Hit the Kitchen

Culinary classes

Written By Brandy Centolanza — 
Culinary Institute of Virginia Expands Its Cooking Class Program
Starting in the New Year, Culinary Institute of Virginia’s Casual Gourmet Program will begin offering community cooking classes at the new campus in Newport News, Va.
Classes began in 2008 at the Norfolk, Va., location due to public interest, and have covered an array of topics, including pasta and pizza from scratch, sushi, soups & stews, sauces and culinary fundamentals.
“The purpose of these classes is to empower home cooks with basic to advanced culinary skills through hands on training,” explains Chef Troy Camacho, Casual Gourmet’s program director. “Our classes are not lecture based, but rather learning by doing. We believe that our classes can help a good cook become a great cook through refining of their techniques and ultimately increasing versatility in their kitchen.”
Participants work along side a professional cooking instructor in a professional kitchen to create a variety of dishes during each class, which are typically three hours long in either a single or multiple sessions, depending on the course topic. All the necessary ingredients, recipes and equipment are provided.
Class size is kept to 15 students, and certain classes sell out quickly, particularly over the holidays or special events.
Home cooks who partake in the program learn to experiment with ingredients they may have not have tried before, pick up new kitchen techniques and tips, and walk away with the confidence to share their new skills with family and friends.
“Many of our more advance customers comment on how much they enjoy spending time with foodies possessing equal passion and skills,” says Camacho.
Class topics starting in January include, healthy cooking, Italian cuisine, French cuisine, Indian cuisine, desserts, infused oils and vinegars and cooking with beer. There is also a special class planned for Valentine’s Day and an Irish cuisine course planned in March in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
For more information on the Casual Gourmet program, visit www.casualgourmet.com.