In-Person Classes

Class size: 8 students
Instructor: Helen Rennie
Location: Helen’s Kitchen at 3 Ingleside Rd, Natick, MA
Covid-19 Safety Info: Helen is fully vaccinated and asks that all the students attending are vaccinated as well. Masks aren’t required in class, but anyone who wants to wear one is welcome to do so.
Cancellation Policy and other FAQ

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 / $100 per person / Covid-19 Vaccination Required
Sat, Dec 11, 2021 10:30am-1:30pm Register
1 spot left. For 2+ spots, please get on the Waiting list

Meatless Meals

Plant-based meals are great for your health, your wallet, and our planet. With the right techniques, they can be so delicious, you'll want to lick your plate. In this class you'll learn how to work with protein and fiber rich beans, lentils, and grains. If you have the Instant Pot (not at all a requirement), you'll get many tips on putting it to good use. Dishes might include chickpea stew with leafy greens, lentils with caramelized onions and roasted tomatoes, farro mushroom risotto, and quinoa salad. This class is vegetarian. We can leave out the dairy for anyone who is vegan.

One 3h session / $100 per person / Covid-19 Vaccination Required
Sat, Dec 11, 2021 6pm-9pm Register
1 spot left. For 2+ spots, please get on the Waiting list
Sat, Jan 8, 2022 6pm-9pm Waiting List

Homemade Pasta

Few kitchen tasks are more satisfying than making your own pasta. The reason people struggle with pasta is that most recipes leave out too many crucial details. You can spend years figuring them out on your own, or you can come to the pasta making class that will help you succeed on your first try. In this class you'll get hands-on experience with the egg pasta dough: kneading, rolling, shaping, and cooking. You'll learn to cut it into ribbons (like pappardelle and fettuccine) and shape it into ravioli. Sauces and fillings will vary with the seasons. Although one of the dishes might use meat, we can leave it out for anyone who is vegetarian.

One 3h session / $100 per person / Covid-19 Vaccination Required
Sat, Jan 8, 2022 10:30am-1:30pm Register
1 spot left. For 2+ spots, please get on the Waiting list

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; and eliminate guesswork from 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 / $100 per person / Covid-19 Vaccination Required
Sat, Jan 22, 2022 10:30am-1:30pm Register

Pan Sauces

Don't let your brown bits go to waste! Every time you sear meat or poultry, your pan gives you a gift that can be turned into a sauce with a splash of stock and wine. This class covers how to make the kind of stock that restaurants make and how to reduce it into a demi-glace that you can always keep on hand in your freezer. This magic ingredient means that you are never more than 5 minutes away from a great pan sauce and its infinite variations. Dishes might include a skirt steak with red wine reduction, pork chops with madeira mustard sauce, roast chicken with porcini cream sauce, and chicken thighs with lemon and herb sauce. Note: Dishes vary based on availability of ingredients.

One 3h session / $100 per person / Covid-19 Vaccination Required
Sat, Dec 4, 2021 10:30am-1:30pm Waiting List
Sat, Jan 22, 2022 6pm-9pm Register

Soup it up!

Ah, soup -- it cures whatever ails you, warms you up from the inside, and gets even better on the second day. In this class we'll cover the building blocks of soup to free you from being a slave to the recipes and help you improvise your own creations inspired by the season. You'll learn to make your own stocks, build layers of flavor with aromatic vegetables, and season like a pro. To save you time, we'll cover the use of a pressure cooker (like Instant Pot) to reduce the cooking time by a factor of 3! Soups might include a Bouillabaisse (fish soup), Butternut Squash, and Black Bean, but will vary with the season and availability of ingredients.

One 3h session / $100 per person / Covid-19 Vaccination Required
Sat, Jan 29, 2022 10:30am-1:30pm Register

Ravishingly Raw (Poke Bowls, Crudo, Ceviche)

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 crudo, poke bowls, and ceviche dishes. Come hungry for salmon miso poke bowl, spicy tuna tartar, branzino ceviche, and hamachi crudo. Note: the dishes vary based on the season and availability of ingredients. This class is Paleo friendly.

One 3h session / $100 per person / Covid-19 Vaccination Required
Sat, Dec 18, 2021 6pm-9pm Waiting List
Sat, Jan 29, 2022 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 we'll make a 5 minute home-made crust that will teach you many baking fundamentals. We'll also make a few sauces while learning to use heat and seasoning to your advantage. This class is vegetarian.

One 3h session / $100 per person / Covid-19 Vaccination Required
Sat, Dec 4, 2021 6pm-9pm Waiting List

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. You are welcome to bring an 8" chef's knife, but that's optional. We have knives for everyone. We don't recommend buying anything before class since you'll have a chance to try out different knives to help you decide which one works for you. We'll make a lunch out of our chopping practice and serve it in the end of class. This class is vegetarian.

One 3h session / $100 per person / Covid-19 Vaccination Required
Sat, Dec 18, 2021 10:30am-1:30pm Waiting List

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will we eat in class?
Yes, we eat what we make in class.
What materials should we bring to class?
Wear comfortable shoes. We'll provide everything else.
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.
Are gift certificates available?
Yes. Fill out the gift certificate request form to purchase one.