Issue: July/August 2012
Here’s how four Northeast Ohio culinary schools are cooking up business.
Bringing in a former White House chef or best-selling cookbook author involves risk and expense, but Western Reserve Cooking School owner Catherine St. John says her visiting chef program is like the special garnish on her business’ everyday offerings.
“As long as I can run a [visiting chef] class at a break even, I’ll run it,” she says.
Northeast Ohio’s culinary schools are embracing the rising role of chefs in pop culture with a full menu of offerings and approaches that range from licensed instruction for aspiring pros to culinary boot camps for armchair Iron Chefs.
Loretta Paganini’s school in Chesterland gives its professional-prorgram students a taste of the business, using its 35-seat Sapore Restaurant as a training site, while Boardman’s Culinary Arts Center embraces cooking as a spectator sport by offering its guests demonstrations and fine dining wrapped in the feel of a live cooking show.
Here’s how those and two other Northeast Ohio culinary schools stack up.
| Loretta Paganini
School of Cooking
School of Cooking
||On the 10-acre campus of the John Zidian Cos. in Boardman
||Country gatehouse near Vermilion
||Two charming homes and Tuscan Village-style facility in Chesterland
||Along Hudson’s historic Main Street of shops
||Like stepping onto the set of Emeril Live.
||The 11-acre property with produce and herb gardens offers a country inn feel.
||Five commerical teaching kitchens offer an all-around professional atmosphere.
||With an emphasis on the right tools, methods and processes, it’s like being part of PBS’s America’s Test Kitchen.
||Executive chef Mark Canzonetta, a gregarious showman who fuses cultures and cuisines
||Owner Marcia DePalma, a farm-to-table chef and
fresh herbs expert
|Owner Loretta Paganini, a native of Bologna, Italy
||Owner Catherine St. John, a serious cook wth a passion for food
|“Fresh, over-the-top, original food and a show that takes all the fear out of cooking,” Canzonetta says.
||"We're an avocational school in an open, relaxed setting," says DePalma.
||“High-quality faculty with a low-intensity approach,” says educational director of professional programs Tim McCoy.
||St. John says the school's classical “science of cooking” approach “gives students confidence to trust their instincts, to go beyond the recipe.”
| Guy Fieri
||“A laid back Barefoot Contessa,” says DePalma.
|| “Alton Brown on Good Eats,” McCoy says of the team approach.
|| “Alton Brown in his early days,” says St. John.
|Demonstation and fine dining. A 2 1/2-hour group event for 24-56 is $60 per person.
||60 percent demonstration, 40 percent hands-on with plenty of tasting. Bring your own wine. 2 1/2 hours, $48-$55.
||Licensed professional school plus a selection of recreational classes for all skill levels. Prices vary.
||Mostly hands-on, but some classes offer some demonstration. 3 hours, 12 students max, $70 and up.
|Gourmet Italian nights that focus on Rome, Sicily, Venice and more.
||Holiday dinner and appetizer classes in the fall and cooking with herbs classes in the spring.
||The Cooking With a Partner series pairs teams with a chef and incorporates competition.
||Sushi, lobster workshop, gnocchi and risotto, bread classes, pasta making.
|Wednesday Restaurant/Patio Nights, come for the food — no pre-registration needed
|Hand-on, guys-only classes auch as Game Plan for Grilling
|New York pizza class and Tots in Toques for young children
|Friday night date classes with themes like Caribbean cooking
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