Puttin' on the Apron at Apron's

Puttin' on the Apron at Apron's

The best way to save money dining out is to cook at home, right? (And, no, opening a can or nuking some shriveled food-like substance in the micro is not "cooking.") 

Real cooking, believe it or not, is easy. Learning to cook, on the other hand, is hard. Often time-consuming. And expensive. And there aren't a whole lot of easy, affordable options for culinary virgins who don't aspire to be the next Emeril but would like to be able to feed themselves without getting food poisoning, indigestion, or a gold-plated invitation to join the Worst Cooks in America

Most academic and culinary school programs are geared towards professionals, and few offer single classes or short series that give the hungry amateur the basic skills necessary to avoid starvation or a lifetime of standing in line for a McBlech burger. (North Miami's Johnson & Wales, probably the best-known local culinary educator, has suspended its Chef's Choice continuing education series for the current academic year; Whole Foods offers some cooking classes but only at its Orlando market.) 


But there is one option that has mostly flown under local foodie

radar in the year-plus it's been open, except for the occasional

appearance by some celebrated TV toque (the latest being Mario Batali).

It's the Publix Apron's Cooking School in Boca Raton.

A quick look at the February schedule (available here)

shows classes in culinary basics, making stocks and sauces, cooking

something different with chicken, making a decadent Valentine's Day

dinner with your sweetie, pairing classic Italian dishes with regional

Italian wines.

Publix Apron's Cooking School head chef Graham Taylor slices gravlax in the school kitchen.
Publix Apron's Cooking School head chef Graham Taylor slices gravlax in the school kitchen.

Classes

are hands-on or demonstrations, almost all offered at 6 or 6:30 p.m. to

fit the schedules of those of us who have to work for a living. Price

range from $35 for a single class to $300 for a six-session grounding

in the culinary essentials. Doing the teaching is a group of four chefs

led by European-trained and former Canadian Culinary Olympic team

member Graham Taylor.

The classroom accommodates about 40, with

hands-on classes limited to a dozen. There's also a small retail shop

in front, which stocks the kinds of utensils, gadgets and cookbooks

that make preparing your own meals a bit easier.  

To

paraphrase that old saying, "Give a man a meal and you feed him for a

day. Teach a man to make a meal and pretty soon he thinks he's Bobby

Fucking Flay."




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