The School of Natural Cookery

The School of Natural Cookery

Posted on 22. Sep, 2008 by Yvonne Smith in Blog, Travel

I just returned from an eight day trip to Boulder, CO where I attended The Main Course at the School of Natural Cookery.  The Main Course is an intensive experience where the students learn about cooking intuitively.  There are no recipes like you normally see in books.  Neither the students nor the instructors know exactly what the dishes will be until they are completed.

We had four days of lecture and demonstration by Chef Maia Cunningham and Chef Ben Adams, which involved lots of theory and eating.  We also had two half days of supervised hands-on cooking in the kitchen and an afternoon of knife skills training.  The last day started with meal composition theory and ended with a complete meal cooked by Chef Ben.

This course was exactly what I wanted in a cooking class and it really exceeded my expectations.  Even though the ingredients were vegan, I was the only actual vegan in the class of five.  I had the least amount of cooking experience out of everyone (we had several professionals chefs!), but I did have a head-start as far as basic familiarity with a lot of the ingredients.  I also already knew how delicious and healthy vegan food can be when it is prepared correctly.  It was really fun to see how surprised some of my fellow classmates were to see that you really don’t need eggs and milk to make amazing desserts and that you don’t even need tofu to make incredible cream sauces, custards, cakes, etc.

I am amazed at all I learned in a just a few days, both from my instructors and my fellow students.  I will be using the skills I have learned every time I’m in the kitchen.  I went to Whole Foods upon my return and was like a kid in a candy store.  I couldn’t wait to buy all the new vegetables, oils, spices, etc. that I learned about in school.

The School of Natural Cookery has future plans for online courses.  They will also come to you if you can get a decent sized group together.  If you’re looking for a lot of life-changing information in a short time, I highly recommend this course!

I made this too!

I made this!

I made this!

I made this too!

Some of my classmates and me

Some of my classmates and me

Chef Ben Adams and me

Chef Ben Adams and me

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6 Responses to “The School of Natural Cookery”

  1. Ed

    22. Sep, 2008

    This is awesome! I’ve never heard of this before, but it sounds really cool. I can’t believe you were the only vegan in the class. If they do that online course you were talking about, I’m totally doing it.

    By the way, would you happen to be going to the Thanksgiving for the Turkeys at Farm Sanctuary in NY? I think I’m going to go this year because I have wanted to go for a very long time, but always put it off. So this year I’m going.

  2. Yvonne Smith

    22. Sep, 2008

    Maybe this year! I really want to go. I’ll let you know.

  3. Mandy

    22. Sep, 2008

    Whoa, in my next life I want to go!!

    So, when are you having me over… you know… to cook for me?

    Your dishes look divine and I wanted to say that the cashew ricotta was really tasty and I’ll happily make it again!

  4. Kerrie

    05. Oct, 2008

    I am sooo jealous that you got to go! I keep hoping the culinary school I attended will offer some vegetarian classes in their continuing ed division.

    An online course sounds intriguing. I’m trying to picture how that would work, though, with something as hands-on as cooking!

  5. Maia

    11. Dec, 2009

    Hi Yvonne,
    I was digging around and found your beautiful site!! We are grateful for the lovely review. I thought I would let you know that we are up and running our course online. We will constantly be adding more classes but for now we have The Main Course part One. Part Two will be up next month.

    If anyone would llike more information, please email, call us at 303.444.8068 or go to our website

    As a gift, we will offer everyone who signs up for online class our knife skills DVD free.. They just have to mention you or your website.

    Hope you are well and Merry Christmas!


  6. Germaine Gordon

    09. Apr, 2011

    I attended the Spring 08 course and loooved it.

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