At Cookology, students learn by doing.
Do your spring rolls taste of winter? Is your pineapple upside down cake right side up? Are your casseroles more popular with your pets than your family?
Perhaps it’s time for a quick visit to a cooking school. There are quite a number of them, including a new one named Cookology in Sterling. It’s a place for those who want to learn how to cook, or improve their culinary skills. Owner Maria Kopsidas started the school 18 months ago after spending four years prepping her business plan. Kopsidas had carved a nice career in marketing and sales, but always knew food was her calling: She’s got an Italian mother and a Greek father. “My family was really into cooking—we had two kitchens in every house,” she quips.
Cookology offers a huge number of classes, including a five-week culinary skills boot camp, a French cooking workshop, a baking boot camp, fondant workshop and numerous date night classes (Asian American Fusion, for example). There are seasonal courses on soups, chowders and bisques as well as on homemade jams and jellies. There is an Asian series and an Italian series, and Kopsidas says one of her most popular classes is on homemade pasta—how to choose the best flour, how to roll out the dough, and how to cut the noodles. “We show you exactly how to do things—step by step,” says Kopsidas of the school’s general philosophy. “It’s learning by doing.” She has two full-time chefs on staff and brings in guest chefs as needed.
With the holidays in mind, Cookology offers a three-week complete Thanksgiving meal workshop, in which Chef Brad Spates will show students how to make traditional dishes with a contemporary twist. The first Thanksgiving workshop class is devoted to sides (one dish that students will make is Ginger Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole); the second is “the bird” (students practice with Cornish game hens and make Chestnut and Cranberry Stuffing); and the third class is breads and desserts (Apple Cinamon Cake with Pecan Butter Sauce is one of the selections). The idea, says Kopsidas, is “to make the classes as fun as possible, not intimidating. In the end, cooking is very simple.” And the eating? Divine!