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Practice your knife skills in an upcoming cooking class:
“Knife Lessons: Chop, Chop” on April 13 at 6 pm
“Prep School” on June 2 at 6 pm
St. Louis Magazine interviewed Anne Cori for tips on using kitchen knives:
  • Secure your cutting board. We have gripper mats to put underneath, or you can use a wet towel. You want a stable cutting board.
  • Personally, I like a 10-inch chef’s knife. A large knife is a more stable knife. You use a rocking motion, so your fingers are not in danger, and you’re not chopping again and again, releasing the juices and crying over the onions.
  • People hold a chef’s knife the wrong way. They point their index finger on top or hold the knife back at the handle. But the balance of the knife is at the bolster, between the handle and the blade. Let your thumb and forefinger come forward onto the top of the blade and feel the difference.
  • If you use a slicing knife, hold the handle, because the blade is narrower, and do not using a rocking motion.
  • With round vegetables, first cut a flat surface. To chop an onion, slice off the stem (top) of the onion, but leave the root (the hairy end), because it holds the onion together. Now cut straight through the root, halving the onion, then peel it. The vertical cut gives you an edge to grab, so it’s easier to peel. Make several horizontal cuts, going to the root but not through the root so the onion is still held together. Then, with the tip of the knife, make vertical cuts. Now rock the knife, so it never lifts up from the cutting board. With the tip of the knife down on the board, I press down to cut, then slide the knife forward, still resting on the board, to secure the bottom cut. Then I lift the knife and pull back to make the next cut. Down, forward, up, back.
  • To cut bell or hot peppers, don’t cut them in half—then you have to scoop out the insides. Keep the stem on, slice down the sides, then throw away the middle by the stem. It’s much easier to cut the peppers into strips skin-side-down, then dice them with that rocking motion.
  • To cut turnips, rutabaga, or pineapple, it’s all the same technique. Cut off both ends to get flat surfaces, then cut off the skin all the way around.
  • Butternut squash has seeds, so I cut off both ends to get flat surfaces, then cut off the neck. I slice off the skin of the neck, then slice the skin off the bulbous part, cut it in half, and scoop out the seeds.
  • Watch your hands. When you’re slicing something horizontally—an onion, a turnip, even a bagel—palm the top to hold it stable. When you’re holding a vegetable and slicing vertically, curl your fingers, so the tips are in no danger.
  • Sharpen your knives. A sharp knife is a safe knife. Knives should be honed at least once a week. Honing just maintains an edge. If you’ve lost your edge, you can hone forever and not get it back. You need to get it sharpened. Kitchen Conservatory charges $3 a knife, 24-hour turnaround.
  • To hone, hold the sharpening steel [that long thick icepick thing that came with your knives] straight up, and slant your knife at a 20-degree angle against the sharpening steel. To find 20 degrees, start at a 90-degree angle, cut it in half, cut it in half again. Now, go back and forth slowly, alternating sides, maintaining that angle.

So many cookbooks are published each year and how do you find the right cookbook for your style of cooking? Or should you just use the free recipes that you find online? Is a food picture worth a thousand words? Learn the pluses and minuses of cookbooks from Anne Cori.

Wednesday, March 25 at 7-8 pm in the auditorium at the Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library, 225 N. Euclid.

Our Spring Cooking Class Calendar has some exciting, new cooking classes:

“Rustic Italian” (quail with roasted garlic-grape sauce on mascarpone-ricotta polenta) on April 1

“The Big Tang Theory” (tagliatelle with lemon-herb sauce) on April 10

“Sweet and Lowe” (sweet crab bisque with corn cream and cheddar croutons) on April 19

“Mediterranean Mystique” (garlic-lemon grilled shrimp with pistachio-feta sauce) on April 24

“South of the Border Grill Seekers” (smoked tomato gazpacho) on May 3

“Celebration of Mom” (pan-seared halibut with white wine and capers) on May 9

“Green Looks Good on You” (fried artichoke hearts with lemon aioli) on May 15

“A Bird in the Pan is Worth Four on the Plate” (roasted chicken with clementines and ouzo on bulgur pilaf) on May 15

“Open for Sea-son” (crispy softshell crab tartine with shaved radish on avocado salad and brioche) on May 18

“What’s in Your Pasta?” (arugula-onion confit tortellini in sun-dried tomato cream sauce on May 27

“The Duck Stops Here” (roasted duck in Thai red curry sauce on rice) on May 30

Register Now as our cooking classes sell out fast!

St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles has an interview with Anne Cori, president of Kitchen Conservatory, in their January issue on which cookware to use on which stove.

SLHL: If I am looking for new pots and pans, what are my options? (nonstick, cast iron, copper, etc.)

Anne: Since some electric cooktops require certain kinds of cookware, find out what pots you can safely use on your stove. Gas cooktops can use any cookware: aluminum; copper; stainless; cast iron; enameled cast iron; carbon steel, and nonstick.

SLHL: What are the advantages and disadvantages to each option?

Anne: The best cookware is made from an aluminum core clad in stainless. Aluminum conducts heat beautifully, and the stainless interior does not react to food and is super-easy to clean. Copper cooks great, but it is heavy and expensive. Cast iron is not expensive and it is easy to maintain, but it is very heavy. Every kitchen should have one good non-stick skillet for sticky foods. At Kitchen Conservatory, we use All-Clad stainless, Le Creuset enamel cast iron, Lodge cast iron and Swiss Diamond nonstick.

SLHL: Should I buy them as a set or individually?

Anne: Companies put together sets that sound great – 10-piece set! – but sets usually include pots that are never used. Buy pans in the size that you will use on a regular basis, and avoid wasting money on sets.

SLHL: What pieces would you recommend for the average weeknight family cook?

Anne: A 12-inch and 8-inch stainless or nonstick fry pan, a 4-quart and 2-quart stainless saucepan, and an 8-quart stainless or enamel cast-iron stock pot.

SLHL: What would the culinary connoisseur appreciate most?

Anne: Pans for special occasions: Asian carbon steel wok; Moroccan ceramic tagine; Spanish carbon steel paella; French enamel cast-iron Dutch oven; large aluminum roasting pan, and carbon steel crepe pan.

SLHL: Do you need to use a different type of cookware for gas cooktop, electric and induction?

Anne: Most definitely. Any pot can be used on a gas cooktop, but electric cooktops only heat where the pan is in direct contact with the surface. I recommend pots with flat spun-disk bottoms because they are less likely to warp. Cast iron cannot be used on glass tops. Induction cooktops require pans that are magnetic, such as cast iron or stainless. Aluminum pans will not heat on an induction stove.

SLHL: What is one item people don’t typically buy, but you find necessary to have?

Anne: I love my pressure cooker and use it several times each week. Dinner is ready in one-quarter the time.

SLHL: Can you give some cleaning tips to make your pots and pans last longer?

Anne: All quality pots can be cleaned, no matter how badly abused. Use a stainless scrubbie with a paste of stainless cleanser for cleaning stainless and aluminum pots. Enamel and copper cleansers are available. Cast iron and carbon steel pans are designed to be seasoned. Clean off any rust or particles, but don’t soap those pans – just re-oil and they are ready to use!

The right kitchen tool can make all the difference in the pleasure of cooking. Learn how to use these incredibly useful tools in these upcoming cooking classes:

Stovetop Smoker on January 14 in “What the Cluck”

Fondue Pot on January 18 in “The Tastemakers”

Sushi Mat on January 20 in “Wake Up, Little Sushi”

Pressure Cooker on January 28 in “So It Steams”

Cast Iron Cookware on February 2 in “For Frying Out Loud”

Carbon Steel Wok on February 4 in “Use Your Noodles”

Vita-Mix Blender on February 5 in “Haute Vegetarian Tasting Menu”

Register Now for a memorable cooking class!

Yes, we ship! Order online and we ship out the same day via UPS.

Orders must be received by noon Central Time on Wednesday, December 17 to arrive by December 24 by standard ground delivery.

Second-Day Air orders must be received by noon Central Time on Monday, December 22.

Next-Day Air orders must be received by noon Central Time on Tuesday, December 23.

Unsure what to buy? Then Gift Certificates are the perfect solution. Gift cards can be purchased online and printed immediately from your own computer. Be sure to create and log-in to an account so you can access your new gift certificate with its unique 16-digit number.

Start the holiday season with a glass of cheer and delectable goodies at our free open house this Sunday, November 23, from noon to 4 pm. Start your holiday shopping with our complimentary gift-wrapping with beautiful handmade bows.

Thanksgiving Day — the ultimate cooking holiday — is next week and we offer all the tools you need. Check your pantry and stock up on these Thanksgiving necessities:

  • Turkey Roaster
  • Turkey Lifter
  • Turkey Stock
  • Gravy Separator
  • Large Brining Bags
  • Cheesecloth
  • Turkey Lacers
  • Twine
  • Baster
  • Probe Thermometer
  • Carving Knife
  • Potato Ricer
  • Pie Dish
  • Pastry Blender
  • Bench Knife
  • Pastry Rollmat
  • Flour Duster
  • Pastry Brush
  • Cream Whipper

Conquer any fear of making a pie by signing up for our Thanksgiving pie class on Wednesday, November 26. Everyone will make-and-take an apple, pecan, and pumpkin pies.

The art of cuisine is in the making of sauces. A delicious sauce elevates a ho-hum dinner to a sublime feast. Our favorite sauce is tomato chutney, also known as ketchup when it is pureed until smooth. Originally created by Brenda Vanden Bos, this sweet-and-sour chutney with six ingredients is a staple in our refrigerators. Get the recipe here. As a bonus, the recipe includes Brenda’s roasted red bell pepper ketchup, another staff and customer favorite with only five ingredients and packed with so much flavor.

To see and taste Tomato Chutney, sign up for “Down By the Bayou” on November 22 or “A Wealth of Wellingtons” on December 17.

We’ve completed the countdown of our Top Thirty Recipes Celebrating the Thirtieth Anniversary of Kitchen Conservatory. What a delicious ride; all these recipes are wonderful. Since we host 800 cooking classes each year, we have hundreds of other irresistible recipes. Check back frequently as we post new recipes here.

What a great line-up of cuisines and chefs for our next cooking class schedule. We offer classes in American, Brazilian, Cajun, Caribbean, Chinese, Creole, English, French, Gluten-Free, Greek, Hawaiian, Indian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Low-Fat, Mediterranean, Mexican, Middle-Eastern, Moroccan, New Mexican, Paleo, Spanish, Thai, Vegan, Vegetarian, and Vietnamese. Surely we have the perfect menu for you among our 200 new cooking classes!

We are repeating some all-time favorite classes, including building your own gingerbread house with our extensive supply of candies in December. In February, we spend ten days celebrating Valentine’s Day, with a different luxurious menu each night. Couples are already signing up for their special night.

Exceptional chefs are returning to teach on this schedule, including Josh Allen, Jean-Pierre Auge, Bob Colosimo, Jay Dedkard, Pete Fagan, Helen Fletcher, Josh Galliano, Adam Gnau, Margi Kahn, Mickey Kitterman, Adam Lambay, Christopher Lee, Jon Lowe, Jack MacMurray, David Molina, Bernard Pilon, Naam Pruitt, Lou Rook, Vito Racanelli, Maria Sakellariou, and Kirk Warner. Join their fan clubs and become groupies, because every one of these creative chefs teaches memorable and delicious cooking classes.

And, yes, our newsletter is funny; who can resist these classes: “Does This Make My Halibut Look Big”, “Sake To Me With Sushi”, “Build-a-Barely Resistible Chocolate Dessert”, “Girls’ Night Out: Just Girls and Po’ Boys”, and so many more.

Register Now.

Are you a pie person or a cake person? The world is divided between the two kinds of desserts. For those who choose pie as birthday dessert, then this pie is for you! Flaky crust and luscious caramel apple filling combine to make a dreamy dessert. Kitchen Conservatory is proud to be the epicenter of pie-making: every year, on the day before Thanksgiving, we hand-make 72 pies for the feast, including hand-making the most incredible pie crust you have ever tasted. Sign up for this memorable cooking class and take home apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies for your family’s celebration.

The secrets of perfect pie are revealed here. Apple Pie is Number 2 on the countdown of the Top Thirty Recipes celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Kitchen Conservatory.

To make a perfect pie, you will need this equipment:

  • Pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour
  • Gravy separator for adding the ice water
  • Rollpat mat for rolling out the dough
  • Rolling pin to roll out the dough
  • Bench knife to turn the dough
  • Flour duster to sprinkle the flour
  • Pie plate for gorgeous presentation
  • Pastry brush to brush off any excess flour and to glaze the egg wash
  • Potato Starch Flour is the perfect fruit thickener