Sunday, April 20, 2014

Chef Eric and his Culinary Classroom: A Fun and Educational Alternative to Dining Out

Kelly Grace Thomas with Chef Eric Crowley

Chef Eric Crowley’s is a master of culinary creation, and for anyone looking to sharpen their kitchen skills, his “Beer and Food Cooking Class” is a great way to take cooking to the next level.  This seven course step-by-step instruction takes you on an exploration that moves quickly and enticingly from instruction, to application to enjoyment and appreciation.  You get to eat every yummy ounce that you cooked at the end of the lesson, and this food is on pare with any well-respected Los Angeles restaurant.  If not better.
Chef Eric gives budding chefs, or those just wanting to learn a few new tricks, a chance to really know the art and science of food pairing and preparation.  His personal, hands-on approach, gives students the confidence and skills they need to prepare seven divine courses, that will have guests begging for seconds.  The Culinary Classroom offers an adventurous alternative to dining out.  Customers can enjoy all the same decadence of deliciousness, for around the same price, only now they can recreate their favorite mashed potatoes, or know that secret ingredient to the sauce that makes even the pickiest eater want to lick their plate. 
Being a Los Angeles native, growing up Chef Eric was exposed to an eclectic amount of cuisine and cultures.  Chef Eric’s mother having worked as a gourmet chef most of her life, had a huge influence on Eric’s interest in cooking.  After pursing a career in music at 27, Chef Eric really dove into the kitchen.  He started to explore his mother’s hand-written cookbook, and with a little season, a little spice, he was hooked.  With the decision to pursue cooking full time, Chef Eric was accepted into the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.  After completing rigorous training and graduating with honors, Chef Eric worked with work with Chef José Munisa at ViaVeneto, Barcelona’s longest-running 5-star restaurant, as well as with Chef Joseph Russwürm at Munich’s Hotel Kempinski, another 5-star establishment.
Soon Chef Eric returned to the United States accepted position at Patina Catering.  Here Chef Eric juggled a variety of catering events with high-profile cooking demonstrations.  During this time Chef Eric thought it was time to add another layer to his craft, he began teaching professional chef programs at Los Angeles’ first private culinary school, The Epicurean School of Culinary Arts, which has since closed. 
In 2003, it was a natural next step for Chef Eric to open up his very own cooking school.  The Culinary Classroom is a place where anyone and everyone comes to learn, eat and be merry.  Many of Chef Eric’s students are professionals who are looking to challenge themselves and and increase their culinary skills.  Others are recreational learners who want the intimacy of one on one instruction and behind the scenes knowledge that Chef Eric offers to students and patrons.  The Culinary Classroom even offer a cooking class for children.  Their classroom calendar is constantly updated due to adjust to the needs of cliental and to reflect the diverse gastronomic trends.
Edible Skinny is never one to give away any recipe secrets, but we can tell you that we learned more in one night, than years in the kitchen pouring over technical cookbooks and outdated recipe cards.  The best thing about the Culinary Classroom is that the class is built to fit you needs.  The instruction stops and starts when you want it to.  You move at your own pace, with extensive and adaptive instruction.  Studies have shown that people learn by doing, the hands-on learning aspects of this class cements skills you will use for years to come.  And if perhaps you make a mistake, Chef Eric is standing by with a bag of delicious tricks to make sure your dish is as deliciously divine as possible, from first ingredients to last bites. 
For Edible Skinny choosing a class was difficult, the Culinary Classroom offers so many amazing courses.  But Edible Skinny thought that the “Beer and Food Pairing Cooking Class” would offer a modern twist on some old favorites.  It was seven courses of heaven.  Some standouts included shrimp with a vanilla- saffron sauce, white cheddar cheese mashed fingerling potatoes and ancho devil’s food cupcakes.  We are drooling just thinking about it. 
While, Edible Skinny cannot give you the recipes, we can give a sneak peek into what this amazing menu looks like.  We can tell you every dish was delectable and decadent in its own diverse way.  Especially the mashed potatoes, we will be dreaming of those mashed potatoes for years.  Below is the “Beer and Food Pairing Cooking Class” Sample Menu. 
1.     Garlic-Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Vanilla-Saffron Sauce
2.     Pan-seared Chicken Cutlers with Jalapeno Garlic Sauce
3.     Scallion-Cilantro Barley Pilaf with Chervil
4.     Beer-Braised Pork Loin with Shallots, Garlic, Onions, Sage and Thyme
5.     White Cheddar Cheese Mashed Fingerling Potatoes
6.     Oven-Roasted Broccoli with Olive Oil, Sundried Tomatoes and Garlic
7.     Ancho Chile Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting 
The Culinary Classroom is designed to fill the personal needs of any audience or palette.  Chef Eric and his Culinary Schools are a fun and fascinating way to make life more delicious.  For more information about classes and their new culinary calendar please visit or call 310-470-2640. 

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