Monday, February 25, 2013

Ferneau Cooking Classes

February - Valentines Inspired - Heart Healthy Theme
Chef Donnie Ferneau and I were extremely pleased with our first cooking class.  We were prepared to host 10 - 15 people, and we had 15 attend.  I love the intimacy of a class of this size.  You get to know everyone in the class that way.  The idea came when I heard that Donnie had left Rocket Twenty One recently.  I remembered our last conversation about the closing of Kitchenco., where Donnie had instructed many cooking classes that I often attended.  He had said that someday he would love to host cooking classes again when a venue presented itself.
So a brand new apartment complex was built in March of 2012.  The amenities rival those of a swank resort with a spacious kitchen that shares its space with multiple flat screen TV's, modern decor, and an outdoor view of a luxury pool surrounded by a full kitchen, hot tub, fireplace, and several corners of nicely furnished, separated seating areas.  The large island bar at The Ridge at Chenal on Chenonceau is a massive enough slab of marble to hold all the ingredients needed to prep food, concoct adult beverages, and seat 4 - 8 people comfortably.  Behind the bar, additional exquisite bar tables and seats also situated our guests with ample space and great views of the cooking demonstration.
We enjoyed meeting couples who attended together, singles who attended alongside other singles, and several residents of The Ridge.
It was great to have present my fellow blogger friend Joel DiPippa of Southern Ash who apparently has mixology skills which he lent during the class.
As Joel took time to prepare the champagne cocktails for the class, Donnie continued with his presentation of the food he planned to prepare.
If you attend any of our classes, you'll have a good time.  You don't have to bring anything.  You can sit back, have some appetizers, watch as Chef Donnie prepares your meal all the while talking about the ingredients he uses as well as how you can find the same pantry staples to incorporate into your own cooking.

A special thanks to friend Kevin Shalin of The Mighty Rib for his article on the first Ferneau Cooking Class coordinated by myself and hosted by Chef Donnie Ferneau.  The management team at The Ridge at Chenal also played a huge role in helping our first class to be a great success in their beautiful kitchen.  We had a great time indulging in delicious bites while discussing ingredients for cooking.  Kevin was really impressed with what Donnie did with the cabbage.  That's what you'll find when you attend these classes.  Simple ingredients can be transformed to make some of the best dishes!
A big part of Ferneau Cooking Classes includes the discussion of healthy food and how to prepare them with the end result of a delicious meal.  Participants play a big role in asking questions along the way.  This particular meal began with a light salad with handmade dressing, strawberries, and the crunch of walnuts.
The final entree was served family style.  Attendees were able to walk around to ask questions of the chef, serve themselves as much food as desired, and to mingle with one another.  A dessert of baked apples and ice cream was also presented, but I think it was all eaten so quickly, I didn't get a picture!  Maybe next time I'll request dessert first!

If you're interested in attending upcoming Ferneau Cooking Classes, email  We hope to see you!  :)


  1. Way to go Thanh and Donnie I miss the classes too.


  2. Truly a great time. Thank you for organizing, Thanh. I've been to several cooking classes over the years and I gotta say...Donnie really does a fine job!

  3. Jay,

    Come see us sometime! Would love to have you! Thanks for showing me how to get it done! I miss Kitchenco.


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