Spring in Burlington Ontario

Spring in Burlington Ontario
Discover Burlington this Spring

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Get Cooking in Burlington

This is the time of year when many of us return to our kitchens and comfort food becomes part of our vocabulary as the cooler temperatures descend on us.  For those of us looking for inspiration this fall and winter, Burlington has a wide range of cooking classes available to suit everyone from the beginner learning to cook to the master of the kitchen looking for new ideas.

The Chefs at Paradiso Restaurant are ready to head back into their in-restaurant cooking studio to teach you how to prepare a wide variety of dishes sure to please every palate. 
We asked Elizabeth, one of our travel counselors to share her Paradiso experience with you (and us).

Cooking @ Paradiso
"Whether you are a seasoned home chef or just starting to try your hand at making a great dinner, you will truly enjoy a cooking class at Paradiso Restaurant, located in the heart of Village Square downtown. My fiancé and I became students for an evening this past January and were excited to add to our growing cooking skills and learn some recipes to impress ourselves and our guests at home. Along with the other 10 participants, we were first taught the basics of working in a restaurant kitchen, from how to walk around the fridges and stoves safely, how to tie your apron like a pro, and how to expertly chop the various ingredients and not our fingers! We were then introduced to the 3-course menu for the evening: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup to start, Moroccan Chicken Supreme with Spiced Potatoes and French Green Beans, and Dark Chocolate Truffle Torte to finish.

We divided into groups that were then each in charge of one or two parts of the meal. With our group, we prepared and stuffed the chicken, peeled and sliced potatoes, and made spice rubs. Our instructor (a Paradiso chef) was wonderful. She circulated around each group, giving tips and pointers about each step along the way and made sure we were all having a great time too. After about an hour or so of hard work and fun in the kitchen, we headed back into the dining room while everything cooked and the finishing touches were completed by the real professionals.

@ Paradiso
Each delicious course was greeted by cheers and compliments to the group that prepared it. Everything tasted even better than Paradiso’s always excellent food, knowing we had helped to create it! By the end of the evening, we not only felt full of an amazing dinner, but also that we had learned many new skills and recipes that we could try and re-create on our own. We happily took home our pamphlets outlining the ingredients and steps for each dish and have even successfully made a couple of the recipes since that evening. Choose any one of Paradiso’s themed cooking classes and be prepared to work hard, learn a lot, have fun, and eat a fabulous meal all in one great night!"

We are pleased to offer you a sneak peek at what classes Paradiso will be offering this autumn.  For full class details, pricing and booking information please visit the website.

Paradiso Cooking Studio Schedule
Wednesday Oct. 5 – Pasta & Sauces
Tuesday Oct. 11 – Tour of Tuscany
Wednesday Oct. 19 – Evening in Greece
Tuesday Oct. 25 – Fish & Shellfish
Thursday Nov. 3 – BBQ & Salsas
Tuesday Nov. 8 – Evening in Spain
Thursday Nov. 10 – Signature Dishes of Paradiso
Tuesday Nov. 15 – Tapas Style Cocktail Party

Head down Brant Street in Downtown Burlington you will find the Stir Kitchen Store which is a dream come true for the chef in all of us.  Not only does this store carry a wide variety of kitchen tools that set the standard for excellence in the industry, but they can teach you to cook as well at their in store cooking classes.

Pasta class @ Stir Kitchen
Stir cooking classes will teach you the fine art of cooking everything from appetizers to desserts.  In the demonstration based classes, the chef prepares the meal in front of you and you are served a full course meal including an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Participants receive the full recipe and instructions to take home with them.  Stir also offers hands-on classes that allow you to make the dish from scratch with instruction from the chef.  After completing the hands-on class, participants eat what they have prepared.

Homemade pasta @Stir Kitchen
Stir has a wonderful group of talented chefs working with them.  Chefs that have taught here include Chris Haworth from Spencer’s, Michael Levin from Walker’s Fish Market, personal chef and cookbook author Geeta Maini, French chef Andre Donnet, Luca Rosa, Fabiola Gonzalez and more.  They are always looking for new talent and trying to expand their repertoire of classes such as Gluten free and vegan classes, as well as knife skills classes. 

If you are ready to give it a try, check out the class schedule below and visit their website for details.

Stir Kitchen Schedule:
Oct 2 - Hands-On Pasta Making Class with Chef Luca Rosa
Oct 13 -Welcome to the delicious world of Indian food with Chef & Author Geeta Maini.
Oct 20 - Sauce Class with Chef Andre Donnet
Oct 22 - Ghoulish delights!
Oct 23 - Hands-on Fusion Class with Chef and cookbook author Geeta Maini.
Oct 28 - Moroccan Cooking with Nezha Saad
Nov 3 - French Cooking with Chef Andre Donnet
Nov 5 - Holiday Appetizer Class 1 with Chef Fabiola Gonzalez
Nov 12 - Holiday Appetizer Class II with Chef Fabiola Gonzalez
Nov 19 - Holiday Baking Class with Chef Fabiola Gonzalez

Burlington is fortunate to be home to two vegan restaurants that offer cooking classes and workshops throughout the year.

Chef Peter @ Naked Sprout
The Naked Sprout in North Burlington is a full-service vegan restaurant that offers cooking classes in a demonstration format.   They currently do not have any classes scheduled but check their website for updates.  For those interested in trying to go “raw” consider attending the 7-day raw food challenge workshop and information session.  More information is available here.

Kindfood in Downtown Burlington is a combination gluten-free, vegan bakery/café/store.  Kindfood runs one of the most interesting, motivating, fun, interactive, and delicious cooking classes in the GTA. The cooking class is lead by the Owner of Kindfood, Kelly Childs, and her daughter Erinn Weatherbie who is also an owner of Kindfood. They offer a bright, fresh take on cooking and how to eat a healthy whole foods, plant-based diet, in other words there is no meat, cheese, dairy, or any animal product of any kind in their food. Dates have not be determined for the next round of cooking classes, however they are planning on running more this fall. Look for a schedule to be posted on their facebook page or website at http://www.kindfood.com/

Burlington is one of a handful of locations that feature LCBO cooking classes.  At the Millcroft location you can meet some of the finest chefs and learn about their personal cooking techniques as well as, what LCBO products compliment your menus.   Cooking Classes include a small food sample of each dish and a wine match for some of the menu selected by LCBO Consultants.

LCBO Millcroft Schedule:
Thursday, October 6 - Give Thanks - *Full-meal class
Saturday, October 8 - Stress-Free Entertaining
Thursday, October 13 -Tastes Of An Italian-Inspired Harvest Menu
Saturday, October 15 -Stylish And Sophisticated Indian Cooking
Thursday, October 20 -What's For Dinner?
Saturday, October 22 -Anytime Entertaining Options
Tuesday, October 25 -The Elegant Vegetarian
Thursday, October 27 -Autumn Flavours
Saturday, October 29 -Entertaining With Pastries
Saturday, November 5 -Culinary Masterpieces - *Featured Chef
Thursday, November 10 -Delicious Make-Ahead Dinner
Saturday, November 12 -Savvy Entertaining Shortcuts
Tuesday, November 15 -Asian Finger Foods Part One
Wednesday, November 16 -Asian Finger Foods Part Two
Thursday, November 17 -Black-Tie Dining
Saturday, November 19 -Sweet And Savoury Holiday Treats
Thursday, November 24 -Spirited Cuisine
Saturday, November 26 -Baker's Secrets And Fabulous Cookies And Squares
Tuesday, November 29 -Home For The Holidays
Visit the website for more details on available classes and registration.

This winter a Taste of Burlington will be partnering with GO Cooking at the Hamilton Spectator to present a series of cooking classes featuring chefs from select Taste of Burlington restaurants.    GO Cooking classes are a chef's table format were you can interact with the chef as (s)he prepares taste sensations, plus sample the wine-consultant's pairings uniquely selected for each plate that is served.  Visit the website for current class offering and watch for Taste classes running February/March 2012.

I don’t know about you but we are ready to get out and get cooking.  We would love to hear about your culinary experiences in Burlington, please email us your stories and photos.

Cheers and Bon Appétit!

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