Tag Archives: cooking instructor

Meet Jackie Wilson…

Jackie Wilson

Let me introduce you to one of our newest culinary instructors at The Culinary Center of Kansas City…  Chef Jackie Wilson.

After many years of being away from the KC area, Jackie is returning to her roots in Kansas City, and is looking forward to sharing her passion for good food, good cooking and good company.

Jackie attended Shawnee Mission West High School in Overland Park, then went to Kansas State University, where she earned her degree in Home Economics Education. After becoming a certified Culinary Arts Instructor, she went on to teaching Home Ec for 25 years in Kansas and Missouri schools, as well as working in restaurants, catering and as a food stylist.

Good food nourishes our souls, as well as our bodies, Jackie believes, and the thoughtful preparation and cheerful service of it is essential to our well-being.  We welcome her to our awesome team of CCKC instructors!

Check out Jackie’s classes that have just been added to our class schedule! Click on the class titles below for information and registration:

Homemade Liqueurs for the Holidays
Sat, Dec 9,  10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Limited Hands On  |  Tastings & Take-Home Liqueur  |  $60
Liqueurs, also called cordials, have long been produced and enjoyed as aperitifs, in mixed cocktails, and in cooking.  The process to make them at home is easy and inexpensive, and learning this process will open your imagination to endless possibilities. And they make elegant and memorable gifts!  You will take home a handcrafted liqueur, along with recipes and many ideas for using them.

French Galettes! Oh Là Là!
Sun, Jan 7,  12:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Limited Hands On  |  Tastings & Two Take-Home Personal-Size Galettes  |  $60
Guess what, we can have pie for dinner! A galette is a French pastry assembled in a free-form style to create a rustic tart that can be savory or sweet. These wonderful pastries are simple to prepare, yet attractive, flavorful, and so versatile. A vegetable galette with a warm cup of soup makes a satisfying supper, and a sweet galette with a scoop of ice cream is a delectable dessert!  Students will learn to make the pastry dough, and will prepare fillings for a savory spinach and mushroom galette and a sweet blueberry galette. Try something different to warm up your winter.

Weekday Cooking Lessons with Chef Jackie:
Coffeehouse Breads

Tue, Jan 16,  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Limited Hands On  |  Tastings, Coffee & Take-Home Bread  |  $55
What is more compatible with your morning coffee or tea than fresh baked breads like those you find in your favorite coffee shop? This class will focus on three mixing techniques: the muffin method, the biscuit method, and the creaming method, which will allow you to produce a variety of memorable breads quickly and easily in your own kitchen.  Come enjoy some time baking as we produce muffins, scones, and biscotti together. Chef Jackie will lead you in some hands-on practice, as well.

Weekday Cooking Lessons with Chef Jackie:
Splendid Soups

Tue, Jan 30,  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Limited Hands On  |  Tastings & Take-Home Soup  |  $60
“Happiness is hot soup on a cold day!”  Not many things are more satisfying than a well-made homemade bowl of soup.  Once a few basic techniques are learned, you can let your imagination and personal tastes shine through in your soup creation.  The best soups are more than just dumping things into a stock pot!  Today we will learn stock making techniques as we make a Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup… good for winter ailments and a world apart from the canned variety.  Then Chef Jackie will educate us on the virtues and techniques of cream soups as she creates a Saffron Butternut Bisque and Baked Potato & Broccoli Cheese.  You’ll get a bit of hands-on practice, too!

Weekday Cooking Lessons with Chef Jackie:
Brunch Egg-stravaganza

Mon, Feb 5,  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Limited Hands On  |  Tastings  |  $60
Whether it’s just the two of you on Sunday morning, or company for the weekend, eggs can be so much more than the usual scramble or the standard breakfast casserole. With a little creative effort, you can prepare eggs in unique ways with imaginative flavor combinations that will out-dazzle the morning sun!  In this class, students will learn, with some hands-on involvement, how to properly prepare shirred eggs, Frittatas, and Roulades; and the best part is much of the preparation can be done in advance, so breakfast or brunch can be quickly assembled. No wonder eggs are known as “The Chef’s Magic Ingredient.”

‘Weekend of Love’:
Couples Make Artisan Chocolate Bon Bons

Sun, Feb 18,  1:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Limited Hands On  |  Tastings & Take-Home Bon Bons  |  $60
If you’re looking for that special something for your special someone for Valentine’s Day, this is it! Step into our kitchen for a sweet little class with your sweetheart where you will learn to make delectable artisan chocolate Bon Bons with hard shells and soft centers like those you buy from the best chocolatiers. Class members will learn to temper chocolate, create soft creamy centers, and apply designs with transfer sheets. The instructor will also demonstrate other applications for tempered chocolate.


This Dietitian Finds A Tasty Balance

Ariel JohnstonWith a positive energy, a constant, warm smile and a gift for cooking and teaching, Ariel Johnston has become a ‘Jill of All Trades’ at The Culinary Center of Kansas City. Not only does she juggle working just about every position we have here at CCKC, she is also finishing up her final semester of her Dietetics and Nutrition degree at Kansas State University, on her way to becoming a Registered Dietitian, AND she’s one of our newest cooking instructors!

Originally from the Overland Park area, Ariel’s passion for cooking and baking came from her mom, who always encouraged her to try any recipe (and didn’t mind a little mess in the kitchen). After graduating from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO, Ariel moved to Australia for four years. Since moving back to KC, Ariel has taught more than 140 nutrition and cooking classes to kids and adults throughout the KC area for local food bank, Harvesters.

Ariel believes that food is the ingredient that binds us together, and her goal is to incorporate her passion for nutrition and cooking into her work and life. (Follow her Instagram @TastyBalanceDietitian to see photos of dishes she creates, plus recipe ideas!)

Ariel will be teaching three CCKC kids’ cooking classes in November. Click on the class title below for information and registration:

Li’l Kids in the Kitchen: Under The Sea
Sat, Nov 11,  10 a.m. – Noon
$85 per adult/child team (ages 5-8)
We’ll begin our adventure by tying on an apron and working alongside Ariel as she teaches basic culinary techniques like knife skills (using kid-friendly knives, of course!), stirring and mixing, and more that you’ll get to practice as you whip up a Magical Mermaid Smoothie and healthy, homemade Fish Sticks. There’s always sweet treats at the beach, so we’ll end our class with a tasty Suncastle dessert.  You’ll get to taste all of your beach-themed creations and take home the recipes so that kids can recreate them at home.

Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Movie Class:
Cooking with Miguel & Friends

Sat, Nov 18,  10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
$50 per person (ages 6+)
This class is a special partnership inspired by Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco‘ that opens in theaters nationwide Nov 22. Today, kids (ages 6+) will go on an extraordinary culinary journey inspired by aspiring musician, Miguel, and his charming trickster friend, Hector. Join the fun as kids work with an experienced cooking instructor to learn some awesome culinary skills as they help to make some authentic Mexican dishes. Everyone throws on an apron to prepare some tasty Mexican recipes like Miguel’s Favorite Guacamole, his favorite dog Dante’s, delicious Empanadas de Pollo (that’s fancy Mexican talk for seasoned chicken in a pastry pocket!) with Cilantro Lime Rice, and Hector’s Scrumptious Sugar Cookies. Each attendee will be entered for a chance to win passes to attend a special advance screening of ‘Coco’ on Mon, 11/20, plus kid-friendly ‘swag’ like movie posters, pins and more.
(PLEASE NOTE: Kids ages 6-8 must attend with an adult who will also need to purchase an additional seat at $50; kids ages 9 and up may attend unaccompanied if they like)

Li’l Kids in the Kitchen: Little Kids in Little Italy
Sun, Nov 19,  1 – 3 p.m.
$85 per adult/child team (ages 5-8)
Our mini chefs and their adult partners will take a trip across the ocean to Italy. The kids will get hands-on cooking action as Ariel teaches basic culinary techniques like knife skills (with kid-friendly knives, of course!), stirring, the proper way to measure, and more, that you’ll practice as you create a tasty sauce that will pair perfectly with your homemade pasta.  We’ll end our Italian feast with one of Ariel’s special creations – Cone-oli’s – a unique twist on a classic Italian dessert that you’re gonna love.

Take a Class from a ‘Cutthroat Kitchen’ Winner!

Chef Shanita BryantThe Culinary Center of Kansas City is proud to introduce our newest instructor… Chef Shanita McAfee-Bryant.

Shanita says her mantra is ‘Winner, Winner, Fried Chicken Dinner!’ and It’s an appropriate mantra for this chef who was the last woman standing in an episode of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen.

After winning Cutthroat Kitchen in 2014, opening Magnolia’s Southern Cuisine and launching Magnolia’s On The Move food truck, Shanita is ready now to share her passion and knowledge of cooking at The Culinary Center.

Her passion, which started with the homemade crust she made for an apple pie at the age of 13, led her to pursue culinary arts training at The Culinary Institute at Johnson County Community College.  When she isn’t cooking, Shanita enjoys spending time with her husband, five children and working on her first cookbook.

Register now for a spot in one of Shanita’s upcoming cooking classes:

Flavorful Weekend Nights:
Contemporary Southern Cuisine

Fri, Nov 10,  Limited Hands-On | Dinner  |  $75
Let Chef Shanita introduce you to a variety of essential cooking techniques as she walks you through mouthwatering recipes, starting with Red Velvet Waffles, Shrimp & Grits, Scallops & creamy Sweet Potato Risotto. We’ll end on a sweet note as she shows you how to prepare one of her famous southern dessert specialties!   

Southern Desserts Done Right!
Sat, Dec 2,  Limited Hands-On | Tastings  |  $60
After learning a few universal baking techniques like measuring (yes, there is a correct way to do it), mixing, whisking, rolling and tips for making the perfect pie crust, you’ll  learn to make some of Chef Shanita’s favorite Southern treats, including Bread Pudding, Buttermilk Pie, Sweet Potato Pie and more!

Cooking with Lauren

Lauren LaneWe are pleased to introduce you to Lauren Lane, one of our newest culinary instructors at The Culinary Center of Kansas City.

Lauren left behind a corporate career to pursue her passion of teaching cooking and entertaining.  She enjoys traveling and tasting all the local foods a region has to sample. She not only teaches people how to recreate her delicious recipes but also provides tips and tricks on how to entertain effortlessly in your home, and have FUN while doing it!

Italian food is Lauren’s passion but she also dedicates a lot of love to simple and delicious seasonal dishes.

She believes nothing brings friends and families together like great food – and she inspires her classes with fun, make-ahead entertaining ideas. She encourages us to slow down, enjoy life and gather around the table.

Check out two upcoming classes Lauren will be teaching at The Culinary Center soon –

Low-Country Shrimp Boil: The Perfect Party
Sat, July 15,  6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Dinner  |  Limited Hands-On

Cooking with Lauren: My Favorite Italian Dinner Party
Sat, August 19, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Dinner  |  Limited Hands-On

We’re Looking For Some Fabulous Foodies!

If you have a passion for cooking and you love to share your gift for the culinary arts by teaching people, then The Culinary Center of Kansas City may be just the right fit for you.

Our cooking instructors come from a wide variety of backgrounds – many are chefs who attended traditional culinary school, some have their own restaurants and bakeries, some have spent their lifetime learning ethnic and family cooking traditions, some teach classes at local culinary school programs, and so on…

We are open to all types of instructors but would particularly like to find cooking educators that have expertise in teaching Tiny Tots (ages 2-4) and Li’l Kids In the Kitchen (ages 5-8). 

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We’re always on the lookout for more instructors to expand our range of class offerings, and we would love to hear from you if this triggers a culinary excitement in you!

Let us know what you’re interested in teaching, why you’d make a great instructor and when you’re available. Our ‘Main Dish’ Laura and Class Coordinator Lisa review submissions, meet with potential candidates and then set up an ‘instructor demo’ where you show your skills to the Culinary Center staff to see if you might be right for our team. 

Tell us why you would make a great CCKC instructor

Here Are Two Cooking Instructors We Think You Should Meet

We’d like to introduce you to two of our newest instructors here at The Culinary Center of Kansas City®:  Kolika Kirk and Amiel Brosoto.

Amiel BrosotoWith an expertise in ‘World Cuisine’, Amiel Brosoto brings a wealth of experience to our kitchens. After spending years as a college professor, he pursued his passion for cooking and earned his culinary degree. He is an experienced chef instructor and brings a great deal to our instructor line-up. 

Amiel is teaching a number of classes on our summer schedule so be sure to sign up:


Kolika KirkKolika Kirk has an infectious personality and a passion for teaching the culinary arts, especially baking.  She launched Pistachio Bakehouse, a pop-up bakery named for her signature Pistachio Panna Cotta, in 2015. She runs the Bakehouse table at Rosedale Farmer’s Market and sells at Green Acres Market in Briarcliff. When she’s not baking, she writes recipes for The Tasteful Olive and her food blog, WannaBGourmande.com.  Kolika is a huge animal lover and a self-proclaimed activist and localvore, whose main mission is to end childhood hunger and get America OFF preservatives and other nasties.

Look for Kolika in these summer classes with us and register soon: 

Think You’d Make A Great Cooking Instructor?

Culinary Center InstructorsIf you have a passion for food and the culinary arts and you like people and teaching, then The Culinary Center of Kansas City may be the place for you to hang out (we’re a pretty cool bunch of peeps, if we do say so ourselves!

Our instructors come from a variety of backgrounds – many are chefs who have attended culinary school, some own their own restaurants or bakeries, some have learned ethnic and family traditions over years of cooking, some teach culinary courses at local schools, etc. There’s a wide variety of experience and background in our teachers, which makes every class a unique and fun event.

Do you yearn to get in front of an audience to show off your mad cooking skills? Do you love the thought of helping our students grow in their love of cooking? Do you have the heart of an instructor and want to share with others your passion for food?

We’d love to hear from you if this sounds like your kind of gig. Let us know what you’re interested in teaching, why you’d make a great instructor and when you’re available. Our Dean of Deliciousness reviews the submissions, meets with potential candidates and then sets up an ‘instructor demo’ where you show your skills to the Culinary Center staff to see if you might be a good fit here. 

If we haven’t yet scared you off, click here to visit our website and fill out the form to tell us more about you!