Dining » Vol. 20

Culinary Underground School for Home Cooks

dining-culinary-undergroun-copyBy Shelly Aucoin

Julia Child once said, “Just like becoming an expert in wine — you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford — you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simple or luxurious. Then you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.”

Cooking, a craft that once confined the artist to the kitchen, has been brought into the spotlight by books and television shows in recent years.

If you’ve ever watched Martha Stewart or Jacques Pepin and wanted to try what they were making, you’ll enjoy the Culinary Underground School for Home Cooks. Founded six years ago by Chef Lori Leinbach, the school just celebrated a grand re-opening and is now located on Route 9 West in Southborough.

Chef Leinbach has designed an extensive offering of classes for all ages and skill levels. Parent/Grandparent-child cooking classes “Summer Camp” and “The Very Basics” are skill courses designed for budding cooks looking to get their feet wet. Advanced cooks have many options to choose from as well, including baking artisan bread or Viennese pastries, developing flavor profiles and exploring the world through global cuisine.

“No one should be a slave to recipes or meal planning.” says Chef Lori, “Involve your grandkids; they’ll be more inclined to eat the stuff if they have a hand in it. Ditto your spouse. [Mine] has made homemade pizza every Sunday night for 20 years.”

This Valentine’s Day (or any day) try a “Date Night” cooking class where you’ll cook a full meal together, enjoy wine and make dessert. Pick up some new ideas in the “Quick Weeknight Meals” course, sharpen your wine skills with “Grub and Grapes” or participate in a guest chef session focusing on fresh ingredients such as fungi. For advice on hosting, attend “The Small Dinner Party,” where Chef Rubin walks you step by step through planning, shopping and food preparation for dinner guests.

Looking for a unique celebration or book club get together? Custom classes are also available in your home or a venue of your choice. Chef Lori’s team will develop a custom menu to fit your class size, interests and skill level at a date that’s convenient for you.

Whatever your tastes, Culinary Underground School for Home Cooks has something to awaken your taste buds and rekindle your love of cooking. For recipe ideas and delightful cooking stories, visit Chef Lori’s blog at: http://cacklefruit.blogspot.com/

Visit them on the web for more information and an up-to-date schedule of classes at: http://culinaryunderground.com.

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