by Andrea Verdin
Have you ever gone into a fantastic Mexican cuisine or Southwestern style restaurant and thought to yourself, “I’d love to make this meal for myself every day”? Foodies who love to cook might rush into their home kitchens and immediately try to replicate the dish, perfecting the meal to their own preferences. If you are interested in a complete week or weekend of learning how to make delectable meals from a renowned expert, then you may want to head to Corrales, New Mexico to the Jane Butel cooking school, housed in the beautiful kitchen of renowned teacher Jane Butel.
In 1983, Butel began her first weeklong, full participation class in a leased Bed and Breakfast Inn in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Now, 32 successful years later, Butel is teaching these highly rated classes in her kitchen.
Each class is full hands-on participation and is preceded by a review of the history of the major ingredients as well as hints and tips for success with the recipes as well as “important to know” culinary techniques such as knife selection and use, sauce making, tips for baking, meat cookery and more.
Butel makes it clear that local ingredients are what inspire her cooking. There aren’t any inaccessible products used with this cooking school. The ingredients are all clearly explained by Butel, who prides herself on her clear, easy to follow instruction.
“I like to mix in a lot of fun with knife techniques, and learning which type of flour is appropriate for what recipes for cookies, cakes and bread,” said Butel.
Unlike some cooking demonstration courses, the Jane Butel cooking school offers full participation in her beautiful professional kitchen, so there’s no guesswork. Because of the casual atmosphere and environment offered by Butel, this is an ideal place to learn with your best friends, spouse on an anniversary, coworkers on a business retreat, or even your ladies whilst on a bachelorette getaway.
However, don’t think that you’ll be lounging about while food is prepared; you’ll be doing some intense and delicious meals. For example, on one weekend, guests can be prepared to make such items as corn tortillas, wheat tortillas, red chile beef enchiladas (rolled and Santa Fe style), green chile chicken enchiladas, baja shrimp tacos with nine day cole slaw, spicy fried chicken strips with creamy salsa verde, and sopaipillas.
This is definitely not a course for those trying to watch their waistlines, but definitely an exciting way to learn a completely new style and technique for cooking. However, this should not scare away anyone who has never cooked before, and has always wanted to learn the culinary art.
At the Jane Butel cooking school, it is not uncommon to have experts fly in to learn from Butel. She loves having both well versed chefs and home cooks in her home, but for her, there is little better than having a student discover the joy of cooking.
“I had a man come in and he didn’t even know how to use his knife because his wife had been the one to do all of the cooking at home,” explained Butel. “By the end of his trip, he was asking other people if he could help them with their chopping. He picked me up and told me it had been the best week of his life.I love seeing the light of new learning in my students.”
Upcoming weekend courses will be offered on May 15-17, 2015, July 17-19, 2015, September 18-20, 2015, October 10-12, 2015, and November 14-16, 2015. A weeklong course will be offered August 16-21, 2015.
Class size is limited and early reservations are recommended. For more information on cost, recipes, menus and classes offered by the Jane Butel Cooking School, shoot her over an email, call 505.243.2622 or go to her website.