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Course Background    

This section contains a number of impotant and relevant documents that assist the student in understanding many specific parts of this course.   Included in this section is a summary of Chef John’s biography and his clear definition of the five primary elements of cooking itself.  This definition, which is titled “The Recipe for Recipes” outlines the goals and intentions of cooking itself.  Additionally, you will find a detailed document outlining the 16 categories that are part of each written recipe within this course.  This will help you review the written recipes easily. The Chef also includes his personal statement outlining “Learning to Cook” for new students.   

Basic Skills   
This section includes 20 videos that cover some basic skills such as how to dice an onion, making clarified butter, how to chop parsley etc...  Throughout this course, “skills” videos are continuously added to each available class in order to support the cooking requirements of that class.


This section includes 4 videos that help define the basic equipment & tool types that you find in a typical kitchen for learning.  These videos contain essential information and should be viewed by all new students of this course.

 Class 1 -
Stocks & Sauces

Any serious pursuit of good cooking must begin with Stocks & Sauces. In this is class I will teach the basic primary principals, methods and techniques of both traditional unchallenged stock & sauce preparations as well as many of the modern progressive approaches to this extremely far reaching category of cooking and learning.  This class includes 29 stock & sauce videos with recipes and extensive prerequisite reading as well.  Additionally this class includes 16 skills videos that are relevant to this particular class.  All classes within this course include individual skills videos that support the lessons within that class. I have also included a thickening agents and liaisons video along with detailed written text on that subject.  Upon completion of your practice of this class you will come to understand the full range of this very important part of the cooking world as well as a recipe foundation for hundreds of good sauces for multiple applications.

 Class 2 -

This Soup class is definitely one of my favorite classes within this course.  Preparing Bisques, Creams, Purees, Chowders, Bean soups and some classic regional soups make this class the complete soup class for students with serious intentions.  Students should also understand that ALL primary categories of soup making are covered within these lessons and the tools needed to make hundreds of different types of soups are here for you to capitalize on.  This class also teaches you how to employ a variety of thickening agents for the different types of soup categories that are covered here.  I have included extensive finishing, garnishing and presentation methods for all 15 of the soup videos in this class.  Many of these soup preparations can act as main dish meals for a variety of dining events.  This class is a must see and learn class for a lifetime of great soup making.

 Class 3 -

This Vegetable class has 23 videos and recipes that give the student of cooking a wide and practical knowledge of the basics for successfully handling a variety of vegetables.  Without a doubt, vegetables are the leading food group as far as their inclusion within cooking formulas throughout the world.  After you have studied these lessons your understanding of good vegetable handling practices will certainly show up in almost all of your cooking preparations.  I have chosen many of the preparations for this class based on my experience of people’s lack of knowledge of certain types of vegetables.  Good examples are artichokes, fennel, asparagus, celery root, acorn and spaghetti squashes as well as cabbages, green beans and vegetable purees.  Special attention has been put on the texture, color, seasonings and flavor enhancements associated with the different vegetables highlighted within these lessons.  This class is obviously a vegetarians dream class as well as a necessary component to any good cook’s repertoire. 


Class 4 -

Hors d’oeuvres & Appetizer's

(Part 1)


This class offers some timeless methods and techniques married with some great traditional cooking formulas.  Classics like crab cakes, quiche, deviled eggs, baked goat cheese and baked brie en croute make this class a good addition to any cook's repertoire.  Some nice presentation work here also helps to give you a good feel for the beautiful natural look.  If you like to entertain at home or have catering requirements in your life you’ll find this class to be essential and continuously helpful.


Class 5 -

Salads & Dressings


This class consists of more then 30 videos.  This is one of the largest classes in this course for very good reasons.  This class has classics like caesar, spinach salad with sweet & sour warm bacon and onion dressing, caprese and nicoise salads.  I also include a variety of special salad preparations that require the use of specially prepared components that give you the ability to make a variety of different versions of your own salads.  This class targets your creativity and offers inspiration and guidance to the viewer to insure that your “salad making skills” are increased and improved upon.  Some of the modern salads that are presented here include goat cheese salad, duck confit salad, salmon & asparagus salad, artichoke crab salad and seared tuna salad.  Basics like chicken, tuna, watermelon and pasta salads also support many traditional requirements that we cooks often find so satisfying among those for whom we cook.   Invaluable skills that are taught in this class include preparing duck confit, curing and serving your own salmon gravlax, how to render, grill & slice a duck breast, peeling and blanching asparagus, fire roasting red peppers and marinating cheese.  Traditional  dressings like thousand island, ranch, blue cheese and vinaigrettes along with good crouton techniques helps to support your traditional requirements for many salads as well.  In a nutshell, this class is an unusual value of quality, tradition and modern salad cookery and should be viewed as both a staple of preparations as well as a fresh perspective and approach to making salads. 

Class 6 - 
Pasta with Sauces


This class consists of more than 30 videos that are a wide variety of pasta preparations along with accompanying skills videos that support your continuing progress for making “your own versions” of many delicious finished preparations.  Although this class focuses on many Italian preparations, it also offers inspiration and guidance within the world of good basic cooking techniques and traditional methods and principals surrounding preparations that are not necessarily exclusive to Italian cooking.  Some of the highlights of this class include making fresh pasta dough and hand rolling or machine rolling it out, ragu bolognese, lasagna quattro formaggio, stuffed shells, assorted mac & cheese preparations, meatballs and tomato & alfredo sauces.  I’ve also included some of my favorite versions of popular styles of pasta dishes like carbonara, primavera, linguine with clams and spaghetti with meatballs.  

Many valuable skill videos include roasting & drying your own fresh tomatoes and herbs, identifying many pasta cuts, roasting & pureeing garlic, basic couscous handling and tips on cooking and storing dry and fresh pastas.

There are also some very special preparations included here that almost fall into their own categories of cooking.  A French style braised “Chicken in the Pot” with papparedelle noodles as well as chicken noodle soup.  Cured & dried filet of beef tenderloin bresaola and a special pasta dish with sage, roasted garlic, Parmesan cheese, roast chicken meat, tomato and mushrooms.   All in all, this class offers you the tools and expertise to create and appreciate some of the tastiest and best presented foods within this course.   If you love pasta and want to learn how to incorporate a variety of foods into pasta dishes, as well as some unique Italian related preparations, then this class is made for you.


Class 7 -
Rice & Potatoes


For many years I have stressed to my students that in most cases the main center of the plate preparation is set apart from another version of it by “what comes with it”.   This class begins to offer you some delicious additions to what should become your huge repertoire of accompaniments for your main dish items.  The assortment of lessons in this class allow for hundreds of improvisational approaches to preparations for Jasmine, Rissoto,  Basmati and long grain rice.  Escalope potatoes, Mashed, Potato Gallete as well as Potato Pancakes, Hash Browns, Cous Cous, French Fries and Polenta are some of the highlights of this necessary class.  Here you will get some command over these very important additions to a variety of meal plans.  Vegetarians will love this class as well.


Class 8 -


This class offers a giant leap within this cooking course.  The art of braising foods is embraced here with 13 of the classics of great cooking.  This is also the first class in this course to prepare all main dish items.  You will learn how to create your own stocks & sauce within the processes of cooking things like whole fish, chicken and duck.  Osso Bucco, Bouillabaisse and Lamb Shanks are included and you will come to understand the refinement process associated with utilizing braising liquids and many special sauces and garnishes for the braised dishes.  I will share with you my best Pot Roast preparation as well as the primary ways to make the great stews that we love so much but somehow can never find enough of.  Understanding how the items in this class are prepared will take any student of cooking to another complete level of cooking accomplishment.  In a nutshell, this is one of the top two or three classes in this course.  


Class 9 -
Eggs & Breads


I’m sure you’ve heard the term “You can’t boil an egg”.  Well, this class will give you bragging rites on the diverse range within perfect egg cookery.  For some reason the word “perfect” is somehow associated with the cooking of eggs.  All primary egg cooking techniques are covered here along with some very nice recipes that range from simply perfect to elegant.  Of course, no egg class could be complete without Eggs Benedict, French and American omelets and the French scrambling technique.   I also teach you how to make three very different and essential breads that will give you a command over making many, many versions and variations of these breads which will also allow you to make “your own” breads in the future.  Great buttery Brioche, Crusty French Bread and classic American style soft dinner rolls are the three I selected for this very important introduction to great bread making.  I consider this class to be a necessary component to any good cooks repertoire.


Class 10 -
Roasting, Grilling & Frying


This is the second class in this course that focuses on main dish preparations.  Included here are 20 videos and recipes that cover beef, lamb, pork, chicken, fish and veal preparations.  The art of roasting is covered extensively which allows you to learn how to incorporate the natural juice and sauce making techniques that are traditionally part of the roasting process.  Additionally I will teach you how to debone a whole chicken, clean a lamb rack and stuff a whole pork loin or an individual pork or veal chop.  Good basic grilling techniques are thoroughly covered as well and also some special methods for grilling that can set you’re grilling apart from the rest. Preparing fritter batters, fried fruits, fish and vegetables will teach you the principals and methods for frying anything you like.  This is an extremely valuable class that covers three of the primary cooking methods.  Information provided here can literally be applied to thousands of cooking formulas.


Class 11 -
Sauté, Poaching & Relishes


This is the third class in this course that focuses on main dish preparations.  Included here are 20 videos and recipes that cover the complete range of poaching fish, sautéing meats and fish as well as cooking foods that are enclosed within paper and banana leaves.  The popular Thai coconut curry sauce is used within a series of sautéed dishes. You will learn to make four delicious relishes used as sauce substitutes and as accompaniments for different preparations.  Understanding the principals and application of the world of relishes will give you the knowledge and finesse to create your own and apply them in special ways throughout your own cooking.   Most importantly, this class teaches you how to approach the sautéing process and the poaching process in ways that will support hundreds of ways for you to prepare your own chosen foods.   This is a fun a delicious class loaded with special presentations for the dishes prepared.


Class 12 -
Sweet Creams-Crepes Soufflés
(Desserts Part 1)


This s the second of four dessert classes in this course.  This class contains 20 videos and recipes that cover some of the most special dessert preparations you have ever seen.  Keep in mind that the dessert lessons in this class are designed and selected for fool proof reproduction the first time you make them.  No special pastry making skills are required in order for you to master these formulas.  Good crepe formulas that include seafood and chicken crepes as well as sweet Crepes Suzettes and chocolate and cream filled crepes also.   Great sweet & savory soufflé methods include classic Gran Marnier soufflé as well as Swiss cheese soufflé.  Crème Brulees, Bavarian cream, Chocolate Mousse, Bread & Butter Pudding Cake, Double Chocolate Ice Cream and Flour-less Chocolate soufflé cake are all easy to prepare and awesomely delicious.  Special dessert garnishes taught here include chocolate dipped strawberries and candied nuts.  The methods and techniques demonstrated in this class are priceless and offer you the tools to create hundreds of your own desserts.  Have fun with this one!!

Class 13 - 
Sorbets-Cookies-Prepared Fruits
(Desserts Part 2)


This is the third of four dessert classes in this course and contains 20 videos and recipes.  This particular class was assembled to cover a series of different significant types of preparations.  Included here are Cranberry Sorbet, Granny Smith Apple Sorbet and you will also learn the primary formula for preparing hundreds of other sorbets as well.  A special Strawberry Sherbet and a Pineapple Granite complete the range of frozen desserts within this course.  Macaroon Cookies and Banana Bread make good accompaniments for the series of different fruit preparations that are also offered in this class.  An assortment of Poached Pear formulas and presentations as well as sweet & savory Patty Shell preparations are also included.  The technique for rolling and stuffing a cake are demonstrated with a classic Roulade of Almond preparation. The complicated and stunning Croque-en-bouche  French wedding cake “tree” is also prepared in this class which can serve as a spectacular centerpiece for a sweets table or as a marvelous dessert on its own.  All in all, there are some very unique and delicious lessons in this class that will open your eyes up to another world of approaching special dessert preparations.

Class 14 -
Hors d'oeuvres

& Appetizers

(Part 2)


This class is a continuation of class 4 and helps to round out your approach and methods for preparing and presenting both first courses or staging small or large buffets for home entertaining as well as professional catering requirements.  Included here are some must learn items like special Cheese & Fruit and Raw Vegetable Crudités displays.  All successful students must have a firm grip on great basics like this in order to satisfy the requirements of today’s consumer and gourmet.  This class also teaches you many basics such as making your own Dill Pickles, Stuffing a Lobster, Grilling and Presenting Vegetable Platters as well Savory tarts, Oysters Rockefeller and Crab Cakes.  I see this class as a hundred different approaches for a handful of great preparations.


Class 15 -

Cream Puffs-Parfaits-Genoise-Sundaes

(Desserts Part 3)


This class is the first of four dessert classes within this 20 class course.  Some of the great basics that I cover here include Cream Puffs & Éclairs, French Vanilla Ice Cream, Assorted Dessert Sauces, Genoise Cake, Pastry Creams, Parfaits and Sundaes.  The written formulas provided coupled with the video instruction makes this dessert class foolproof for beginners.  Most of the methods, principals and techniques covered in this class are absolute essentials for a lifetime of dessert making.  Good examples of this are the hundreds of applications that stem from the knowledge surrounding your understanding of Genoise, Pastry Cream and Ice Cream as well as Sundae and Parfait construction.  The student should remember that dessert preparations are much more scientific in nature then savory cooking and need to be approached from a perspective that specifically embraces the formula, method and technique approach to learning.


Class 16 -
(Desserts Part 4)


This class consists of 20 videos and recipes and has some exciting and essential formulas and methods within it.  When I was a teenager in cooking school I remember when I learned how to make my first Tart.  I was really impressed at the quality that I had experienced.  This class is guaranteed to leave you marveling at how simple and delicious some of the greatest classics in this category of cooking are prepared.  You can learn three different tart and pie dough’s and the primary basic techniques for Fruit Filled Tarts, Custard Tarts and Fruit Strips.  Basic pies like Chocolate Pecan, Apple and Pumpkin are prepared in unique ways as well.   Individual Tartlet’s, Warm Apple Tart Flambé’, Peach Cobbler and Blueberry Crisp make this class a necessary component for your classic desert repertoire.  If you like deserts you are going to love the quality of this class.


Class 17 -


This class consists of 30 videos and recipes and is an absolute requirement for great Thanksgiving cooking basics.  This class is the first of four classes in this course that are dedicated to regional and ethnic cooking styles.  If you have completed the previous classes within this course you will especially have fun with these classes.  Roasting and boning of the turkey is covered extensively as well as making the ultimate gravy from the turkey bones.  Traditional American Bread & Sage Stuffing along with Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish with red wine helps to round out the Thanksgiving requirements.  Some of the Cajun classics that are taught in this class include Shrimp Etouffee, Bourbon Chicken, Grilled Andouille Sausage with peppers and garlic, Gumbo and Jambalaya.  Of course Red Beans & Dirty Rice along with Vienesse  Beignet’s make this a great Cajun style class.


Class 18 -
Indian & Chinese Cooking


This class consists of 20 videos and recipes and will give you a good view of some of the classic Indian preparations that are very common in India.  This class also touches on some well known and popular oriental preparations.  Of course either of these categories of cooking could easily be an entire course of study for any student of Indian or Oriental cooking.  The Indian selections include Basmati Rice with peanuts veggies and cilantro, Lentil preparations, Spicy Braised Lamb, Chutneys, Curry’s, Indian breads, Tandoori Chicken and Eggplant with Spicy Tomato.  The oriental selections include Stir Fries, Fluffy Rice, Shrimp Toast, Teriyaki Sauce, Thai Coconut Curry’s, Tofu with dried Shrimp & Cucumber and Shredded Chicken Salad with sesame noodles, peanuts and veggies.  This is a fun and interesting class for good reasons.  One is understanding some of the basic ingredients and formulas for authentic Indian cooking.  Another is getting enough knowledge to effectively put on an Oriental dinner party.  More importantly, attaining the ability to understand and to successfully put forth more diverse cooking from your repertoire will be with you forever.   I remember when I first started cooking with Indians and eating their foods.  All I ate was Indian food for a number of months and I found it to be exciting, delicious and eye opening.  My professional involvement with a Chinese restaurant organization in New York for 4 years also opened my eyes to the greatness of Oriental cooking.  All in all, this is a unique class that is full of little delightful surprises.


Class 19 -
A Taste of Mexican Cooking


This class consists of 20 videos and recipes of some of the tastiest and well presented authentic Mexican foods that you will ever encounter.  I have owned and operated 4 different Mexican restaurants over the years and the selections in this class represent some of the best foods that I’ve served.  The range of preparations in this class include homemade Flour Tortillas, Tamales, five different Salsas, Mexican style rice with sour cream, corn and pablanos, Braised Pork Carnitas, Assorted Tacos,  Spit Roasted Hen with Achiote, Quesadillas, Black Bean Dip and some refreshing Aqua Fresca beverages.  This class is also perfect for learning how to do a Mexican buffet.  Learning how to reproduce the foods in this class is guaranteed to impress anyone that you serve them to.  Of all of the ethnic classes in this course I think this one is the most exciting.


Class 20 -
A Taste of Spanish Cooking


This class consists of 25 videos and recipes that revolve around cooking from Spain.  This class consists of two categories of cooking.  Tapas and General main dish preparations.  Tapas are served in small amounts, usually on top of or with bread of some type.  The Tapas selections include Baby Artichokes, Grilled Squid, Shrimp Brochettes, Smoked Salmon, Empanadas, Roasted Peppers, Meatballs and Croquettes.  The Main dish preparations include Roasted Chicken Stew with Beans, Stuffed Quail with Lentil Stew, Grilled Chorizos with garlic potatoes and herb butter, Garlic Pepper Chicken Wings with horseradish cream,  Stuffed Peppers with Goat Cheese and Mushrooms topped with green garlic butter, Paella, Potato Salad with Chorizo, Brioche Bread Pudding and Orange Ice Cream.  Having been the Chef in two different Tapas / Spanish restaurants I find the selections I’ve made here to be some of the best that I’ve made or seen over the years.  This is certainly a class worth its weight in gold.