It is in our name: Home Style Gourmet. If you are a new cook who is looking for simple meals that are healthy to stop dashboard dining and save the expense of take-out I can suit your needs.
If you are wanting to step up your game and have the desire to learn to make the full course meal with all the appetizers, special sauces, sides, main course meal and desserts for holidays or family events with friends that mirror fine dining at home - I can help you be that person.
A couple looking to share the meal prep and "task" of cooking - let's change that<!> Cooking isn't a "task". It can be an enjoyable family-friendly rewarding all hands on deck experience from prep work to clean up. Making meals that the family as a whole can share in and appreciate.
All of it. The food. The fun. Meeting new people and watching my clients grow and challenge me. Taking it so far as the beverage planning to complement the food. Desserts that are low cal and low sugar. I love it all. Enriching lives is truly rewarding and we get to cook.
What did I like? Everything! Gretchen and her team have a hysterical approach to the cooking yet; we almost oddly professional in front of our guests considering the number of food antics going on in the background. They really love their job and it shows in the food and flair. They are coming back - for sure!
She always comes up with new items for our lessons and she explains the why behind everything. Her food tastes amazing, but it's still healthy and she explains how to have both and keep everything on a budget if you have to. Chef Gretchen does an amazing job!!
Had my 1st cooking class with Gretchen and she was prepared - brought all the food and cooking tools. We started with a salad bowl. I learned how to take tortilla bread and shape it into an edible bowl that we baked, then chilled while we made a salad with a fresh rosemary vinegar dressing with a grilled lemon butter chicken breast. OMGosh!! It was so good. And the presentation was so cool. Who knew you cool make a bowl from tortillas that you could eat Loved my 1st class. Loved that she starts with the 1st meal and is teaching me to stage an entire meal that is 4 stars.
I have eaten Homestyle Gourmet Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for almost 8 years and the spreads that are presented are magnificent. I can highly recommend them as skilled culinary artists caple of instructing you how to make luxurious meals.
Typically, I like to start with an initial phone conversation to see where the client is at with their current cooking skills and what their overall goal is in taking the class. IE; to eat healthier meals. Loose weight. Cut cholesterol. Cook to entertain. Meal/family planning and cutting grocery expenses.
Clients have so many different reasons for wanting to learn to cook or broaden their skills that it is very important to me to establish their goals so we can make the most of our classes together.
I come from a long line of German/Irish chefs who believed food is love. Family time was cooking time. Grandmother fueled my love of desserts and pies at an early of 12; teaching me how to bake from scratch. My dad and eldest brother were into all the seafoods and lobsters. They had a grill custom made to stoke 31 chickens at a time. BBQ's were held every Sunday in the backyard.
These are my best childhood memories and I have instilled them in my life of being the mother of 6 kids. Despite being a Banker for more than 25 years weekends were always my cook time with the kids as we did meal prep for the upcoming week's Breakfasts and dinners that have to be prepared and plated to feed the family in the event I am running late getting home. That's 30 dinners and 30 breakfasts that all get done on a Sunday<!>
Cooking is my go-to during stressful times or times I need to think and reflect - I just get in the kitchen and work it out trying a new idea I've been kicking around or go to an old comfortable 6 layer 3 cheese lasagna, some stuffed shells and a penne ragu.
Meal planning for a family of 8 became a necessity from not only an expense point of view but also from a variety point of view. Keeping the younger kids interested and keeping up with the more refined pallets of the elder children possed a challenge.
I do not offer a "Standard" price for my classes as different clients want to learn to cook a variety of dishes.
Some of my clients are very much into the upscale food pallet - the lobster bisque, Tuna Pate, remoulade sauce, quiches - these foods are more expensive and take a bit more time to learn therefore the high-end dining experience costs more.
Clients that are looking to do football parties, snack track/finger foods take less time and the food is less costly.
I really try to scale the cost of the class to the client's needs and wish to learn.
Evolution <!> Friends inviting me over I will naturally bring a tray and some wine for the party turned into friends hosting cook-offs at their homes with some friendly competition. Getting pushed into entering the Houston Rodeo chili competitions... People asking to have me cater a party. My eldest and her fiance asked me to cater the wedding for 250 guests led to more opportunities. And people just asking for the recipe for a creation posted on social media.
Just a natural evolution into doing something that I enjoy and have the time to do since I retired.