Cooking Classes With

Cooking Classes With "Shags"

1 employee
12 years in business

About this pro

One-on-One or Group Cooking Lessons are Available!

I'm a frustrated chemist who turned to the kitchen instead, as you can lick the spoon without risk of death (in most cases!).  I create recipes and also love to follow & tweak recipes for amazingly tasty creations.

I make almost everything from scratch, have an extensive spice and herb supply, and can cook just about any style of cuisine.  I can teach you how to cure meats, smoke meats, how to make homemade pastas and sauces, ethnic cooking (Jewish, Asian, Italian, and more).  I've been cooking since a young boy at my grandmother's side.

My specialty dish is Paella, and my classes for that are great for groups.  You not only learn how to make paella as you watch me, but then we all get to eat it!

I love sharing information and knowledge with others while they learn how to make amazing foods to share with their family and friends.

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Walnut Creek, CA 94597
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

We first communicate about what you would like to learn how to prepare and I determine whether that's something I can help you with.  I then price out the ingredients and add that to the quote, which is generally $25 per lesson, or less if there's a group lesson for a larger dish, such as paella or moussaka.  We determine a workable date, and then I shop for the ingredients.  While I can travel to you, I have a lot of different kitchen toys that make it easier if you come to my home for the lesson.  Of course, you take home what you cook for your own enjoyment and to share with family and friends.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I read a lot of cookbooks and recipes, learned techniques from my grandmother, mother, and daughter (who is a professional cook, all self-taught), and online videos and instructional pages.  After that, it's practice, practice, practice! 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

I like to get $25 per lesson, plus the cost of the ingredients for the dish you will be learning to make.  For paella, it's generally a group lesson, so 10-20 can divide the cost between the students -- ingredients for that run around $150 total.

How did you get started teaching?

Someone asked me, "How do you make that?".  I invited them over and showed them. Then we ate it, sharing a bottle of wine, and enjoyed each other's company.  One of my purposes in life is to train and educate others.  That's how the world becomes a better place for all.  In addition to cooking lessons for dishes I know how to or know I can prepare, I train individuals in a specialty area of coaching: Money Coaching -- helping others regarding their beliefs and behaviors around money, a core survival tool.

What types of students have you worked with?

I stick to working with adults because of challenges working in a kitchen with sharp instruments and special equipment which gets hot or may be harmful if not used properly.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

My favorite event is teaching a group how to make paella, as it takes about 90 minutes from the time I get set up to when the dish is ready to enjoy.  The entire time, the class watches the dish come together, savoring the aromas from the different ingredients as they're added.  Several who've hosted a paella-cooking party have had me back for another group of their friends.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Reach out to the teacher and ask questions.  If you don't get the answers you like, move on!

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What do I want to learn how to make?  Has the teacher made it before?  If not, are they willing to try making it first on their own to see if it's something they feel they can teach another to prepare?

Lessons offered

Cooking Classes Italian Cooking Classes Pasta Making Classes Wine Tasting Lessons