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What's Up Magazine

Become top Chef…at Your House!

Mar 02, 2016 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Melissa Lauren

Are you a foodie that wants to become a better cook? Maybe you are proud of your repertoire and want to mix up the menu. Or maybe you are finally taking the leap and swearing off pre-cooked meals for good. Microwavable edibles may be quick to heat up but lack necessary nutrients while being loaded with nasty preservatives.

Those who cook at home from scratch using fresh ingredients live a healthier lifestyle. When you cook a homemade meal you have something to be proud of. Better yet, you stop to relax and take time to savor the fruits of your labor. Becoming the top chef of your household might be easier than you think! There are various cooking classes currently offered in our area that include basic demonstrations, hands-on thematic classes, on-demand customized classes, extended courses, classes focused on specific techniques, and even classes for kids. Some classes are even free!

Here’s what’s cooking for Editor’s Picks…

A Cooks Café

911 Commerce Road, Annapolis; 410-266-1511
A Cook’s Café believes strongly that kitchens are happy and creative places. People of all ages, and all skill levels have enjoyed lively, learning experiences in their kitchen. Classes include: Monday Nights You Can Cook Anything, a six-week intensive class, and a vegetarian series. All the classes help advance techniques like knife skills as well, so look sharp, chef, it’s your turn at the cutting board!

Whole Foods Market

200 Harker Place, Suite 100, Annapolis; 410-573-1800
Whole Foods Market not only has the goods to make healthy creations in the kitchen, they have classes to teach you how-to. Classes for March include: Hook ‘em and Cook ‘em: How to Cut and Cook Your Fish, Plant-Based Cooking, and Earth Day Cooking with Kids. Other classes have included: Gluten-Free Cooking, Vegan Thai Cooking, and Warm Mediterranean Dishes.

Williams Sonoma

Westfield Annapolis Mall (between Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor)
1705 Annapolis Mall, Annapolis; 410-571-0589
Williams-Sonoma offers Junior Chef Classes including Sweet and Savory Crepes, Wafflemania!, and Apple Snacks. Current offerings for adults include: Knife Skills, Vitamix, Gluten-free cooking, and BBQ. Talented chefs and culinary specialists teach all classes. They even have a cookbook club where you learn the recipe and get to take home the book signed by the author. Allow one to two hours per class.

Anne Arundel Community College

101 College Parkway, Arnold; 410-777-2222
Anne Arundel Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute offers noncredit cooking classes for beginners and culinary experts alike so you’re sure to make the grade in your kitchen. Cooking courses include: A Taste of India, Vegan in a Nutshell, Steaming and Poaching, International Appetizers, Tricks for Boat and Camp Cooking, Let’s Make Sausage, Adventures in Tapas, Sinful Desserts, Intermediate Artisan Bread Baking, Pie for Dinner, Cooking for Couples, The Art of Puff Pastry, Mastering Pan Sauces, Eat Like a Caveman: Paleo Eating, You Go, Grill!, Chocolate and Beer Pairings, and many more.

Blue Apron

Delivers nationwide to your door! Blue Apron believes you’re never done learning in the kitchen. They offer a fun way to discover exciting seasonal recipes with detailed instructions on how to create easy delicious meals in the comfort of your own home. Their recipes are created to encourage home chefs to try new ingredients and cooking techniques every week while honoring their philosophy of seasonal eating. Suppliers include Country Natural, Reeves Farms, Vermont Creamery, Sun Noodle, Ripe to You, and more.

Two-Person Plans and Family Plans are also available. The Two–Person plan includes three recipes per week. Family Plans can be delivered twice weekly or four times a week. Shipping is always free and you can skip any week and cancel at any time.

Recipes include: Seared Salmon and Salsa Verde, Butternut Squash and Poblano Chili, Lamb and Beef Gyros, and more. Recipes are never repeated in the same year. Recipes are always 500 to 700 calories per serving. The ingredients are perfectly pre-measured so there is no waste. Meats are naturally raised on antibiotic-free and hormone-free diets. Blue Apron can accommodate a variety of dietary preferences. Although, all of their boxes are assembled in the same processing facility, so for those who have serious food allergies they recommend against ordering Blue Apron.

Deliveries are made Tuesdays through Fridays. Blue Apron’s refrigerated boxes are packed with ice packs and insulated liners to ensure ingredients stay fresh for the full delivery. You don’t need to be home to accept the delivery. When you get home, you can have fun learning how to serve up an exciting new dish.