I first learned of The Culinary School of the Rockies when my old work group was looking to book a fun team-building event. We ended up doing something else, but I held on to the brochure. Not only does CSR offer corporate classes, they also have home cook classes and professional culinary programs. I was so excited to know that we had a culinary school here in little old Boulder.
the front of the school
I enrolled in their 10-week pastry skills class – probably one of the best classes I’ve ever taken. It must be said that this blog owes a good deal to CSR for the quality of the pastries and sweets you see. Our class was fast-paced and chocked full of great information, techniques, recipes, and especially tips on high-elevation adjustments. Even though we worked at a frenetic pace from the moment we donned our aprons, Chef Shan made it a fun 5-hour class each week. Pastry skills gave me the confidence to tackle new recipes after the ten weeks were over. The fundamentals I had learned continue to carry my baking and candy-making to this day. My MIL is a baker too. Every time my in-laws visited, MIL and I would bake a recipe from my class notebook together. She loved it.
chef shan shows ribboning (l), artisan chocolates (r), professional pastry students (b)
So when my ILs came to visit last year, we all signed up for a class at CSR: knife skills. Hey, it was one of the few classes Jeremy agreed to take because he thought it might help speed up his sous chef skills. That was my first time in the home cook kitchen because the pastry skills course was always held in the professional kitchen and classroom. All of the instructors at CSR are knowledgeable, amiable, and really fun, but my knife skills instructor created quite the hubbub in the comments when I posted about the class. No doubt.
meet chef michael – he’s got a terrific personality
If you ever have a look at the CSR home cook calendar, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose just one class that you might want to take. Cupcakes, sushi, Thai, barbecue, gluten-free baking, tapas, breads, pizza, fish, cheesemaking, and the list goes on. They have week-long vacation courses as well as two-day weekend classes, full day, half day, and two-hour classes. But CSR caters to more than just the home cook. In fact, their pride and joy would have to be the graduates from their professional programs: Culinary Arts, Chef Track, and Pastry Arts. CSR invites people to sign up to observe a professional class so you can see if this might be the program for you. I sat in on a Pastry Arts class the day they covered chocolate tempering and dessert wine pairing. It’s hard work, but it’s fun hard work. What could be better?
chief operating officer karen barela in her office
**Jump for more butter**