Cooking for Couples
An editors experience at a Schnucks Cooking School class proves anyone can be a great home chef.
To be honest, I’m not a good cook. But it isn’t for a lack of trying. Sure, I can make your standard, everyday fare, but for me, it always seemed too overwhelming to orchestrate a meal with multiple courses or exotic ingredients. About this time last year, I heard that Schnucks had opened a cooking school inside their Des Peres location. “Hey, look!” I exclaimed to my live-in boyfriend. “These classes are pretty reasonably priced and sound like fun.” “Psssh,” he grumbled. “You should take one, then,” he sarcastically suggested, likely growing tired of hearing me talk about learning to cook and never actually acting. I’d show him.
It Takes Two
Looking through Schnucks Cooks’ booklet of class presentations, which are planned around themes like “Girls Night Out,” “Happy Hour,” and visiting chef series, one in particular caught my eye. For just $85 a couple, Schnucks’ “Cooking Couples” course, which includes instruction from knowledgeable chefs and access to the finest ingredients
and appliances, was one I couldn’t pass up.
Class is in Session
Schnucks Cooking School is a state-of-the-art kitchen space on the mezzanine level of the Des Peres superstore and is filled with everything a gourmet chef would need to create any meal under the sun. Before we got cooking, Chef Nate Bonner and Chef Lucy Schnuck introduced themselves to the class, told us a little about the school, their backgrounds and the history of the Morton’s Steakhouse dishes we’d be cooking. After a couple of glasses of fine wine—Chef Nate is a wine enthusiast who had plenty of tips and recommendations for us—and chatting with the other couples, we got started; to my delight, the chef instructors were accessible and ready to help, but encouraged cooks to feel confident and independent.
The experience felt more like a big dinner party at a friend’s house where everyone helps in the kitchen rather than a rigid cooking class; students work together to create a multiple-course meal, while instructors step in to guide when needed. I was amazed the freshness and quality all of the ingredients we were using. “One of the greatest things about housing a cooking school in one of the biggest grocery stores in the area is that the entire store is like our own huge pantry,” Chef Lucy explained.
Despite my imagined horror scenarios, I didn’t cause a kitchen fire nor lop off any digits (success!). At the end of the class, we sat down to enjoy the three-course dinner we’d created while Chef Nate poured more wine from obscure vineyards and explained why these particular varieties paired well with the dish we were eating. It’s an experience I highly recommend, whether you drag along your significant other or best friend, or go solo. I realize that after one class, I haven’t miraculously become some sort of Giada De Laurentiis, but the experience did boost my confidence and whet my appetite to learn more.
For more info on Schnucks Cooking School, a schedule of upcoming classes and to register, log on to schnuckscooks.com/school.
Photo credit: Photos by Emma Birge-Osborne