My wife is a skilled and creative cook. I am one heck of a barbebecuer and, of course, on those nights when neither of us feel like cooking, Portland, Oregon provides a plethora of terrific restaurants of all prices ranges, food types and ambiances. And now we have another option: the kids.
Our kids have watched us cook for years but really fell in love with craft– while also becoming miniature foodies– after watching Master Chef Junior. Now, the kiddos compete against each other to make the best and most delicious meals imaginable.
But, I’m not going to lie. Their first attempts were either ill tasting renditions of American classics, or tasteless interpretations of trendy cuisines. My wife and I didn’t want to hurt their feelings– nor miss out on the opportunity of having delicious food cooked for us in our own home, so, for their respective birthdays, we enrolled them in the Portland’s Culinary Workshop for kids and teens.
Portland’s Culinary Workshop formed from a love of cooking and a love of food by two women (whom describe themselves as friendly and hilarious, Susana Holloway and Melinda Casady. Each approaches food and education from a different perspective. Melinda, a graduate of Portland’s own esteemed Western Culinary Institute, “[F]ound a love for fostering the passion of other young culinarians and taught a variety of classes spending most of her time in Butchery & Charcuterie (she can tunnel-bone a chicken in under 6 minutes while blindfolded) and Professional Communication…She discovered a love of teaching the everyday person that cooking can be fun, and not a chore.”
Susana was a teacher at Le Cordon Bleu Institute, also in Portland. Later, she founded Whole Table, as “[A] way for her to keep her hands busy in kitchens, promoting local sustainable food before it was ultra-hip, all the while putting herself through school to earn a degree in Nutrition and Food Management from Oregon State University in 2003.” Our kids like Susana because she is “kind of nerdy and always tells us weird facts about food.”
These ladies work miracles. Shortly after their first classes, they were creating stunning stronboli’s and stroganaffs, lovely lasagna’s, robust rib eyes and delicious dishes of all kinds. Now, when the mrs or I has a long day at work, a day where we just want to flop on the couch with some slippers and sweat pants, we ask the kids to create something amazing for us. And they do, thanks to Portland’s Culinary Workshop.
The classes are a little pricey, but well worth it. The “classroom” is a wide open, brightly painted room with lots of windows. Whether you want to teach your kids the finer points of cooking or just want to enhance or hone your own skills, Portland’s Culinary Workshop is a great option, and yet another way in which Portland, Oregon is such a tremendous place to live. Classes are always changing and always available.
Portland’s Culinary Workshop is located at 807 N. Russell in Portland. Visit http://www.portlandsculinaryworkshop.com/ for more information.