I provide customized (currently VIRTUAL) cooking lessons for foodies of all ages and abilities. I teach private lessons as well as small group workshops. As a former educator and a trained chef, I understand how to prepare both my lessons and gourmet yet approachable food! I tailor instruction to the culinary goals, dietary needs and preferences of each client, make classes engaging and memorable and build upon existing skills for lifelong learning. Currently all services are being offered remotely - check out group classes or reach out to secure private lessons.
check us out @teachingtable on instagram or www.teachingtable.net
What I most enjoy about teaching cooking lessons is the pride and satisfaction my students exhibit when they learn a new skill and realize they can do it themselves at home. I love sharing my passion for food, how to cook and eat sustainably, and providing time-saving waste-reducing kitchen hacks that even the most seasoned home cooks can appreciate. And, it doesn't hurt that I get to eat what I create -- is there a better tasting job out there? You can see some of my creativity and passion for cooking on instagram @teachingtable
Desired cooking skills
Food allergies / dietary restrictions
Number of people
Photos and videos
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
Private clients and private lessons: I conduct an initial phone consultation (15-30 minutes) with my client to learn more about your learning goals, culinary skills or experience, dietary needs and preferences. I also find out your availablity for lessons. I then propose menus and objectives for our classes and welcome your input, making tweaks to accomodate your needs. I provide detailed pricing at this time, and ask for a deposit (~50%) to hold dates for private lessons. I collect remainder of payment on date class is delivered.
Workshops and group class: I post these events and classes on my website on a semi-regular basis, offering about 2-4 per month. Students can read the class description with goals and proposed menu items and register for the class using a simple sign up form. On the form, students indicate allergies or dietary restrictions as well as goals and the menu items they are most interested in learning. Students secure their spot by paying in full for the class. I finalize the menu based on the input of registered students, taking into consideration allergies, dietary restrictions and preferences, as well as seasonality.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
* Professionally trained at Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC in health supportive cooking and baking
* Experienced educator, 20+ years in K-12 schools and non-profit organizations as a teacher, director and professional coach, fingerprinting and background check by NYC DOE and DOH
* Member of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA)
* Certified Food Handler, National Registry of Food Safety Professionals
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
Private and small group lessons up to 4 people: $100/hour of instruction, plus cost of ingredients, with discounted rates for series or multiple sessions
Virtual workshops: $25 per household
Adult workshops and group classes: $45-$79 per person depending on topic, theme and length, usually 2.5 - 3 hours
Kids Cooking Workshops: $115 per child, usually 5.5 hours
Private lessons, birthday parties, and events for up to 6 people: start at $375 all inclusive of ingredients & materials, and $50-75 per each additional person
How did you get started teaching?
I have been a teacher, non-profit professional, and adult educator; I have always sought to help others be their best selves. I believe in the plasticity of the brain, that we can can grow our knowledge and skills with practice and challenge. I also sponged up as much as I could about food and cooking. In 2010, I started my neighborhood CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with neighbors and became even more invested in where my food comes from. I developed a relationship with my farmer and learned more about eating sustainable foods. I practiced how to cook it, and how to put it away for a winter day. Eventually, the tug of the culinary arts and a passion for seasonal local cooking brought me to the Natural Gourmet Institute where I completed the Chef's Training Program in health supportive cooking. I began combining my love of food with education and offering cooking workshops to friends, family and groups of children on the weekends. In early 2018, I left my leadership role at an education non-profit to run Teaching Table full time.
What types of students have you worked with?
* adult home cooks of all abilities, comfort levels and interest in the kitchen
* adults and children with specialized diets, allergies, or restrictions who are learning to cook to heal their bodies or meet their challenging dietary needs (i.e. vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, lactose intollerant, diabetic, specific carbohydrate diet, low FODMAP)
* children of all ages (4-18) from budding interest in cooking to those committed to auditioning for cooking competition reality shows
* corporate groups and professional teams, including the Cholula hot sauce brand team
* Community groups or associations like CSAs, schools, after school programs, and girl scout troops
* patients in specialized health treatment programs
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
My Cooking with What You Have Improvisational Cooking Class is a hit! In this class, I teach students how to use what we have on hand (seasonal produce, leftover food scraps, the contents of your pantry, the remnants of jars on the door of your refrigerator) to create gourmet masterpieces. Students use the techniques and strategies for shopping less, cooking more and wasting nothing. Here's what a student has said about this class:
"The improvisational class fundamentally changed how I approach cooking. I have always been fairly tentative in the kitchen, following recipes to the letter--if a marinade called for a quarter teaspoon of allspice, then I was going to go out, purchase allspice, and use exactly that amount. Now I feel much more confident in making substitutions, moving quickly without measuring, and taking inspiration from the ingredients in the fridge and the pantry. In the month since I've taken the class, I've saved both time and money by using items I have on hand as the basis for what I cook. Laura and her team are fun, inspiring, and non-judgmental in leading the session, and I look forward to continuing to expand my skill set in future classes with Teaching Table." - Steph, mom and media professional, 37, Brooklyn
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Look for someone who not only knows how to cook, but knows how to teach. You will get most out of a cooking class that is tailored to your interests, dietary needs and culinary goals. A great teacher will strike the right balance between modeling and giving you hands on opportunities to challenge your abilities and develop your confidence.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
What are you looking to learn or accomplish?
What do you like to eat or cook most?
What are things you do not like to eat, cannot eat or avoid?
When are you available, how often, and how much time do you want to spend in cooking lessons?