Tag Archives: culinary 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.

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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!

Meet Mari Ruck, Diva of Dough!

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. We spotlight one of these gems each month,  giving you a peek into their world.

Next up – Mari Ruck, bread baker extraordinaire...

Mari RuckMari Ruck has been teaching great classes with us since we opened! She started cooking as a hobby in high school. In college, she studied accounting at Oregon State (but food was her passion). She studied abroad in France, and the cooking school she attended there has inspired a lifelong love of French food. She co-owned The Food Bin, a specialty food store, from 1983 to 2004. After college, bread baking took priority and led Mari to the Chef Program at Johnson County Community College, graduating in 1999.  Her passion for food continues to grow…

Who or what inspired you to become a chef/instructor?
A college exchange to France years ago… I didn’t know food could be so good.

What is your most indispensable cooking tool?
My knives.

Biggest pet peeve in the kitchen?
Got to have good lighting!

Who is your favorite chef?
Can I say me???  Ok then Peter Berley.

What was your worse experience in the kitchen?
Eating my mother’s cooking.

Join Mari for some of her great upcoming classes at The Culinary Center of Kansas City… don’t delay, seats are limited!

Sunday, March 20 – Cinnamon Rolls 101

Monday, April 25 – Handmade Ice Cream & Gelato

Meet Chef Richard McPeake…And Yes, He Has Cooked With Julia!

The Culinary Center of Kansas City is fortunate to have some of the best and the brightest culinary and beverage educators in the industry. Our instructors come with a wealth of knowledge and skill in the culinary arts, from all walks of life. We spotlight one of these gems each month,  giving you a peek into their world.

Next up – Chef Richard McPeake, who has been a chef instructor at The Culinary Center of Kansas City for 16 years.

ChChef Richard McPeakeef Richard’s impressive culinary resumé began 40 years ago, and includes studying at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, developing more than 30 restaurant concepts, authoring numerous cookbooks, competing and educating about BBQ, creating a line of BBQ rubs, instructing at Kansas City, Kansas Community College and CCKC, and winning dozens of awards for food excellence.

What is your most indispensable kitchen tool?
VacuVin Instant Marinator, for infusing the depth of flavor. And the Smoking Gun!

What is your ingredient obsession?
Fresh Herbs and Local Products, cooking “indigenous,” and of course anything with a “solid” BBQ Flavor!

What is your all-time most memorable meal?
After working a full day at Spago restaurant in LA with Chef Mark Peel and Wolfgang Puck, sitting down and chatting with Wolfgang and eating a Santa Barbara Shrimp Pizza (The opening days of Fedora Café, 1984)

Who is your favorite chef?
On TV – Cat Kora! I love how she infuses her heritage into everything she does.  I cooked with Julia Child 3 times, and it was an awesome experience to meet the BEST & Greatest Chef to bring TV cooking into your home!

Who’s your favorite person to have cooked for?
My favorite rock group is ZZ TOP, and I did their backstage party after a concert at Verizon/Sandstone – very cool! I have cooked for Ronald Reagan, Tip O’Neil, Bob Dole, Charlton Heston, to name a few. And I cooked for Bette Midler on her 40th birthday.

Who would you love to cook for?
I would love to have cooked for Elvis.

Click here and sign up for one of Chef Richard’s upcoming classes at The Culinary Center of Kansas City!

 

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