Tag Archives: cooking instructor

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!   

Sweet Southern Lovin’ from the Oven
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!

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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:

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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!

Baking Cool Breads With Mr. McCool

The Culinary Center of Kansas City is fortunate to have some of the best and the brightest culinary educators in the industry. Our instructors come with a wealth of knowledge and skill in the culinary arts, from all walks of life. Some are CIA-trained Chefs, some are passionate home cooks who were practically born with a whisk in their hand, and others are former restaurant or bakery owners all passionately sharing their skills with our students. Periodically we like to shine the spotlight on one of our instructors, giving you a peek into their culinary world.Today’s Instructor Spotlight is on Paul McCool, who specializes in bread making classes @ The Culinary Center of Kansas City™…

PauPaul McCooll McCool has been baking breads for family and friends since 1977.  He has had the privilege of living in five different states and one foreign country (South Africa).  Paul has also been able to travel to most states in the continental U.S, plus Puerto Rico, plus eight other countries, at last count.  In 2009, Paul worked a 1-week internship in a friend’s bakery in Montana.  The experiences and exposure to new things that he gained in those travels is reflected in the range of breads he enjoys baking.

Paul’s other passion is teaching, which means he’s really happy to be able to combine the two by teaching baking classes in his home and at private events. He also has been an instructor at The Culinary Center of Kansas City™ since 2012.

  • What is your ingredient obsession?
    Whole-grain flours.  There’s a place for white flours in baking, so it isn’t that I’m against them.  Whole-wheat, or whole-rye, or whole-anything bring so much more to the party.for flavor and for nutrition than their refined counterparts.  So many Americans have bought into the mantra of “enriched” foods without really understanding what they are missing in those foods, even after the “enrichment”.  Whole-grain flours are one way, and a very good one in bread, to close that gap.
  • What is your top restaurant recommendation in Kansas City?
    Much as I like Jack Stack and Joe’s when I’m hungry for BBQ, there’s a little place called Smokey’s on the Boulevard, located on Metcalf Avenue at about 144th Street, that consistently puts out some very good ‘cue.
  • What is your most indispensable cooking tool?
    A digital scale.
  • Biggest pet peeve in the kitchen?
    Dull knives.
  • Who or what inspired you to become a chef/instructor?
    Baking has been something that I have enjoyed since I was a kid, starting with Mom teaching me how to make cookies and cakes.  Bread is something that grabbed me not long after marrying; first out of necessity (still in college and (mostly) out of money) and then as something that was intriguing in its own right.  Think about it: you don’t just make bread, you grow it.  There’s a rhythm involved in the mixing, the kneading, the first fermentation, the shaping, the final fermentation, the baking, the cooling, and eventually the eating.  Bread is very much a living thing and has to be handled in ways that respect the yeasts and their work on the baker’s behalf.  Bread gives the baker a range of tactile delights, too.  There’s an immense pleasure in bringing the ingredients together in a dough and then kneading that dough into a pillowy mass that magically, with some time and some warmth, grows to double or triple its original size.  Scaling the fermented dough and shaping it into loaves or buns provides more tactile feedback and the satisfaction of creating something that will please the eye as well as the palate.  Watching the bread expand as it bakes, taking on the intended shape and coloring, gives the baker the confirmation that all of the steps along the way have been done well.  The perfume from the oven as the bread bakes is better to my nose than anything in those high-priced, fancy bottles that I have purchased for my wife over the years.  Between the subject matter and the discovery years back that teaching is fun, it’s a treat to share my enthusiasm for bread with students at CCKC.

Bread Making w/Paul McCool

Cookin’ with Daniela Mancinelli Abel

The Culinary Center of Kansas City is fortunate to have some of the best and the brightest culinary educators in the industry. Our instructors come with a wealth of knowledge and skill in the culinary arts, from all walks of life. Some are CIA-trained Chefs, some are passionate home cooks who were practically born with a whisk in their hand, and others are former restaurant or bakery owners all passionately sharing their skills with our students. We will be shining the spotlight on our instructors monthly, giving you a peek into their culinary world.

First up – One of our newest instructors is Daniela Mancinelli Abel, who will be specializing in all things Italian. Ciao, Bella!Daniela Abel

Growing up in a big Italian family, Daniela knows and loves Italian cooking, and her background in training and cooking lessons makes her a natural as a culinary instructor here at CCKC. Italian food is her forte but she also dedicates a lot of energy to cooking with organic, seasonal and non-GMO produce. Sh can’t wait to show the beginner cook how easy, fun and affordable it is to make delicious and sustainable meals.

  • Who or what inspired you to become a chef/instructor?
    My amazing, dynamic, incredibly loud Italian family (who all cook) but especially my mom. My mom is dance teacher and a darn good one at that, she always saw in me a natural born teacher and always encouraged me to combine my passion with food with my love of teaching.
  • What is your ingredient obsession?
    SEA SALT, which is relatively new for me. I’ve always used Kosher salt which is easier to control and tastes better than regular table salt… but sea salt… it’s a gift from the gods. You need less of it, it has almost a floral bouquet to it, and it is never harsh. I LOVE IT.
  • What is your top restaurant recommendation in Kansas City?
    We’re new to the KC area, but so far I’m NUTS about Extra Virgin downtown. We went there for my 30th birthday, and I’ve never had such inventive and incredible small dishes. My family and I love small plates because it’s a fantastic way to try EVERYTHING.
  • Daniela AbelWhat is your most indispensable cooking tool?
    My Shun chef’s knife. When I’m teaching (especially beginners), I tell them that they cannot even begin to love to cook without a good knife. It starts and often ends the cooking process and a bad knife is absolute hell to work with.
  • Favorite cheap eat?
    Not to have a shameless plug… but it’s honestly my Pasta Faggioli that my grandmother taught me and I teach in “1 Sauce, 12 Meals.” It costs just dollars to make and it’s the most satisfying, hearty and heartwarming soup EVER.
  • Who is your favorite chef?
    Hands down, Giada DeLaurentis. She’s my hero, one of my inspirations, and I turn to her all the time for recipe ideas! A close second is Ina Garten, she makes everything – from her home to food – lovely.

Join Daniela for some of her great upcoming classes.
Don’t delay, seats are limited.