I wanted to do this four years ago, when I graduated culinary school. “Let’s turn the garage into a teaching kitchen” I said in my best Judy-Garland-gushing-to-Gene-Kelly breathless, hopeful voice. Except I was me, not Judy, and I was talking to my husband, who is not Gene and we didn’t have a barn full of star-struck young gals and guys just waiting to stay up all night to sing, dance and build it. So, for the next four years, I focused my Food Fix Kitchen Cooking School on in-home and on-site instruction and travelled all over: New York, Brooklyn, Westchester, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and the far corners of New Jersey to teach in big homes, little homes, tiny apartments in Greenwich Village and grand ones on Park Avenue too, beach homes, airplane hangars, private jets, corporate conference rooms, hospital auditoriums, food festivals, dairy farms and a few TV show sets. Boy, am I tired. Not of teaching. But the planning and packing and schlepping and travel time was getting to me. I wanted to stop going out to teach and start bringing home the bacon—pun intended. Now, just two months after we cleaned out the last stink bug and relocated all our accumulated junk to the basement, I see this dream come true when I open the door to my old garage: my very own teaching kitchen.
The gigantic Italian ceramic tile island seats up to 16 students! There are two stoves, two ovens and gadgets galore! The back wall is paneled with wood I stained with three different colors to look like weathered barn wood. I designed the overall look of the space (rustic-y? industrial-ish?) but my husband and a two-man team of hardworking jack-of-all-trades-types helped it all come together. (I did lightweight stuff like staining, painting, stenciling and cleaning up.) The budget was twice what we had wanted it to be, but it’s twice as cool as I thought it would be too. I am so proud of how it turned out and soooooo excited about teaching in the space. Last week, I did a soft opening by offering four classes through my local township recreation department, two for kids and two for adults, and the classes were nearly sold out! Everyone had a great time, the space is amazing to teach in, and I got to iron out some of the logistical issues (like I need a full-on dishwashing superhero to help me during classes, for sure!) Now I’m ready to go and I’m officially launching “The Garage” with a full schedule of classes for December. Click here to download the schedule and registration form: THE GARAGE – DECEMBER 2013 SCHEDULE
By January I should have an online registration page set up, but for now I’m doing registration sort of “old school” with a form you’ll need to print out and fill out and send back to me with a check. Spaces will be held by payment-in-full only, and there is limited space, so if there is a class you want to do get the form back to me ASAP!
For those of you who have enjoyed our cooking parties in your homes, offices, etc. I’ll still be available to do on-site events when asked, but my group class schedule will dictate my availability going forward. And now I’ll be able to offer my space to host private culinary events (birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, wine tastings, etc.) for those who want to have a cooking party, but don’t have a suitable venue (or don’t want to get their venue all messy!). I’m looking forward to partnering with local businesses to do special themed cooking classes and inviting guest chefs from area restaurants to come in and teach classes too. Now that THE GARAGE – DECEMBER 2013 SCHEDULE is open for business, it seems my mind has opened up with all the possibilities for culinary exploration in the space. I hope you’ll come along for the ride sometime soon!