FOOD: Socialized Cooking

Thanks to the variety and popularity of reality cooking shows, our fascination with food has exploded into a new-age phenomenon. Tell me you wouldn’t stare and whisper if you saw Bobby Flay or Pioneer Woman at the grocery store. Cooking show celebs are like rock stars these days. And who can turn away when watching competitors create a dish from random ingredients like ground beef, Oreos and mint? Now that’s just good TV. Or a celeb-turned-chef who is sharing her secret for fluffier pancakes? Try to pry me away from that.

Couple in sushi making class at Platt CollegeEveryone loves good food, and creating it unites people in the most genuine way. Local institutions and restaurants are tapping into the trend and serving up exactly what aspiring cooks and curious amateurs crave: hands-on experience and a unique connection with family and friends. Cooking classes are interactive, informative and empowering, not to mention challenging and fun!

Roll up your sleeves and prepare to be enlightened at one of Platt College’s numerous Edible Adventures short cooking courses. You’re not sweating your GPA and college degree here, or competing against rival chefs to avoid being chopped. You’re among friends and are expanding your horizons in a carefree, small-class setting. Most classes are Friday evening from 6-10pm or Saturday from 11am-3pm, with a chef instructor who demonstrates the material, then guides guests through every step of the process. “The mood is always fun and the atmosphere is exciting,” comments Chef Jeff Howard, Director of Culinary Arts for Oklahoma City and Tulsa campuses. “The culinary arts have really been thrust into the spotlight with shows like Top Chef and Masterchef. More and more people are getting the chance to see what goes on in a professional kitchen and want to be a part of it,” he says.

Participants are often amazed at what they can accomplish in three to four short hours and are eager to taste the finished product and take home the recipes. The class lineup reads like a menu of favorite foods: Gourmet Cupcakes, Clean Eating, Chocolatology, Dim Sum, Make Grilling More Thrilling, Pizzeria Pizza at Home, Sushi Madness, Date Night, Italian Cooking Made Easy, Girls Night Out, Brunch, Cooking for Kids & Parents, Smoking & Brining, plus seasonal classes. “There’s something for everyone who wants to learn to cook and have fun doing it,” Chef Howard says. “Guests get the chance to learn to cook like a professional, and if they make a mistake, it’s okay. The instructor is there to guide and adjust if necessary.”

Classes are held at Platt College’s North OKC, Moore and Tulsa locations. For class and registration info, visit EdibleAdventuresPlattColleges.eventbrite.com or call (405) 749-2433 N. OKC, (405) 912-3260 Moore or (918) 895-9407 Tulsa.

Children at a kid's baking class with Belle KitchenAcross town, a magnificent new doughnut and pastry shop is taking baked goods to a whole new level…and teaching hungry fans all their secrets! Belle Kitchen, a favorite at the OSU-OKC Farmers Market, has now opened a store in North OKC. And what a find! Each of their mouthwatering doughnuts, macarons, breads and other delicious baked treats is made on site throughout the day, using quality, natural ingredients—locally sourced whenever possible. If you’ve ever wondered what that common terminology, ‘quality ingredients’ really means, Belle Kitchen’s goodies describe it in every detail and every bite. Owner Cheryl Davenport has a simple food sensibility. “Everything Belle Kitchen creates is from scratch and from real ingredients with simple recipes. We embrace a variety of food philosophies and currently offer a vegan class and are planning to offer gluten-free classes this fall,” Davenport says.

At Belle Kitchen, cooking classes are held right in the live, working kitchen–a spacious room with the high-tech hum of stainless steel appliances, yet a warm and welcoming mood. “The classes are very informational, super social and fun,” Davenport comments. “At the end of the class, there is a great deal of pride in the beautifully crafted treats. Participants take home at least a dozen of the topic of the class.”

Kids classes, ages 4 and up feature doughnuts, quick breads, cookies, cupcakes, macarons and pies. Adult classes highlight macarons, éclairs and cream puffs for couples, beginner bread-making, doughnuts, vegan baked goods, cookies, quick breads and more. Private and group classes and children’s cooking birthday parties are also available.

For class availability, visit belle-kitchen.com/belle-kitchen-classes or follow them on Facebook. Stop by 7509 N. May Ave., OKC or call (405) 430-5484 for details.

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