Class size: 8 students
Instructor: Helen Rennie
Location: Helen’s Kitchen at 3 Ingleside Rd, Natick, MA
Covid-19 Safety Info: Starting on Feb 1, 2023, vaccinations and masks are no longer required to attend class.
Cancellation Policy and other FAQ
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 / $115 per person
Sat, Dec 16, 2023 10:30am-1:30pm 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, cod stew, and swordfish Provençal. Note: the dishes vary based on the season and availability of ingredients. This class is Paleo friendly.
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 learn to buy, wash, store, and cook everything from roots to leafy greens. Dishes will vary with the season and availability of ingredients, but are likely to include a kale apple salad, smokey cauliflower almond salad, roasted beets, roasted Brussels sprouts, braised cabbage, and seared asparagus. This class is vegetarian and Paleo friendly.
One 3h session / $115 per person
Fri, Jan 5, 2024 6pm-9pm Waiting List
Pelmeni and Varenyky (Eastern European Dumplings)
What happens when you cross an Asian dumpling with a European dumpling? You get Russian pelmeni — insanely juicy and buttery meat dumplings. Once you master the dough for these little bundles of deliciousness, you'll unlock the door to many other pasta dishes (ravioli, vareniki, pierogi, manti, khinkali, and soup dumplings). Another dish we'll make in class is Ukrainian varenyky (known as pierogi in Poland). We'll fill ours with potatoes, but they can also be filled with mushrooms, sauerkraut, and even fruit.
One 3h session / $115 per person
Sat, Jan 20, 2024 10:30am-1:30pm 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. A light lunch will be provided followed by pastries.
One 3h30 session / $115 per person
Sat, Jan 27, 2024 10:30am-2pm 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.