We’re Growing!

Open Table just celebrated its first birthday (with our much-beloved carrot cake, of course), and our second year is already brimming with new opportunities & adventures. First of all, by popular demand, we’re adding evening classes to the schedule! Every Thursday evening, any and all are welcome to join for cooking classes that celebrate a different cuisine each week. First up, on February 18th, we have Lebanese (think grilled flatbreads, lamb kebabs, baba ghanoush, and lemon pound cake), followed on the 25th by Italian (spinach lasagna, caprese salad, focaccia bread, and Italian wedding cookies), with more to come in March.

We are also excited to announce a partnership with Strong Start, a nanny training school that equips caregivers in all aspects of childcare, including cognitive and creative development. Open Table is adding a nutritional component to their stellar curriculum. We begin the first of a four-week series on Saturday, February 27th. For more information, send a message to april@opentableke.com.

Of course, our morning group classes are ongoing, with one big change: starting February 26th, Fridays are vegetarian! We’ve gotten so many requests for vegetarian-only classes that we’ve decided to dedicate one day per week to all things veg. Adaptations will be provided for vegan, low-sugar, and gluten-free diets as well.

Check out the February Class Calendar and March Class Calendar for details on all of our menus, and don’t hesitate to get in touch via email or by using the sign-up link above. We look forward to cooking & eating with you.

-OT

Happy New Year!

The New Year is a time of resolutions, very often about food. At Open Table, we don’t like to think of any one food as good or bad; instead, we focus on balance, awareness, and thoughtfulness around the act of eating. Without a doubt, we believe the best way to improve your relationship with food is to eat things that are made at home, using ingredients that are fresh, local, and free of mysterious add-ins. Each of our classes starts with a table full of simple, raw ingredients, and we spend our classes transforming familiar items into new, adventurous dishes. Plus, we always discuss how to adapt dishes to suit different diets & preferences, whether that means replacing eggs with banana, reducing sugar or salt, or diligently choosing low-calorie vegetables over starchy ones.

So if you’re looking for a resolution to make, let it be this one: to eat more homecooked food in 2016. If you, your housekeeper, your kids, or your coworkers need a hand, you’re always welcome at our classes. Take a look at the February Class Calendar for upcoming group classes, or get in touch to design a private class. We look forward to cooking & eating with you.

–OT

And Now The Rains

It’s no great secret that the way we eat changes with the seasons. In the hot months of January and February, all I want is salad, salad, salad: a diet of sugar snap peas and the occasional lemonade would do it. Now, the day after the first real deluge of this rainy season, I’m thinking pasta, cheese, braised red meat, warm apple crumble, honey lemon tea. In today’s class, we gave in to rainy-season urges, making tender, delectable gnocchi, served up with osso buco braised for two hours in white wine, and followed by moist red velvet cake. This was not a day to count calories. But then, we get to do this every once in a while. And when the weather tells me I need a big plate of comfort food, I say, “If you say so, weather. If you say so.”

Don’t worry: we’ll still have light, refreshing dishes throughout the next months (see October 28th’s awesome arugula + citrus salad, for one, or the 30th’s perfect green bean & pomegranate side dish). But there will also be lots of things to keep you warm and, you know, not hating the world for literally raining on your parade.

And for you Americans: stay tuned for the November schedule, to be posted soon, because we’ll make sure to cover Kenya-fied Thanksgiving staples throughout the month! Pumpkin pie, here we come.

–OT

…And We’re Back!

After being on holiday for the month of July, Open Table is excited to reopen its doors starting the first week of August. We have an exciting set of classes on the schedule, with plenty of tried & true dishes coupled with exciting new flavors:

Wednesday classes are designed for the novice cook. In four weeks, we cover all the kitchen essentials, including working with written recipes, accurate measuring, efficient knife skills, foundational methods for preparing vegetables, yeast bread techniques, kitchen hygiene & safety, basic nutrition, flavor balance, judging doneness, making substitutions, garnishing, and place settings.

Thursday classes are perfect for cooks with a little more experience. We get into recipes that require more technique and introduce students to more nuanced flavors & interesting combinations.

Friday classes are our most advanced offering. In August, we’ll get into various preparations of chicken, pork, and fish (with tofu, beef, other proteins in the works for September!). Advanced classes are great for the confident cook, and are especially perfect for those looking to become more comfortable working with meat & fish.

Take a look at the detailed calendars on the Class Calendar page, and feel free to get in touch with any questions! We look forward to sharing time, knowledge, & good food with you.

–OTCS

Is Our American Showing?

Hamburger buns!

Hamburger buns!

Buns, lentil hamburgers, pesto potato salad, and chocolate + peanut butter cups

Buns, lentil hamburgers, pesto potato salad, and chocolate + peanut butter cups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am American. While I pride myself on teaching dishes from all over the place, sometimes you just want a good hamburger, comfort potatoes, and maybe a Reese’s peanut butter cup for dessert.

As a once-a-week meat eater, though, I don’t feel a particular imperative to eat a big disc of ground beef for dinner. Solution: these awesome lentil “hamburgers.” They have the rich umami goodness of meat, but are really a combination of lentils, mushrooms, carrots, tomato, and onion. Add eggs & homemade breadcrumbs and you have yourself a burger that even carnivores would approve of.

Then there’s the realization that you can make peanut butter cups at home–using no more than five ingredients, no less. None of the strange chemicals of the storebought ones, and they come together in 20 minutes? This was a good class–no matter your nationality.

–OTCS

It’s Time to Open the Table!

After two and a half months of developing & expanding under the umbrella of Sugarpie Cupcakes, The Open Table Cooking School is now standing on its own two feet! We will continue to offer classes specifically designed for nannies & housekeepers, as well as a wider range of classes for home cooks, groups of friends, kids, and anyone else looking to improve their kitchen skills. Take a look at the Classes Available tab above for descriptions of our courses, check out the calendar, and get in touch! We look forward to hearing from you–and sharing a table with you.

This blog will be a place where we post pictures from the dishes we make in class, as well as recipe reminders, adaptations, & substitutions to make sure that everything turns out just as beautifully at home as it does in class.

In the meantime, check out some of the delicious dishes we’ve made in the cooking classes so far–all of these pictures are from the basic round of our Housekeeper Kitchen Skills class.

Roasted corn salad with goat cheese, basil, & tomato.

Roasted corn salad with goat cheese, basil, & tomato.

Gluten-free peanut butter cookies

Gluten-free peanut butter cookies

Thyme focaccia + basil pesto with sunflower seeds.

Thyme focaccia + basil pesto with sunflower seeds.

Homemade pita bread, hummus, & baba ghanoush.

Homemade pita bread, hummus, & baba ghanoush.

Roated & glazed beets, for a roasted vegetable salad with arugula & feta.

Roasted & glazed beets, for a roasted vegetable salad with arugula & feta.

Braided brioche bread

Braided brioche bread