Cooking Class: Braising
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This slow-cooking method delivers rich taste and tender meats.
Cooking Class 101: Braising "How-Tos"
Let’s talk braising. This is a cooking method that is slow, with the food being covered in liquid. While vegetables braise relatively quickly, most folks use braising for meats—usually tough, cheap cuts that turn tender after this long, gentle cooking. My braising know-how came from a study of the research done at America’s Test Kitchen. Here’s what they say:
Pot roast, pork shoulders, shanks, brisket, and ribs all have enough connective tissue to be good options for braising. Leaner, more tender cuts, such as steaks, don’t benefit much from braising.
And it’s this connective tissue that makes some meat (like short ribs) tough. When it is cooked beyond 140 degrees, it begins to break down into gelatin, the protein that makes for tender meat. This tissue breaks down most efficiently in a moist environment at temperatures around 200 degrees. The best way to encourage the break down into gelatin is by putting the meat and liquid in a covered Dutch oven in a 300-degree oven and letting it cook for a long time.
The Dutch oven is sturdy, roomy, and trustworthy. It conducts heat well (helping the meat get a good sear), and it’s also outfitted with a tight-fitting lid.
One important thing to know about braising is that even though the technique is slow-and-low (time- and temperature-wise), braised meat can be overcooked, driving out so much of the meat’s moisture that it becomes dry. This is when it goes beyond sliceable and on to shredded. While it can be salvaged for sandwiches, salads, or soups, it won’t make a presentable Sunday roast. So the Test Kitchen’s advice? Cook braises just until fork-tender, then stop.
Now speaking of short ribs, let’s get to know them. As their name implies, they are ribs cut from any part along the cow’s ribs: the lower belly, the shoulder (or chuck), or the forward midsection. There are three cuts encountered most often in the grocery store meat department.
TOP CHOICE (boneless): These are the easiest to work with and eat—if you know how to compensate for the flavor and body lost by removing the bone.
BEST BONE-IN CHOICE (English-style): English-style ribs are 2- to 4-inch lengths of bone with a wide piece of fatty meat attached. These are plentiful in the meat department and are usually cheaper than flanken, which is why America’s Test Kitchen recommends them over flanken.
NOT RECOMMENDED (flanken-style): These are about ¾ inch thick, cut across the ribs and grain, and include two or three segments of rib bone. Test Kitchen experts found them harder to eat than the English-style ribs.
And did you know you can make your own boneless ribs from bone-in English-style ribs? All it takes is a few minutes and a sharp chef’s knife. Position the knife as close to the bone as possible, then carefully slice away the meat. Trim and discard the hard fat and silverskin from both sides of the meat and voila—you have top choice boneless ribs!
Still on braising short ribs, here is the recommended procedure from America’s Test Kitchen:
- 1. Move oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees—moderate heat provides a more even heat than the stovetop.
- 2. Brown (carmelize) in two or more batches until well browned. Crowding the pot will steam the ribs instead of browning. Caremelizing the crust means a more flavorful braise.
- 3. Saute the aromatics (usually onions, tomato paste, and garlic cloves) in your rendered beef fat. This creates a rich flavor base for the braising liquid.
- 4. Add wine and reduce it by half, scraping up the browned bits. This cooks some of the alcohol out and concentrates its flavor. Then add your broth.
- 5. Add ribs and cover pot. Braise for two hours or more, until they’re fork-tender. A tight fitting lid traps heat and steam and prevents evaporation, creating a slow, tenderizing simmer.
- 6. During cooking, turn the meat in the braising liquid twice to ensure that they’ll cook evenly.
- 7. After two hours, test the meat for tenderness by piercing with a fork to see if it’s done.
- 8. When finished cooking, remove the meat to a platter and let it rest so the meat juices, squeezed outward during cooking, can redistribute, ensuring juicy ribs.
- 9. Strain the contents of the pot into a large bowl to turn the vegetable-studded braising liquid into a smooth sauce.
- 10. Pour the sauce into a fat separator. Let it settle for five minutes return the liquid to the pan, leaving the fat behind in the separator (no one likes greasy sauce).
- 11. Reduce the strained, de-fatted sauce on the stovetop for five to 10 minutes to thicken slightly and concentrate its flavor.
- 12. Add gelatin to this reduced sauce. Dissolve one package of Knox® gelatin in a small bowl of cold water and then stir it into the pot. The gelatin makes the sauce silken and full-bodied.
A feature I love about a meal of braised short ribs is that you can make them ahead of the time you want to serve them, which is really nice for the day I’m putting this meal on—the prep work and clean up are minimized. Ribs and the sauce you’ll cook them in can be refrigerated separately for up to 3 days. To serve, heat the sauce and ribs together over medium heat until the ribs are heated through, about 10 minutes.
Finally, now that you’ve been through these instructive braising HOW-TOs, be sure to check out a super 5-STAR recipe in your Cook’n 11—one of Anne Burrell’s (from Food Network). I just entered “braised short ribs” in the Advanced Search feature, and there it was. I’ve tried a couple of the other recipes that popped up (Smitten Kitchen and Simply Recipes), but Anne Burrell’s is my favorite.
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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Meat: Successful braises start with tougher cuts of meat that have flavor, a fair amount of marbled fat and connective tissue. As the fat melts during cooking it will help to separate the muscle fibers and provide moisture to replace liquids that will seep out. The collagen in the connective tissue will also melt and help to keep the meat moist. Additionally, the collagen that seeps out of the meat will help to thicken the luxurious sauce that will be created during the slow cooking. Chuck roast, veal and lamb shanks, oxtails, and beef short ribs all make good choices. When it comes to getting the most flavor for your money my bet is usually oxtails and short ribs.
When braising osso buco (cross-cut pieces of veal shank), it is necessary to make a couple of incisions between the meat and the thin membrane that surrounds the meat. A couple of snips with kitchen shears on the meaty-side of the osso buco will allow the membrane, a type of connective tissue called “elastin”, to contract without curling up the meat into a cup-like shape. For lamb shanks, remove excess fat prior to browning.
When braising short ribs, use the tip of a chef’s knife to make an incision lengthwise through the elastin on the bone side of the rib. This incision will allow the elastin to contract during browning and cooking and the bones will slip away from the flesh to reveal delicious meaty chunks that are easy to serve and eat!
Oxtails, depending on how well they’ve been trimmed, may have large amounts of fat surrounding them. Trim off excess fat to minimize the amount of grease that will have to be de-fatted before serving.
Dry heat: Browning the meat before adding liquid to the pan is critical. As with any cooking method, the more color that it has the more flavorful it will be. For this reason it is important to note that a non-stick pan will do very little for creating flavor…stay away from them when browning!
Moist heat: Liquids can be a combination of stock, wine or other liquids. The key is to make sure they are flavorful so that they’ll be even better when reduced.
Time & Temperature: Long slow cooking is the final key…slowly heating the meat in the liquid helps to break down tissue and create a more tender result. While stovetop cooking is possible, I prefer oven braising to minimize sticking and burning and allow it to cook with less attention. While braising can be done at higher temperatures around 400F, you’ll really be better off to do it for a longer time at a more gentle temperature between 325 and 350 degrees F.
Thickening: The sauce that results during braising can be thickened through a variety of methods:
- Natural Reduction: The braising liquid will naturally increase in viscosity as the liquid evaporates during the cooking process.
- Gelatin: Sauces will gain body from extraction of gelatin, either from the bones that are part of the braise or from homemade stock it is being used.
- Starches: Most of the time the meat will either be dredged in seasoned flour before browning, will have flour added to the vegetables to absorb excess oil before the liquid goes in, or the sauce will be thickened with cornstarch or arrowroot if there isn’t time to allow natural reduction to take place. Some recipes such as German Sauerbraten will utilize ground gingersnaps added at the end for thickening. My personal preference is to add flour after the vegetables have been browned and then allow natural reduction to thicken during the cooking or at the end if further thickening is needed.
“Chef Olive is clearly in love with the bounty Mother Nature provides and was eager to educate how to take the maximum advantage of her gifts. He bubbled over with enthusiasm as he cooked, explained as he puttered in the kitchen, and answered questions. Chef Lev was the quiet voice in the background, answering questions, providing individual guidance to each student”. ND, Florida
“Self-confidence in the kitchen – develop gently, allowing the confidence to double in size every week
A huge measure of personal attention – the Chefs keep a close eye on each student via their big screens, and are quick to make suggestions, address techniques that could be done more efficiently or safely, and provide ideas for modifications as needed”.
Keri, Berkeley CA
Online vs at the kitchen: “While I missed the classroom ambiance and working with my classmates in person, on the plus side, being able to take the class in my own kitchen was very helpful. I learned how to use my new stove and oven more efficiently, and what kitchen tools I actually needed, and which ones were just taking up valuable drawer space. As with the hands-on class, reading the recipes and cooking instructions carefully before each class was very helpful and really helped to get prepared for each class. Even more important for the virtual class since it was up to me to have everything. tools, ingredients, laid out and ready to go. Jim, Oakland CA
Cooking Class: Braising - Recipes
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Revive your grain game with Martha’s inspiration from the Arabian Gulf.
Cooking with Grains
If you have a sweet tooth then this episode is made for you!
Travel along the coast as Martha showcases the bounty of the Arabian Gulf.
Let your taste buds travel to the Arabian Gulf with eye-popping, inspired small bites.
Inspired by the eponymous best-selling book, MARTHA STEWARTS COOKING SCHOOL will give home cooks a …
Inspired by the eponymous best-selling book, MARTHA STEWARTS COOKING SCHOOL will give home cooks a culinary master class with Martha herself. Using her signature step-by-step, how-to teaching process, Martha illustrates cooking fundamentals that everyone should know: from roasting and poaching to braising and blanching.
Inspired by the eponymous best-selling book, MARTHA STEWARTS COOKING SCHOOL will give home cooks a culinary master class with Martha herself. Using her signature step-by-step, how-to teaching process, Martha illustrates cooking fundamentals that everyone should know: from roasting and poaching to braising and blanching.
Revive your grain game with Martha’s inspiration from the Arabian Gulf.
The Farm Cooking School – Foundations Class 3: Braising
We’ve been having such a great time at the Farm Cooking School that I wanted to continue to share our experiences with you. Even if you’re not totally into cooking, at the end of each class, you get an amazing meal and you might just learn something. So it’s worth taking a class or three. Plus, the school is practically on the Delaware, so if fits in perfectly with the theme.
In class 3, we learned about wet cooking – braising. I always had the misconception that braising was when you ladled broth over something to cook it. But no, it’s much simpler than that – it’s cooking with the main ingredients partly immersed in a broth of some sort. The simmering broth cooks the ingredients as does the steam it produces. The result is usually extremely tender and flavorful as the process tenderizes the food and develops the flavors.
Today, we were making two different braised chicken recipes with very different, yet compatible, flavor profiles. One was a Sri Lankan coconut chicken. The other was balsamic braised chicken. Both were incredibly aromatic and flavorful. More on this later.
Mussels after cooking in garlic wine sauce
If those two dishes weren’t enough, we started our meal with mussels with sofrito – a delicious mixture of bell pepper, garlic, cumin, onion, cilantro, oregano and white wine. Yep, it was as delicious as it sounds! The ingredients melded wonderfully together, flavoring the mussels and leaving broth that of course we soaked up with chunks of baguette.
We cooked the mussels last since they cook the quickest. This proved to be a good lesson – you really have to plan out your menu. As it turns out, we prepared the dessert, a Pavlova, first. So we started the day learning how to make a meringue.
Did you realize how easy it is to make a meringue? Some egg whites. A bunch of sugar. Some lemon juice and corn starch and a nice stand mixer. Within a few minutes, you have this beautiful meringue! Then off into the oven for a long, low-temperature cook. Just too cool. This particular Pavlova had a roasted rhubarb filling. Do you know how nasty rhubarb is before dosing it with sugar? I’m telling you, sugar turns a lot of inedible crap into stuff that I could eat all day!
Ian hams it up with our Pavlova
One of the things we’re learning in these classes is how delicious you can make things using just a handful of ingredients. For example, the balsamic chicken is pretty much chicken with salt, pepper, onion, carrots, celery, thyme, vinegar and chicken stock. Yet it was my favorite dish of the day – definitely something I’ll make again.
So simple yet oh so delicious
The Sri Lankan chicken was by far the most complex dish we’ve made. That has 15 ingredients beyond the chicken! It gave me a greater appreciation for the complexity of flavors we experience in food from that area of the world. And yet, preparation was remarkably easy for such a flavorful dish.
The day was filled with a bunch of little revelations, as have been each of our classes. These make the classes far more valuable than the nominal fee we pay to take them, especially given the gourmet meal we get at the end! The final surprise for me was the Gratin Dauphinoise.
We’ve all had a decadent potato dish – layers of potato, cream and cheese in hot, gooey mess. So delicious. So fattening. Something you eat rarely (due to a fear of clogged arteries), but then are tempted to eat the entire pan because it’s so delicious. Well, what I learned today was that you don’t need cheese in this dish for it to be drool-worthy!
Golden brown and delicious. Had to have seconds
The dish we prepared just had potatoes, salt, pepper, a dash of nutmeg, garlic, butter, milk and cream. And not a crazy amount of butter and cream either. And yet, if you asked me, I would have sworn it was full of cheese. I am definitely making this dish again. It was so simple but really, really good. Perfect for a dinner party.
After our third class, I feel even more that this fundamentals class is more than worth the cost. We’re learning general cooking methods that will serve us for a lifetime, combined with specific dishes that anybody would be proud to serve. I’m going to be less inclined to spend money for a typical restaurant meal that’s inferior in flavor and preparation to what we’re making. On the other hand, I think I’ll appreciate the artistry and talent that goes into making an exceptional meal, like the one I describe here.
Cooking Class: Braising - Recipes
From the perfect pot roast to the fragrant complexity of braised endive, there’s no food more satisfying than a well-braised dish. The art of braising comes down to us from the earliest days of cooking. Today, braising remains as popular and as uncomplicated as ever. Molly Stevens’s All About Braising is a comprehensive guide to this versatile way of cooking, written to instruct a cook at any level. Everything you need to know is here, including: a thorough explanation of the principles of good braising with helpful advice on the best cuts of meat, the right choice of fish and vegetables, and the right pots 125 reliable, easy-to-follow recipes for meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables, ranging from quick-braised weeknight dishes to slow-cooked weekend braises. 16 color photographs, 50 line drawings
Winner of 2005 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Single Subject Cookbook
Winner of 2005 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award for Best Single Subject Cookbook
Included as one of the Top 10 Cookbooks of 2004 by Food & Wine Magazine
Included in The Village Voice Top 10 Best Cookbooks Of All Time, October 2009
Selected by Cooking Light as one of their picks for the top 100 cookbooks of the past 25 years (and among one of their top 6 “Best Technique and Equipment Books”).
Links to find it on Amazon, or from an independent bookseller.
More praise for All About Braising
“…Assuming we’re settling in for a long, spiritually challenging winter, comforting and fragrant food seems the thing to be cooking. You’ll find just that in Molly Stevens’s ALL ABOUT BRAISING: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking (Norton, $35). Stevens is a beautifully clear writer who likes to teach I wasn’t surprised to learn that she was once on the staff of La Varenne, Willan’s cooking school in Burgundy. Some of her tempting recipes are very easy (sweet braised whole scallions with lemon and tarragon), some more elaborate (salmon fillets braised in pinot noir with bacon and mushrooms). All are transformative…” — New York Times Sunday Book Review Food, Corby Kummer, December 5, 2004
“Every year we review dozens of good cookbooks to find the great ones. Here’s a preview of our picks for the next edition of F&W’s ‘Best of the Best.’… …Slow cooking may seem out of step with our fast-paced world, but it doesn’t have to be. Braising won’t produce dinner in 30 minutes, but once the ingredients are in the pot, as Molly Stevens points out, they require remarkably little attention from the cook. The recipes—both traditional braises, such as the delicious Short Ribs Braised in Porter Ale with Maple Rosemary Glaze, and unexpected ones, like Braised Whole Chicken with Bread Stuffing & Bacon promise superb home cooking.” —Food & Wine Magazine, The Very Best Cookbooks of 2004, Kate Heddings, December 2004
“The Best of 2004: Food Books Reviewed….Another meaty American book is All About Braising by Molly Stevens (Norton, £25): a surprisisng topic for a large monograph. Stevens ranges from creamy braised Brussels sprouts to Vietnamese braised scallops, but her concern is mainly carnivorous. Excellent on technicalities, she elucidates 150 examples of one-pot cooking…” — London Independent, Christopher Hirst, December 2004
“Molly Stevens has rescued the underappreciated cooking technique with a book that extols its homey, flavorful virtues.” — In Praise of Braising, Timothy Q. Cebula, Boston Globe Correspondent, November 10, 2004
“Molly Stevens, you have now joined Marcella Hazan and Mark Bittman in my nascent cookbook collection.” — Emily Weinstein, New York Times Diners Journal Blog, December 2008
“Stevens’ recipes range from the familiar (Yankee pot roast) to the exotic (squid roulades braised with white wine and tomatoes), and the strength of the book is that she approaches each recipe with the same calm, clear, straightforward voice of the teacher she was and – through her writing – still is.” — Vermont Sunday Magazine, Marialisa Calta, August 2, 2005
7) Wolfgang Puck Cooking Class
Follow the 4-hour online cooking class of Wolfgang Puck and learn how to master starters, mains, sides, cocktails, and how to create recipes of your own.
Wolfgang Puck became famous with his flagship restaurant, Spago, in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip, where he served the first-ever smoked salmon pizza because they ran out of bagels. Now he is a five-time James Beard Award-winning chef and wants to share his skills, stories, and secrets with you in his online cooking class on Masterclass.
You’ll learn how to make tuna sashimi, veal stock, and Demi-Glace, pepper steak with red wine sauce, farro salad, Béchamel sauce, seafood gazpacho, and so many more recipes. Check out his cooking class video trailer here.
Cooking Class - French-Style Poaching and Braising
Learn how to do two key cooking techniques the French way.
It’s time to elevate your home cooking style. In this class, you’ll learn the basics of two signature French cooking methods with Chef Anja, who went to cooking school in France and apprenticed at Michelin Star restaurants.
First, Chef Anja will teach you how to braise two different parts of a chicken in white wine. Then, you’ll get a second chance to try this unique method of preparation on vegetables, which locks in nutrition and enhances the flavor. At the end, you’ll learn how to poach making a classic French favorite, poached pear in wine, then dine on all the fruits of your labor.
Braised Chicken in White Wine
Tasted, feel and experience the difference of a chicken thigh vs. breast and how to prepare it quickly
Braised Winter Vegetables
Braising can also be enjoyed with squash, carrots, and other winter vegetables
Poached Pear in Wine
- Minimum Guests 4
- Maximum Guests 20
- Meal Courses 3
- Event Duration 3 hours
- Labels Couples, Date Night, French, Fun, Special Occasion
Cozymeal guest reviews for this experience
Wonderful experience and a lot of fun and laughs. Chef Anja was perfect for us, so much food and a true learning experience. She is a weath of information, professional and blended with every one of us who participated. We definitly want to have another cooking experience with her. if you want a great experience, select her as your choice of Chef, she will not disappoint. First thing you notice about her. her smile and passion for what she does. K R Dignity Health
Cozymeal guest reviews for other experiences with Chef Anja
Chef Anja flawlessly executed a pasta making team building class for 27 people (from Japan, Europe, China, Canada and the US!) and it truly was the perfect alternative to a regular sit down team dinner. The event ran seamlessly, the arrangements ahead of time couldn't have been easier (even with our ever changing headcount) and she was able to accommodate all food allergies. Highly, highly recommend Chef Anja!
Everything was awesome! Thank you again! :)
We did a team building event with Chef Anja and it was awesome! I think everyone was a little hesitant at first if we were actually going to have anything edible at the end of the night, but as soon as the timer started the entire team was so energized and everyone made amazing meals! It was such a fun experiences - I would definitely recommend this for a team event or just with a group of friends! Thanks, Anja!
Very energetic, expert in the kitchen!
Chef Anja did a fantastic job of hosting the Iron Chef event incorporating all aspects of Iron Chef. The entire group had a blast and are already planning on a rematch in the new year! Great for aspiring chefs and non-chefs alike.
The event was fun and a great team building event however I would hope for more time for the team to interact and get to know eachother as there is a lot of listening and then the timed challenge. A fairly big concern that the team had was that we all saw smoke coming from the crackling extension lead on top of the fridge. We initially booked the event for around 20 employees and I would not recommend that group size in that space. I was really impressed with the healthy food options available and the support in ensuring the best meals could be created. There is huge potential in this event however it was very expensive for the setting.
My coworkers and I had a great time--got to know one another better, enjoyed delicious and fresh food, and had a lot of fun in the process!
Chef Anja did a great job with our team building event. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. She was easy to work before the event as well. I would highly recommend Cozymeal and Chef Anja for your next team building event in San Francisco. We'll definitely be back.
We had an amazing and fun experience! Highly recommended!
Chef Anja and the Iron Chef competition was a fantastic team building event. It's fun and interactive and a great way to create some friendly competition. Chef Anja has the whole event planned to perfection and did a great job managing our large and somewhat rowdy group. Highly recommended!
My team loved participating in the iron chef. This is amazing
Anja was an absolute joy to learn from. She was very friendly and made cooking an absolute blast! She shared easy recipes with us for us to make at home, along with tips on ensuring our dishes are cooked to perfection. Definitely recommend Anja and her team for group events! Great team bonding activity!
Great class, our team loved it!
Our team building offsite was one of the best we have ever had. Super easy to book. Chef Anja is a great communicator with a lot of tips to prepare for your big day! Leading up to the event, she was very helpful and made my team feel confident that we would have a great time! Fast forward to the event and she totally delivered! Not only was the food incredible, Chef Anja was friendly, helpful, and an overall joy to be around. The team walked away smiling and continues to talk about it and recommend it to other teams in our office. I cannot recommend this enough!
Great team building event!
Great class! A little long on the bio/background story, but you're young so I get that you want to let people know that you're legit. Would be nice if your assistant helped by taking action photos throughout so people have good memories of the event. Glasses need names or markers - people misplaced their wine glasses a lot because of the active movement during the class, it would be good to know which glass was yours to come back to, especially at the end when your assistant moved all the glasses to one table to set the dinner table!
Amazing. The team loved her. Informative, helpful and fun.
Thanks so much for a great night! The team had a great time :)
This was an amazing team building experience! Chef Anja was very well prepared for the evening and has a fun playful approach which put everyone at ease. I loved the creative way she judged at the end, really catering to everyone on the team while giving proper credit to the winners. We had a group of 8 very competitive colleagues and the Iron chef format was great! lots of creative dishes and . All edible :) . The team had a ton of fun and I would highly recommend this as a team building event or even for a night out with friends.
We all had a great time with Chef Anja + Team. They were welcoming and set up a great environment for us to have a friendly cooking competition. We enjoyed the whole experience from beginning to end. :)
Chef Anja was amazing, personable and caring! She made sure that everybody in our class was engaged and involved in all aspects of making pasta! Our team had such a wonderful time and it was a great learning experience for all of us! I would definitely recommend doing this class and any other classes that she has! I can say with great certainty that we will be going back to her for other fun team building activities in the future. The best part about this was that we got to eat to our heart's content at the end! The food turned out super delicious and everything we could have hoped for. Thanks Anja!
Anja was a wonderful chef and teacher. Her personal story of her journey to becoming a chef was really inspiring. Our entire team loved the event!
Working with Chef Anja and her team was a pleasure and the team had so much fun. Great experience
Chef Anja was great and the team had a lot of fun during this activity. We made pasta from scratch and then had a lovely meal. Thank you, Anja!
Fun time! Fun atmosphere! Could have used a little AC. I feel for all the cooks in this world!
Anja was awesome. Super easy to work with. She made my team feel welcome and brought a ton of energy to our Iron Chef experience. I would highly recommend her.
Chef Anja was simply amazing. We had an a great event and I would certainly hire her again. Thank you!!
Chef Anja was welcoming and funny and put everyone at ease. The pasta we made was delicious and authentic, and I even learned a couple new tricks even though I've been making home-made pasta for years. Highly recommended as a team bonding event.
My team had a lot of fun with Anja. Her enthusiasm for cooking really came out during the lesson. The food was delicious! She was also very patient and helpful throughout the process, I can't wait to book another class with her again in the future!
My group of 11 colleagues had a really wonderful time together at Chef Anja's (team building) cooking class. Both she and her helper were awesome hosts, teachers, and the food was great! Highly recommend!
Such a great experience! My team moved the challenge and the awesome location to enjoy it. Thanks Anja and team!
The class was a lot of fun. It was very hands-on and reflected well the experience of making food in one's own kitchen, so that we all learned useful skills.
Awesome experience! thanks chef. I have also provided the feedback to Heather and shared our experience. Everyone on the team really enjoyed the class.
Chef Anja was personable and enthusiastic. She really helped create a fun atmosphere with her dynamic personality!
The experience was awesome and the team had a great time - I would highly recommend Chef Anja
As always, Chef Anja provided a wonderful experience.
Great team building event - we especially enjoyed being in the kitchen of a real restaurant. Chef Anja is fantastic and made the afternoon quite fun!
My group was looking for a last minute team building activity, and with 24 HOUR NOTICE, Chef Anja made an amazing group experience for me and my team. A Million Thanks to Chef Anja and Joanna :)
The cooking class with Anja was great fun! We did the pasta cooking class as a team event.
We had the most amazing Iron Chef experiences with Chef Anja for a few team building evenings. The food was delicious, she was fun and interactive, and all of our team members had a FABULOUS time.
Great food! Our team really liked Anja's energy. It took about 4 hours for the team to cook their meal, so next time we will start this class earlier :) Also, there was some pretty scary confusion on the wine I ordered. Next time I will call to confirm receipt since this was almost an deal breaker for our team.
We had a team building event and it was such a delightful experience. Chef Anja kept the event moving and fun. At the end we had a yummy meal, complete with dessert! It was so much fun for all of us. Thank you, Chef Anja!
The team can't stop talking about the event! They all had an amazing time and said that the food was divine!
We had a great time with Chef Anja, she created a wonderful atmosphere for learning and fun. We can't wait to try the recipes out at home, so tasty!! Thanks Anja. We will be back again.
We were very pleased with our instructor and assistant during the event. The entire flow of the event made the experience super exciting. The only improvement would be better facility.
Anja was great! Very friendly, extremely helpful and responsive. The team really enjoyed themselves.
I booked a crepe-making class with Chef Anja as a teambuilding event for work. It was the perfect activity for a group of 10 coworkers! Anja made the whole experience fun and engaging for the entire group, with a good mix of structured and more relaxed activities. We loved the elegant yet cozy suite where the class took place-- plenty of room for the group to mingle or spread out. I also really appreciated that Anja was able to accommodate the group's many dietary restrictions. I would definitely recommend this fun class and will probably book another one of Anja's classes for my friends!
Chef Anja was amazing. She was fun, bubbly, patience, and a great teach. My team and I have fun learning how to make an amazing meal together.
Anja is amazing! Our team had a wonderful time - highly recommend the Iron Chef, perfect team building experience!
We loved our cozymeal experience and Chef Anja!
The meal with Chef Anja was just as delicious as we had hoped and we really liked Chef Anja’s personality. We started with a cheese plate that was expertly put together with diverse and robust flavors. The slow roasted apricot-anise lamb shank was so tender and juicy. The meal had great colors and compositions as well as excellent flavors. We will certainly hire Chef Anja again!
We booked Chef Anja for a private 4-course dinner at the community room in my building with a few friends and current and former co-workers. The courses were all delicious, starting from the French onion soup and the refreshing salad to the main dish - which was a lamb shank to the very tasty dessert. The only feedback I have is that the French onion soup was a bit too spicy for me and I would have enjoyed it more if it had been less spicy. Overall, I can definitely recommend Chef Anja's catering services.
The courses seemed to never end at this delicious meal! I loved hearing Chef Anja's stories of her time in France that inspired this menu. Secret ingredients and twists to her recipes were a delight. Her charm and culinary talents impressed us all and I would enthusiastically recommend her to anyone looking for a lovely meal and an evening off of kitchen duty.
She was great and personable - a great group activity!
Anja is energetic and fun! We loved the pasta class
Great class - the recipes were very approachable, the food was delicious, and Anja was a great teacher and helpful in answering any questions during and after the class.
I decided to book Anja's Iron Chef competition for a team offsite and we had the best time! Anja took care of everything and just told us where to be and when. There she gave a quick intro to basic kitchen skills, and then divided us into teams to compete in our challenge. During the challenge she took photos, and provided guidance on how to cook things for the best flavor. The ingredients she picked up for our competition were delicious, and we all ended up eating a fun and amazing meal at the end. I would highly recommend this to any groups (large or small) looking for a fun activity to do together.
Our group had a wonderful time with Chef Anja. She is super energetic and very knowledgeable about all things related to food and cooking. She quickly got our quirky group engaged and everyone had a great time. The meal we made was delicious!
The team I sent had a really great time with Chef Anja. They said she was extremely nice and made the process really smooth!
Anja was great! We had her over for my husband's birthday (a surprise) and we cooked a delicious Paella dish together. She was friendly, fun, answered our questions and made the whole night awesome!
Chef Anja is such a sweetheart, and her bubbly personality, in combination with her culinary expertise made the class that much more fun. Her buckwheat flour batter recipe was amazing, and the ingredients for all of the crepes we made were delicious. I recommend doing a class with Chef Anja. We were a small group of low-key girls, but we had a blast!
Great class for team building event. Anja showed a lot of passion and enthusiasm for cooking. We had a lot of fun in learning how to make pasta. Will definitely recommend the class.
Chef Anja was great and helped coach us through our first team cooking experience. We all enjoyed ourselves and the food was really tasty.
Our team had SO much fun with Chef Anja. She’s super at what she does and really put together a very special event for us. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that much laughter at any agency event we’ve ever done before. We would 100% recommend both Chef Anja and Cozymeal to anybody!
Anja pulled together a fabulous event for us (an Iron Chef competition). While our team was a bit skeptical to begin with, everyone enjoyed themselves tremendously.
We booked this event as a team building exercise and had a great time! When Chef Anja revealed the "secret ingredient" we all looked a bit puzzled. but in the end we pulled off one of the most amazing meals I've had in a long time! Everyone was so impressed and proud of their achievements. The one thing that would have put this event over the top would have been a quick "lesson" at the beginning (perhaps the history of the secret ingredient in cooking). Thanks for a great time!
Anja met our expectations and then some! She is charming, kind and super friendly! My daughter and I learned so much from her and feel that the service she provided us with was excellent in every way! She went out of her way to make it special for us. I highly recommend her services. Go for it.
Excellent experience for my husband's 40th birthday. This was one of the most memorable elements of his trip. Chef Anja is very personable and knowledgeable. We are very appreciative of the culinary nuggets given during the class that we will likely use for a lifetime.
Chef Anja was wonderful!! She made the whole experience so much fun and not intimidating. We did "Iron Chef" and she picked out great ingredients as well as the secret ingredient and gave us lots of tips along the way. The dishes turned out great thanks to Anja's guidance. I can't wait to hire Anja for another event!
Chef Anja was great. We jumped right into and learned a lot, plus the food was amazing. It was a great group of strangers who become fast friends by the end of evening.
Great energy! Love that she had a camera to take pictures. Food came out great and loved the kitchen as well.
My sister and I had so much fun learning how to cook pasta with Anja! She is extremely welcoming and an excellent teacher. I would definitely take one of her classes again!
Although we had a few scheduling hiccups and location changes, when we did have the class Chef Anja made it informative and fun. This is a great service. I'll certainly be doing it again.
Anja was wonderful! A talented chef and an amazing, generous, vivacious person. She was so gracious and helpful with our family, worked to find a perfect fit in the menu, and a lot fun to be with. She was a masterful chef and our meal was delicious and special.
We had so much fun cooking with chef Anja. She's great at breaking down the things your parents never taught you in the kitchen (. I won't reveal my favorite tips. Anja will have to tell you!). The food was just a delicious as her instruction. Looking forward to watching her chef star rise.
Anja was a great chef to work with - she was interactive, cheerful and seemed at ease with the group!
Anja is such a joy to work with! She made the night relaxing and fun. We look forward to making her recipes at home!
Anja was fantastic- she's great at (and clearly loves) her job as a chef, and she is also an engaging and fantastic instructor.
We had a fantastic time and the food was delicious - thank you Heather for working with me on the event and Anja for being such a fabulous chef and "host". I was most impressed with your ability to ensure we had entertainment with the parade! -)
We had a blast - Chef Anja was fun, engaging, and taught us a ton about using different knives to create delicious food!
My boyfriend and I visited San Fran from Toronto and I wanted to surprise him with a cooking class. From then moment Anja and I began messaging on CozyMeal, I knew this would be an experience to remember! Being in an authentic kitchen really added to the experience. We had an amazing group of people from the Bay Area to enjoy the experience with, and have some great conversation. It was a really interactive experience. It's a bit pricey, especially with the exchange rate, but I think Chef Anja's knowledge and personality are well worth it. We also used some pricier ingredients (crab saffron). It was great to be able to bring our own wine to the venue. I do wish it was a little more "step by step" (half of us worked on the app, the others on the dessert), so I do feel like I missed out a bit on the full experience. I do understand that there's a time restraint though. All in all, a fabulous experience. Definitely going to try my hand at risotto! Thanks again Anja!
Anja is a very talented chef and instructor. We took the knife skills 101 class for my husband's birthday, and he loved it. The class was highly interactive, funny, and the food delicious!
Anja is an incredibly knowledgeable chef, a patient teacher, and her bubbly personality made the 3 hour class fly by. I will be recommending Anja and Cozymeals to everyone I know.
Amazing! I recommend her to everyone!
It was an awesome experience. Chef Anja was amazing--very personable, knowledgable and used our time to the fullest. The meal was amazing (even considering we prepared it). We had an eclectic group of people which made it even more interesting. Good conversation and new friendships made. I'd like to see more complete recipes (there were some things not on the recipes--when to add in the coconut oil to the tarte crust and minor things, but with Anja's guidance we all figured it out. Maybe some of that is more intuitive to real cooks, but I follow a recipe like a hawk. Overall, we had an AMAZING experience and I would highly recommend this to others. In fact, I'd like to go back again and learn more! The food was ample (I woke up still full!) A great San Francisco experience. Thanks,Chef Anja, for your time, patience and enthusiasm!! You're the bomb!
Anja was great thanks! Niam came in and sort of ruined the class.
Anja's class was the highlight of our year so far! She made the experience fun and social while very educational as well. The kitchen space was beautiful and big with plenty of space for the group. Her love for cooking definitely came through and I will definitely be booking another class with her again!
Anja was great! It was a amazing experience. We loved being in a professional kitchen :)
We absolutely loved our class with Chef Anja! The class was a lot of fun and the food was healthful and delicious. Anja's energetic and fun personality really made the class, and her attention to the specific dietary needs/preferences in our group, plus her focus on healthy cooking, set this cooking class apart from others we've taken. We hope to take another class with Anja soon!
Anja came over to our place for a Knife Skills class and taught us so much! We learned how to chop, slice and dice like pros (or soon-to-be pros), and made two kinds of soup, a butternut squash and French onion. She struck a great balance between being very knowledgeable but also relaxed in her approach. We were very impressed at how she was instantly at ease in our kitchen, it made us feel at home as well (because we were!). Now we're even thinking about doing a cooking class for our family and friends at our wedding rehearsal dinner in September. Thanks, Anja!!
Anja was a gem! This class was a blast. The food we created was delicious and Chef Anja was super helpful and accommodating of everyone's dietary restrictions and cooking abilities. I can't wait to do another class with her in the future.
We absolutely loved the entire experience! We could not have asked for a better chef. Not only was Anja super sweet, but she was FULL of interesting tips (not just about eggs) and made us feel like we could conquer the kitchen. Ottimista was perfect for our size group (5 people) and it was really fun to work in a commercial kitchen. especially a kitchen of a restaurant that I normally visit. Super clean and authentic. Lastly, we were a little worried that our egg class might be too simple, but it turned out to be just right. We had a gluten allergy in our group, and Anja brought tons of fresh, delicious additions to add spice and flavor to the most basic, important dish that you can make. Everyone had a great time! 5 STARS FOR SURE!
Anja has an excellent teaching manner, is warm, considerate, and made class fun! Unfortunately I cannot give this class a review based on just Anja. First the student to teacher ratio was much too high considering what we paid for. 23 of us to Anja. Anja was very busy running around and trying to give everyone a great experience but we would have appreciated more attention with a smaller class. Her assistant was on her phone a majority of the time instead of going from group to group and assisting. I was annoyed when the assistant asked Anja to stop helping everyone for a selfie- it was like the assistant didn't see how hard Anja was working. Ingredients were not prepped ahead of time. It was somewhat tolerable (but not great) that we shared 4 cooking surfaces in groups of 6, but there was not enough utensils, bowls, and other kitchen tools for everyone to truly have a hands on experience. We had to all dig around a strange kitchen together and Scrounge for tools. It's like there was not enough preparation. Also while I appreciate the intimacy of cooking in someone's home, it was absolutely too crowded to fit 23 people in for a cooking class. I suggest for further classes to be capped to 10 or 12 if it is done in a home. Or get a bigger space. Or have a much better, fun, interactive assistant. Or have many more kitchen supplies. We just felt bad for Anja running around trying to do so much, and also disappointed with how we felt lost in the shuffle. Her personality is what made us stay engaged in the class and not leave early. I had purchased the class as a gift to do with friends and ended up feeling somewhat embarrassed by the experience. I hope this is taken as constructive feedback and I know Anja can do better. She is a talented teacher.
My wife and I had a good time and we would probably do it again. But there are a few things we would ensure before reserving another class. There were about 20 people registered for the class which isn't a bad thing except the kitchen space was extremely small. This was Chef Anja's first time using this space and she was unfamiliar with this space. We couldn't find the spatulas until 3/4 of the class time had passed which makes it interesting when trying to flip crepes. I would ensure there was sufficient space so you didn't have to have groups preparing food in the living room with others preparing food in the kitchen. I would also want the group limited to 10 max because if you are going to learn, it's pretty tough to get one on one coaching when there are 20 other people wanting the same attention within the 2-3 hour class.
Chef Anja was very responsive and helpful, even with a large class. She showed attention to each person and a joyful attitude, and helped make the crepe making experience a very enjoyable one.
My team and I attended a cooking class as a team building exercise. Chef Anja ran a really well-organized and fun class. The recipes were easy and accessible and she provided enough instructions to make sure our food turned out deliciously. For the class alone, I would award 5 stars. I've subtracted one star because of some of the difficulties I had booking this class. I originally booked another French class and was contacted by Cozymeal because a bug in their software had allowed me to book a class that was not available. Cozymeal's customer service did try to help me locate another French cooking class at a workable time, but they didn't note that we were looking for a class that would be hosted at the chef's location. Luckily, Chef Anja found a location where she can host classes at the last minute! Despite the back and forth booking the class, we had a wonderful time and I would recommend trying this as a team-building activity.
Anja is friendly, knowledgable and kind. She provided a fun environment for us to learn and cook. It was a fun experience and most likely will attend her other classes.
She was extremely friendly, very knowledgeable and fun. She paid attention to all the individuals and made it all a great experience.
My team and I had a great time!
Chef Anja was great. Friendly, passionate and the food was delicious. All around a good time.
We booked Chef Anja's French Crepes and dessert cooking class and had a blast. Anja is very knowledgable, fun, and sweet. The crepes were delicious and we are now excited about our next class with her.
Chef Anja is a natural teacher and kept our large group busy the whole time. Our group had a lot of fun and left feeling confident in our new skills!
"We had Anja come over and do a cooking class for our company employees and significant others. She helped craft an amazing menu, wine pairings and tasty treats. Everything went off without a hitch and people couldn't stop raving about how much they enjoyed her instruction. While the food was great, it was her personality and pleasant spirit that really made this an awesome experience. Couldn't recommend her more highly."
We had Chef Anja come over to our apartment for a private pasta making class. We had a blast while learning how to prepare a delicious Italian meal. She taught us tips and techniques, leaving us with skills to recreate the dishes on our own. Would recommend everyone to take one of her classes!
I had chef Anja's combo cooking class where we made French crepes, gnocchi, as well as a soup and really liked it. She is very knowledgable and super nice. We learnt a lot and the resulting dishes were DELICIOUS!
Chef Anja was incredible. From start to finish made the experience absolutely perfect. Fun recipes, very knowledgable, and a very great time. Highly recommend!
I had such a blast with Chef Anja! I learned so much from her in such a short amount of time. Her crepes were absolutely delicious AND healthy. I look forward to booking my next class with Chef Anja!
Other Cooking Class Experiences you may like
Chef Anja has been cooking since she was just thirteen years old, fueling a passion which blossomed into a career that took her from her hometown of Tahoe City to learning to be a professional chef in France. While there, she went to cooking school in Montpellier and apprenticed at Michelin Star restaurants in Lyon. Since then, she has launched a successful personal catering business, cooking dynamic dishes from a French-Californian perspective with a healthy, flavorful emphasis in mind.
Chef Wynton Mann will guide you through a complete cooking basics– you’ll learn essential culinary techniques through classic cooking methods and gourmet recipes! We’ll cover all the bases of the kitchen as we master everything from professional knife skills to gourmet presentations. Learn the basics of cooking in this complete hands-on course. This series will provide clear and concise recipes for everyday cooking. The class focuses on simple techniques for easily cooking meals. Learn how to roast, pan-sear, stir-fry, make soups and simple sauces, bake from scratch. Learn to prepare wonderful meals.
Regardless of your current cooking level, this series will instill more confidence, techniques and inspiration in the kitchen.
- Knife Skills & Vegetable Prep: Learn to take control of your chef’s knife: slicing, dicing and improving your prep skills, and understand which kitchen tools are really essential for the home cook. Learn how to cut up a whole chicken.
- Stocks, Soups & Sauces: Learn how homemade stock makes everything in the kitchen taste better and etch to memory the method for making flawless soups. Clear, broth-based, puree, and cream soups consomme chowders bisque cold soups soup garnishing soup service. Learn to create classic Sauces, modern sauces, and homemade condiments and use them in professional-style plating.
- Pasta: Learn how to cook and sauce perfect pasta with some of our house favorites.
- Saute: Sauteing is an essential cooking method and properly sauteed proteins can be the base for a simple but bold pan sauce once you know a few key tricks. You’ll try several variations.
- Braising & Poaching: What is braising? It’s a wonderful way of slow cooking a delicious entrée to maximize its tenderness and flavor. What is poaching? A low-heat cooking method for meat and fish that will guarantee it stays moist and juicy. Menu: poached salmon court bouillon, braised chicken fricassee, plus poached pears in amaretto and sides to go with it.
- Savory Dough: Learn to make the perfect crust, flaky and tender, puff pastry and traditional pizza dough. Menu includes Gouda cheese empanadas, classic chicken pot pie, the ultimate pizza crust plus apple turnovers.
- Pan & Deep Frying: Equipment and fats for deep-frying breading and battering foods frying procedures Menu: Chipotle Fried Chicken, Korean Fried Chicken, Caribbean fried chicken with mango slaw, plus plenty of sides to round out the feasts.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE ARE NO SUBSTITUTIONS, MAKE-UP DAYS OR CREDIT FOR MISSED CLASSES! IF YOU MUST MISS A CLASS IN THE SERIES YOU CAN SEND SOMEONE IN YOUR
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