams

Farm Camp....2 weeks of day camp combined with a farmer

Culinary intensive.....2 weeks of cooking with 12-16 years olds, 4 hours a day....exhausting, I've never been more exhausted in my life. 2 years in a row...I brought in guest chefs, restaurant reviewers, farmers......

After school hands on classes for inner city kids, 10 week series....2 hour classes, 4-5 grade. One dish. ie. omelets.



Group Adult Classes:
How to fill your fridge in a few hours
Wild Shrooms
Fish
Yeast doughs
Vegetables.....
Hands on Fillo
Cooking for MS Women Farm Owners

Private Classes:
Using a CSA Bag, went on weekly for 3 years
How to cater kosher
Selecting and cooking fish
yeast dough
butchering pigs
Vietnamese.....this was interesting......


Big Time Classes:
Wild Shrooms.....national convention as well as out of state class "hired knife"
Heirloom Pork....stage with people paying $45+ to be at the show.

Demos:
7 years, approx 24 weeks a year, commando cooking demonstrations in the middle of a street using local products.....either I was coordinating or giving them.


Whew. funny to look back and see how many there have been, didn't seem like so many at the time.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
none of you teach? or demo?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #3 of 10
I've taught and demoed both, shroom. But almost always at a venue like a library or school that handled all the promotion etc. All I had to do was show up. The exceptions have been one-on-one instruction, in other people's homes.

Maybe you should walk folks through the steps necessary to teach classes at their home or catering facility. These could range from legal requirements, to costing, to getting the word out.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 10
I used to teach disabled adults a few years ago. Some had had strokes, some had other disibilities. We had a really good tme.
I also taught teachers during school in-sevice days. ( the heads wanted teachers to learn new skills )

I've now decided not to cater lunches any longer and turn the kitchen into a school. We're still in planning stages just now, but by February it should be up and running. We'll still be catering evening functions, Parties and weddings as bread and butter work. But we're hoping the school will take over as the main business.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Classes at a cooking school......there are many setups but standardized version is: guest chef is paid a rate to teach
most classes are 2.5-3 hours, including tasting what's prepared
most schools will buy and prep from your pre submitted recipes
(some do an excellant job, some don't)
classes can be canceled if not enough sign up
teaching is different from "just cooking", you have to be turned on.....



Private Classes Individual: they are generally pricey because you are still spending time, but it's centered on one person not a group. Remember you do the shopping (most of the time), prepping (generally this is part of the class), recipes (having recipes is important for many students), cook in their space, your commercial kitchen or elsewhere.


I've taken people through a grocery store and shopped with them (most times there is a theme.....fish, shrooms, fruits, veg, meats, yeast dough, fillo, desserts, low-fat, soups.......some students want to know how to select fish, or shop for produce....they pay for the groceries and we go cook, usually at their home. I make sure and bring the majic bag with any "special equipment" like emersion blender, my knives, tongs, spatula....
Most cases, they invite me to stay for the meal after the class.


Private Group Classes, I once taught 8 women in Indiana a series of cooking classes. It was fun, worth my time....I was on my way to KY anyway. They lived in a small town along HWY 40/64 and needed diversion. What a blast, cheap wine pourred.....gorgeous kitchens.


Chapel Hill, NC has a cooking school that is unreal....Southern Seasons, this is mecca in the fancy food world. Tiny town that has a top of the line school.
They flew me into town, put me up for 2 nights in a suite, paid me....let me shop in the store with a 50% discount (spent way more than I made), paid me and took me to Carsboro farmer's market......shroom expert. Too fun.
Approx 40 students, 4-5 staff helping me prep....breakfast of coffee, shortcake. They paid for the shrooms I brought with me. This is the top of the line.

Hands on classes should be smaller (under 12 normally) than demonstration classes.

I've taught children how to cook, normally over 1.5 hours....short/sweet. Always best to start with their interests. What do they want to learn?
I've taught chocolate chip cookies, smoothies, guacamole, sate, bagels.....
The key is to get them over any fears of trying....having a comfort level with equipment and ingredients. Ala Julia Child, all the better if there are mistakes so you can either fix them, talk about how to avoid them in the future or just groove with the variations.

Demos at stores & farmers markets.....simplicity.....samples.....promote whatever is being sold. For example, I founded and managed a couple of growers markets for years.....the cooking demo started approx 9am. and run for a couple of hours.....premise was to use what was on the market.
I remember a demo the end of July that was goat on goat. Fresh chevre sweetened with local peach topped with cajeta (goat milk caramel sauce)....
served in fillo cups or tart shells. So, sweetened the chevre in a bowl with a spoon or whisk, peeled the peaches/sliced into another bowl, had the cajeta already made/could have made it on site....but choose not to. Recipe written, samples plentiful.....
If someone brought in an obscure item.....garlic scapes, black radishes, huit la coche then I'd cook up samples.....of course the produce then flew off the market.
Remember why you are there......it's not only to promote yourself but to sell product.


Camps....outrageous amount of work in designing and teaching day culinary camp. My classes were through a group that already was established and had booklets mailed many months in advance. They took the money, set the food budget, hired assitant(s), dealt with insurence, dealt with registration....
I have no clue how many hours I put in to development, shopping, prepping, recipe writing...oh wait! the kids had spirals so they could write their own recipe books....I had huge flip pads to write notes on what we did, setup, cleanup.....just worrying that with so many bodies in a hot sharp environment that no one would get hurt.....Safety instructions were spelled out, if we made crab rangoons in hot oil an assitant was standing there the whole time.

I loved it. We explored various recipes for ice creams.....4 versions of chocolate ice cream to see which was our favorite, we designed key lime ice cream, made mint chocolate chip......made individual pies.....toppings....
infused cream with lemon grass, then with lemon zest to see the difference.
made lemon ginger ice cream.

We played with Asian fusion.
One camp was entitled, "not every tomato is the same".....numerous tomatoes...sungolds, assorted cherries, German or mortgage lifters, zebras, romas, etc....then rubber balls from the store. Assorted olive oils, nut oils, veg oil, various acids....red wine vinegar, balsamic, apple cider, rice....various sweeteners....assorted honeys including local spring & fall, tasmanian....sorghum, maple syrup.....we'd talk about the tomatoes and their qualities, then taste the liquids...make viniagrettes.....I love the aha momoments and the new converts.

Kosher Classes, done in synagogs or private kosher homes......you gotta know what you are doing or it will be a mess.

I've not given exact pricing....for each area it's different, if you are interested in teaching do your homework and get the info from local cooking schools. Figure out how many hours it will take you, costs, remember drive time, shop time, prep time, clean up time.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I reread KY's post......

legalities.....if it's in your space be insured.
someone's home, with them there.....I prone to think you are less liable.

Costing....depends on why you are doing it....promoting another business you have is a trade off in many cases for publicity.....answers only you can come up with.


Promoting.....if it's a public demo or class, send press releases to the newspapers include your contact info....date, place/address, cost,content, contact......put it on line......many grocery stores have classrooms or space now, they have media options....ask where it'll be advertised, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE RECIPES WRITTEN AND DELIVERED ASAP....THE CLASS CAN THEN BE BETTER PUBLISIZED, THE STAFF CAN BETTER PREP. Always have business cards....lots....
If you are demoing at a farmer's market have bright bold big signage....posters/banners etc....have recipes with your contact info on the recipe....network baby!
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 10
I taught for years in The New York Vocational Ed School Food Trades Vocational, Maritime Trades H.S, Park West Voc. and NY Institute of Dietetics. I had to get a NY City Teachers License. Teaching in the private school sector was wonderful, the adult ed sector was rerwarding. The vocational high school sector was a letdown.You had to be careful you were not stabed to death.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
and you provided them with sharps everyday! oh my.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #9 of 10
I had to take courses on how to teach. The classes taught us how to deal with problem kids. We were told by the instructor that in the type of voc. setting we were going in to we had to make the kids think we were much more crazy then they were. It worked and they respected us more. We were more like adult baby sitters then anything. I had to break up fights by telling them " Hey you have seen me use a knife, and I am better with it then both of you, so put the knives down"" It was sad sometimes you did get one or two that had potential but you could not teach up. You had to stay at the level of the majority, otherwise you would loose them all. All the school cared about was that they showed up to be checked in ,as the school was paid from the state daily by attendance or head count. It was a joke.:rolleyes:
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
so sad. life is just too short to waste.

So bughut, tell us more......
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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