In-Person Classes

Class size: 8 students
Instructor: Helen Rennie
Location: Helen’s Kitchen at 3 Ingleside Rd, Natick, MA
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.

One 3h session / $115 per person
Sat, May 11, 2024 6pm-9pm Waiting List
Sat, Jun 1, 2024 6pm-9pm Register

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 / $115 per person
Sat, Jun 8, 2024 10:30am-1:30pm Register
Sat, Jun 15, 2024 10:30am-1:30pm Register

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, Apr 20, 2024 10:30am-2pm Waiting List
Sat, May 4, 2024 10:30am-2pm 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.

One 3h session / $115 per person
Sat, Apr 20, 2024 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 / $115 per person
Sat, Apr 27, 2024 10:30am-1:30pm Waiting List
Sat, May 11, 2024 10:30am-1:30pm Waiting List
Sat, Jun 15, 2024 6pm-9pm Waiting List

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 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
Sat, Apr 27, 2024 6pm-9pm Waiting List

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 / $115 per person
Sat, May 4, 2024 6pm-9pm Waiting List

Easy as Pie

Yeah right! If it was that easy, there'd be more great pies and tarts in this world. Have you been struggling with Pâte Brisée (pie and tart dough)? Or were you too intimidated to even try it? Worry no more. This class will give you plenty of hands-on experience with making full-proof dough, rolling it out, shaping it, making savory and sweet fillings, and baking your creations. Dishes might include a tomato tart with caramelized onions and gruyere, spinach and mushroom quiche, apricot galette (free-form tart), and pear tart Tatin. Note: the dishes vary based on the season and availability of ingredients. This class is vegetarian.

One 3h30 session / $115 per person
Sat, May 18, 2024 10:30am-2pm 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 / $115 per person
Sat, May 18, 2024 6pm-9pm Waiting List

Grilling Fish

What can be more delightful on a warm summer day than our local striper or bluefish right off the grill! Unless, of course, half of the fish got stuck and the other half fell through the grill grate. Cooking over an open flame might be the oldest method known to man, but it does require a lot of finesse to master. What fish types are appropriate for grilling? When should you turn the heat up and when down? How do you avoid sticking? When is the fish done? This class will answer all your fish grilling questions. We will use a gas grill, but the same techniques apply if you are grilling on charcoal. Dishes might include bluefish with cilantro lime butter, whole branzino with lemon and herbs, and swordfish with cucumber yogurt sauce. Note: the dishes vary based on the season and availability of ingredients. This class is Paleo friendly. Rainy day policy.

One 3h session / $115 per person
Sat, Jun 1, 2024 10:30am-1:30pm Waiting List

Well Dressed: How to Make a Salad

On the surface, this class is about salads, but at its heart, it's about texture manipulation and mastering the elusive concept of seasoning to taste. How do you select the best greens, wash them properly, and store them to preserve their crunch? How do you compose a salad that is interesting, but also well balanced? How do you make a restaurant quality salad dressing? How do you stock your pantry to foster salad improvisation? How do you know how much salt and acidity to use? This class will answer all these questions and will give you hands-on seasoning practice. Dishes vary with the season and availability of ingredients, but might include: Little Gem Lettuces with Green Goddess and Crunchy Quinoa, Kale Apple Walnut Salad, and Red Cabbage Slaw with Citrus and Pumpkin Seeds.

One 3h session / $115 per person
Sat, Jun 8, 2024 6pm-9pm Waiting List

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can kids attend?
Kids with a passion for cooking are allowed if they are at least 12 years old. However, a parent must be present at the beginning of class to sign a waiver.
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?
No. Sorry, we no longer sell gift certificates.