Knowledge Base > Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Eric Wynkoop in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to co… Read More.



What's your approach to teaching a hands-on cooking class for about 10 people? I'm looking for logistics. Do you give everyone a recipe and let them go or do you incorporate demos/teaching?

— Betty Hayes


I like this question. Uh, I used to do this every day, and I miss it, so I'm glad you asked this question, Betty. Um, so yeah, think about, um, what your objective is. All right? And, uh, so in a, uh, in an educational setting, if it's, well, let me, let me, let me back up here. Uh, when we talk about a cooking class for 10 people, this can mean different things, okay? It depends on your audience, depends on the occasion, okay? And depe, depends, depends on how much time you have, how much space you have. Um, there are, for example, hands-on cooking classes, um, that might take place on a Friday or Saturday night, um, for, uh, adults or couples, uh, who really just wanna, uh, sort of hang out and, and drink wine and socialize, and then enjoy some really good food. And that's where their emphasis is. And so, the, the hands-on, and the cooking lesson or educational component of that is secondary, okay? Um, and there are other settings where the goal is really to teach people some key learning outcomes. Uh, for example, uh, young people who are going off to college, okay? And, um, you know, you want to teach this, uh, this cohort, um, some key cooking, um, methods and techniques that will, uh, uh, form the cornerstone of their daily or weekly meal prep, you know, in their dorm or their apartment, or whatever the situation is once they move out, uh, of the house. And, and so think about that. And, um, uh, you know, the, the learning outcomes, I think is, is gonna be an important place to start. And, and if you have some key learning outcomes that you want to cover, then start out the class, um, with a demo. Um, so the student can see, uh, what is being emphasized, understand it, ask questions, uh, to, to clarify. Um, and then, uh, and then move on from that point into their own hands-on experience, or you can do the whole thing in front of 'em, let them taste it to, to understand that whole process, and then they go to their station, okay? To, to replicate that process themselves. Um, and once you get started, you circulate right through, uh, the kitchen to the different, um, uh, prep tables or, or teams, or, you know, however, you know, the pods, however you organize the kitchen. Uh, always giving pointers, uh, reinforcing what it is that you showed in your demo, or that you emphasized in your, your introduction. It could be food safety and sanitation. It could be the, uh, safe way to, to hold a knife as you develop your knife skills. You know, it could be the proper browning on a saute. Uh, it could be the proper heat of the oil for deep frying. Um, so there's gonna be these different aspects to, um, what it is that you're doing. Okay? And, um, so do you just give everyone a recipe and let 'em go for it? Well, you can have people working to visually, you know, in which case you need the space and the time to accommodate that, or you can have them work in pairs, okay? Uh, in which case, uh, uh, things go a little bit faster. Uh, you can also let, let's say you have a team of, uh, four or five, and you can just give, uh, you know, you have these different teams of four and five. You can give each of them a packet of recipes and have them figure out who wants to make what. Uh, and then each team, you know, would prepare that set of recipes. Um, those recipes can be identical, or they can be different like this. This team can work on appetizers. The, these two teams can work on main courses. And then this team over here can work on the sweet component or the desserts. Again, it depends on the purpose, okay? Of, uh, the, the gathering here. And, and the, what I just outlined was from my experiences in the past doing, uh, corporate team building exercises or, or cooking classes, um, where, um, the, the hands-on, you know, the educational outcome is secondary, and there are other things that are primary right to that event. Uh, but it's all done through the medium of food. Um, so I, you know, I hope some of those, uh, those different scenarios make sense for you, Betty, and that, uh, you resonate with, uh, something in there that I just shared. Um, if you've got other more specific questions, feel free to reach out, uh, at, and I'd be happy to continue this conversation with you.
Eric Wynkoop

Eric Wynkoop

Director of Culinary Instruction