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CulinAerie looking for cooks who want to learn how to cook

Can you cook or can you follow a recipe?

Now, there’s nothing wrong with using a recipe to guide you through a dish. But the difference between knowing how to cook and simply following a recipe is the difference between painting by numbers and free handing a landscape.

Besides, cooking is a creative endeavor and there’s only so much satisfaction you can get out of following other cooks’ recipes (except mine, please keep using them). So if you think you’re ready to close the cookbook and take your culinary skills to the next level, then this may be the class for you.

Susan Watterson, co-owner of the D.C. cooking school CulinAerie, is looking for a few students who are willing to spend two intense days learning how to cook...really cook -- poultry, meat, fish and shellfish, with accompanying sauces and sides. There will be no recipes, there will be no beginners.

There will be lunch.

It won’t be easy, but you won’t be alone. I’ve agreed to take the class to chronicle the experience for D.C. Foodies. I’m also eager to find out what I know (probably not much) and what I don’t know (probably a whole bunch).

So what do you say, are you ready to cook?

What: Beyond Basics cooking class
Where: CulinAerie, 1155 14th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005, (202) 587-5674
When: July 25 and 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
How much: $325 per person
Why: Because you want to become a better cook.
(Disclosure: I assist at CulinAerie regularly.)



This looks like EXACTLY the kind of cooking class I want to take. Like, you honestly just described my ideal cooking situation. I would do anything to take this class, but I'm out of the country on that weekend. Please please please tell me they will offer another?


I would LOVE to go to a class like this! For the same reasons as padrock. But, I'll also be out of town that weekend. I really hope that they offer this course again, I'd definitely do it!


I would love to take a class like that. Although I do most of my regular cooking without recipes (mostly because I'm too lazy and impatient to follow them), I feel like there are so many basic techniques that I really don't have a handle on - which means I can never take my food to the next level.

However, $325 is just too steep for my budget. But at least I can read about it here!


This sounds like a great idea, both for the restaurant and for aspiring cooks like me. I agree the price is a little steep, but am checking my calendar to do it if I'm in town.


This sounds amazing, but its a weekend I'm in a wedding. Please encourage them to do this again if it goes well.


Yes, the price is pretty high. Drew, is that what you're paying?


A fair question, Kelly. Because I will be attending the class to write an article about it, I will not be paying. It's common for journalists (and now bloggers) to attend events for free. This allows us to attend functions, classes, ect. we might otherwise have to pass on for budgetary reasons. From CulinAerie's perspective, they get a bit of media exposure for allowing me to sit in.

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