Public Classes

Class size: 8 students
Instructor: Helen Rennie
Location: Helen’s Kitchen at 3 Ingleside Rd, Natick, MA
Cancellation Policy and other FAQ

Summer program for teens July 15-19 and July 29-Aug 2, 2019. Learn more and register.

Tender at the Bone

How confident are you when you step up to the butcher counter? Do you know what cuts to get for braising vs. roasting vs. grilling vs. pan searing? While everyone can throw a piece of meat on the grill, taking it off can be a little tricky. How do you know when it's cooked to your liking? Do you season before or after cooking? Should you crank the heat up or turn it down? This class will answer all your meat buying and cooking questions. We'll discuss the cuts of beef, lamb, and pork; learn appropriate cooking methods for each cut; practice trimming and trussing steaks and roasts; and eliminate guesswork out of testing meat for doneness. Dishes will vary with the season and availability of ingredients, but are likely to include a beef steak with red wine reduction, a rack of lamb with garlic and mint, and braised pork shoulder with osso buco sauce. This class is Paleo friendly.

One 3h session / $90 per person
Sat, Mar 30, 2019 10am-1pm Register
1 spot left. For 2+ spots, please get on the Waiting list

French Pastry 101: Pate a Choux

Do you want to learn to make eclairs, cream puffs, Paris-Brest, and fancy hors d'oeuvres? Then you need to master pâte à choux -- the most versatile, gloriously puffy, make-ahead-friendly dough in the French pastry repertoire. Pâte à choux might require more finesse than banana muffins, but the process is not complicated. After we discuss the science behind this technique and give you a chance for hands-on practice, you'll be able to wow your family and friends with magnificent desserts and savory bites. You'll learn to make pastry cream, ganache, and other fillings; avoid the pitfalls of collapsed or soggy puffs; and use a pastry bag like a pro. We'll make both savory and sweet dishes.

One 3h session / $90 per person
Sat, Apr 6, 2019 10am-1pm Waiting List
Fri, May 10, 2019 6pm-9pm Register

Knife Skills

Do you get excited about a trip to the farmer's market, but dread chopping all those veggies and herbs? If the onions make you break into tears and you can't remember the last time you sharpened your knife, come to this hands-on class and learn to slice, dice, and mince in a casual and supportive environment. We'll go over which knives are used for which cuts, how to buy a good knife in any price range, as well as sharpening and caring for your knives. And what cooking class is complete without a sumptuous dinner? The meal we'll prepare out of all those veggies might include fennel orange salad, potato leek soup, tomato onion tart, and ratatouille. This class is vegetarian.

One 3h session / $90 per person
Sat, Mar 23, 2019 10am-1pm Waiting List
Wed, May 22, 2019 10am-1pm Register

Orgasmic Vegetables

Vegetables are a culinary wonder with their variety of textures and flavors, and a gift to us cooks. If they occupy the lowly place of repentance food on your table, it's time to rethink your cooking techniques. In this class, you'll get hands-on practice with blanching, roasting, pan searing, braising, and sauteing vegetables, as well as serving them raw. You'll learn to buy, wash, store, and cook everything from roots to leafy greens. How do you prevent asparagus from turning mushy and stringy? What do you do with Swiss chard, beets, fennel, celery root, and rutabaga? How do you make a good salad? Bring your vegetable questions and come ready to cook and eat. Dishes will vary with the season and availability of ingredients, but are likely to include fennel radish green bean salad, seared asparagus, roasted beets with farro, and Swiss chard bruschetta. This class is vegetarian and Paleo friendly.

One 3h session / $90 per person
Wed, May 22, 2019 6pm-9pm Register

Perfect Pizza

This class is Cooking 101 and Baking 101 rolled into one most delicious dish — pizza. It's one of the simplest dishes to make, and one of the simplest to mess up. Does your dough refuse to stretch into a thin circle? Does it get soggy under the sauce and toppings? Are you at a loss as to how to produce a perfectly crisp thin crust? In this class you'll make a 5 minute home-made crust that will teach you many baking fundamentals. You'll also make 4 versatile sauces while learning to use heat and seasoning to your advantage. We'll make pizza Margherita (tomato, mozzarella, and basil); pizza with caramelized onions, pears, walnuts, and blue cheese; pizza with mushroom, arugula and truffle vinaigrette; and Middle Eastern flat bread with cucumber yogurt dip. Note: dishes may vary based on the season and availability of ingredients. This class is vegetarian.

One 3h session / $90 per person
Fri, Mar 22, 2019 6pm-9pm Waiting List
Tue, Apr 9, 2019 6pm-9pm Waiting List

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Do you like to eat fish in restaurants, but are scared to cook it at home? Or, are you bored of baking salmon with a squirt of lemon, but not sure how to expand your repertoire? Come to this class and explore the bounty of the sea available to us in New England. You'll learn to find a good fish market in your area, buy the freshest fish, learn all about fish personalities and substitutions, and test fish for doneness. We'll make salmon teriyaki, trout in almonds, halibut in sorrel sauce, broiled bluefish, and swordfish Provençal. Note: the dishes vary based on the season and availability of ingredients. This class is Paleo friendly.

One 3h session / $90 per person
Fri, Mar 29, 2019 6pm-9pm Waiting List
Wed, Apr 24, 2019 6pm-9pm Waiting List
Fri, May 17, 2019 6pm-9pm Waiting List

Sauce and the City

Sauce making is one of the most enjoyable kitchen tasks. It unleashes your creativity and gives you room for infinite variations. Once you understand the basic principles of contemporary sauces, you'll be a slave to recipes no more! We realize that you don't have homemade veal stock on hand, and don't find dousing your asparagus in artery clogging Hollandaise that appealing. But that doesn't mean that you can't dress up your dishes with vibrant sauces in less than 15 minutes. In this class, you'll learn how to choose the right ingredients and equipment, how to make pan sauces with the techniques of deglazing and reduction, how to thicken sauces without making them lumpy, and how to make various cold sauces and toppings. Dishes might include fennel grapefruit salad with shallot vinaigrette, scallops with asparagus sauce, roast chicken with porcini cream sauce, and steak with red wine reduction. Dishes vary based on the season and availability of ingredients. This class is Paleo friendly.

One 3h session / $90 per person
Fri, Apr 5, 2019 6pm-9pm Waiting List

Spanish Tapas

If having a dinner party stresses you out, come to this class and learn to do it the Spanish way. Break the "appetizer - entree - dessert" mold, and see the world of delicious and flexible possibilities open up. In this class, we'll recreate some of the most famous tapas. Dishes vary with the season and availability of ingredients, but might include tortilla de patatas (thick potato egg omelette), garlic shrimp, burgers with romesco sauce, and asparagus with serrano ham. Along the way, you'll pick up many useful tips on buying ingredients, prepping ahead, cooking everything to perfect doneness, and composing a harmonious menu.

One 3h session / $90 per person
Fri, May 3, 2019 6pm-9pm Waiting List

Grilling Meat and Poultry

If crispy, juicy meat turns you on, why not learn the techniques that achieve perfection every time you fire up the grill? Successful meat grilling is not about big flames and big tools; it's about chemistry and thermodynamics. In this class, we'll learn what cuts of meat and poultry to choose for the grill, when to use high heat and when to go low and slow, how to test for doneness, and why marinades work or fail. Dishes might include a grilled rib-eye steak with chimichurri sauce, grilled lamb chops with mint butter, pork chops with mustard vinaigrette, and chicken thighs with pomegranate syrup. Note: the dishes vary based on the season and availability of ingredients. This class is Paleo friendly. Rainy day policy.

One 3h session / $90 per person
Sat, May 4, 2019 10am-1pm Waiting List

Brunch

You can use butter with abandon, you can drink champagne at 11am, you can dress up, or you can be in your pajamas. Yes, I am talking about the most joyous meal of all time — brunch. If you are stressed out about flipping crepes, poaching eggs, and breaking your hollandaise, it's time to learn the cooking techniques that will turn you into the brunch master. In this class, we'll explore the brunch classics: Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon, Biscuits and Gravy, Crepes, and Veggie Hash with Sunny-side up Eggs. Note: dishes may vary based on the season and availability of ingredients.

One 3h session / $90 per person
Sat, May 11, 2019 10am-1pm Waiting List

Ravishingly Raw (Crudo, Sashimi, Tartar)

Who doesn't love pristine fish served raw? Most people don't think twice about ordering raw fish in a restaurant, but don't know where to begin when it comes to serving it at home. Where do you buy it? How do you store it? What species are safe to eat raw? How do you slice it? What do you pair it with? How do you deal with the risks of food-borne illness? This class will answer all these questions and give you plenty of hands-on practice slicing fish for sashimi, tartar, and ceviche dishes. Come hungry for assorted sashimi, tonno crudo (raw tuna) with a fennel salad, scallops ceviche with mango, and hamachi tartar with apples and ginger. Note: the dishes vary based on the season and availability of ingredients. This class is Paleo friendly.

One 3h session / $90 per person
Sat, May 18, 2019 10am-1pm Waiting List

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Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I have to cancel?
Please see our cancellation policy for details.
How do I get a spot? Whenever I check the website, the class I want has a waiting list.
Read our tips on getting spots.
The class I want to take is full. Will you offer it again?
Yes. Most of these classes are offered on monthly basis and are announced 2 months in advance.
Can you send me e-mail when you announce more classes?
Yes. Just send us an e-mail to get on our mailing list.
Do we just watch or do we get to cook too?
All classes are hands-on, so everyone gets to participate.
Should we come hungry?
Yes! A full meal is included in each class except for baking classes that are not held at meal time.
Are gift certificates available?
Yes. Fill out the gift certificate request form to purchase one.
What materials should we bring to class?
Wear comfortable shoes--you'll be standing on your feet for 2-3 hours. We'll provide everything else.