Cooking Lessons - in your own home!

Private lessons, for individuals or small groups.

When you learn to cook in your own home, Chef JoAnna will show you how to coax the best results from your own home equipment and appliances. Since lessons are taught in your own home. you can feel comfortable knowing you'll be able to reproduce the same fantastic results later on. Because Chef JoAnna's career as a personal chef puts her in a new kitchen every week, she can share her experiences and show you how to work around the obstacles of producing restaurant-quality food in a residential kitchen.

Chef JoAnna has a friendly, informal teaching style that puts you at ease.

"There's no limit to what the class you choose covers, so whatever you'd like to learn, I'm happy to teach you!"

Who decides what recipes are made, and what's on the lesson plan?

You do! You choose what you learn how to make, and pick a class time for when it fits best into your schedule. There's no waiting around for "vegetarian week" or "pastry week". Need to learn how to cook Gluten-Free? Vegan? Allergic to shellfish? You're safe in your own kitchen. We won't cook what you can't eat!

Classes are as basic or as sophisticated as you choose. Most importantly, you learn tips on how to do all those little touches that make a big difference in flavor, texture and presentation. Lessons usually follow one of these formats, but there's no limit to what the class can be.

  1. Basics - Take a class that covers basic techniques, such as knife skills, how to make a simple pan-sauce, how to tell when something's "done" without being overdone... and other things that are useful for someone who's eager to cook and needs a strong foundation of skills to build upon. This is a great place to start when you're trying to eat less canned/boxed food, and gearing up for a healthier lifestyle.
  2. Intermediate - This level will teach you how to cook specific dishes. Chef JoAnna believes it's just as important to know how to make a delicious beef stew as how to make a spinach soufflé. This can cover a sophisticated specialty dish or how to cook a few everyday/weeknight meals. Want to copy a restaurant specialty that you've enjoyed? Trying to get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes? This format can be tailored to beginners, intermediate, or advanced-skill levels.
  3. Advanced - This lesson results in a meal that's ready to serve! I teach advanced skills, timing, plating & presentation. As an example, while the Crème Brûlée sets up, we can prepare side dishes. When the entrée is cooking, we'll prepare a salad, etc. This is best for a group lesson, team-building event, or girls-night event.

No matter which format you choose, all lessons cover:

  • Proper cooking techniques
  • Plating and presentation techniques
  • Planning, timing and service
  • Safety & sanitation instruction
  • Nutrition and health information

Of course, every participant will receive recipes for everything taught in class. If you make something spontaneously, Chef JoAnna will prepare a document and send it via e-mail after the lesson.

Why not go with one of those big, fancy cooking school outfits?

You don't have to be surrounded by stainless steel countertops and industrial-strength mixers to make delicious food!

  • You can pick your classmates, or choose to have no classmates at all and opt for an individual lesson.
  • Private, at-home instruction, at your own pace, is less intimidating than going to a "professional" training kitchen.
  • If you're not interested in earning a certificate or a diploma, there's no need to sit through a class that doesn't give you hands-on, specific training.
  • Chef JoAnna has no retail store affiliation, so you're not paying money to listen to a sales pitch for expensive kitchen equipment.

How long do cooking lessons last?

You should allow at least 3 hours for a hands-on lesson. Complicated recipes and/or techniques may take longer. Ask the chef for an estimate. Chef JoAnna will arrive 30 minutes early, and will stay until the clean up is complete.

What do private, in-home cooking lessons cost?

Costs vary depending on what you want to make and how many people will be attending the lesson. If you want to do multiple lessons, we can work something out.

Fees always include:

  • Chef's time, including the time spent shopping for groceries*
  • Private instruction, with hands-on lessons
  • Use of specialized tools such as a Crème Brûlée torch, pasta machine, mandoline or other equipment
  • Recipe booklets customized for your lesson, with a cooking terms glossary, and of course, clean up.

Note: Cost of groceries is not included in the class fee. Receipts will be presented for reimbursement on the date of the lesson.

Teambuilding Events

Group classes are available, too. For larger groups at your home or office, ask about "hands-on" classes, or demonstration classes, for up to 25 participants, depending on the space available. We don't even need a kitchen, a boardroom will do. knives, cutting boards, peelers, kitchen towels, aprons, etc. are available for rent upon request. More information can be found on the Teambuilding Events page.

Photos ©ChefJoAnna...Really!

Chef JoAnna says:

I remember being six years old, standing in my Aunt Maria's kitchen in Chicago. She always used fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh everything. I remember thinking, "I wish I could eat like this for the rest of my life." Read moreā¦