Archive for the ‘Cooking Classes’ Category

The Original Bootcamp For Food & Recipe Bloggers: Camp Blogaway.

March 14th, 2015 No comments


Adventure and Food -- Calico Ghost Town

Oh boy, I’m actually going to Camp Blogaway this year.  It’s already paid for.  No turning back now. It happens in Southern California so I have to attend at least once.  I’ll learn a few things I’m sure, enjoy the outdoors, and probably have a lot of fun, but it’s a bit uneasy setting out for it alone. Overall, adventure combined with food, and the topic of food prevails — I’m looking forward to it.

Photo from Calico Ghost Town, not Camp Blogaway this May — See what will be included there.

Everyday Thai Cooking By Katie Chin: Book Signing & Cooking Class.

April 21st, 2014 No comments

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Thanks to Katie Chin of The Sweet & Sour Chronicles — I’ve already made three dishes from her new cookbook, Everyday Thai Cooking.  We learned a lot at her recent cooking class.

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You can obtain her latest cookbook through Amazon or attend her next book signing and cooking class scheduled for May 8, 2014 at the Inspire Artistic Minds Culinary Center.

Paul Martin, Katie Chin 007

The IAM Culinary Center is located in Orange and is brought to you by 100Eats and Le Gourmet Kitchen.  More information about Katie Chin’s upcoming book signing and cooking class is linked here.  She’ll be making a few items from Everyday Thai Cooking, as pictured.

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We got to try her Chiang Mai Chicken in Lettuce Wraps with Lime Ginger Dipping Sauce, Pineapple Fried Rice, Panaeng Curry Meatballs and Coconut Cake with Mango Sauce.

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All were flavorful and relatively easy to make.

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After our class, I made the Pineapple Fried Rice, Shrimp Coconut Soup (last photo) and the Chiang Mai Chicken in Lettuce Wraps and all turned out fantastic — Thai food is so tasty.

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Also, thanks to Greg of the OC Beer Blog, who brought Beer to compliment the food.

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Though I don’t have the specifics, he did a great job — His Beer selections paired well with all.

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Katie’s Coconut Cake with Mango Sauce is on my “To Make List.”

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If this looks good to you, be sure to attend Katie’s next cooking class and book signing.  She’ll be making all shown here and signing more books.  Thanks Katie — We’re happily cooking.

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And thanks to the IAM Culinary Center too, for current and future food possibilities.

Who’s To See The Mess That’s Created Each Time, I Say.

October 21st, 2013 No comments

Funny Food 90

I hope Julia doesn’t mean if… something is dropped on the floor and/or not washed!?! 😉

PREP Kitchen Essentials: Antica Olive Oil & Vinegar And Cooking Classes.

November 5th, 2011 No comments

My lovely Mom in front of PREP Kitchen Essentials — A Cooking School and specialty store.

It’s located in the Shops at Rossmoor in Seal Beach.

Take a Cooking Class or taste the Antica Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars.

We fell hard for Antica’s 18 year aged Balsamic Vinegars — They are staggeringly tasty.

Took home a bottle of Antica’s Dark Aged Espresso Balsamic Vinegar and can’t stop drinking it.

And left with a bottle of the Ultra Robust Frantolo/Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  We’re ready to return for more Balsamic Vinegar, oh my.  Once upon a time I lived within walking distance from this store, before it was ever conceived.  Didn’t take a Cooking Class but you might want to!?

For The Love Of Food: Chef Sevaly Can’t Stop Cooking And Sharing.

February 26th, 2011 No comments

Our traveling Guest Blogger and Newport Beach Interior Designer, Bonnie provides her experience meeting Chef Sevaly and reports about his future after The Cooking Store…

What’s cooking at The Cooking Store? It was billed as a “Pre-Valentine’s Day Romantic Dinner,” but the meal served by uber-talented Executive Chef and Owner, Robert M. Sevaly, was actually enjoyed by us three girls, along with about 20 other cooking enthusiasts, for lunch on Sunday. On the menu was a delightful mixture of ingredients.

Mussel Bisque – According to mythology, the goddess of sensuality Aphrodite was born in the sea so it is no surprise that many kinds of seafood are considered natural aphrodisiacs. Mussels are a popular shellfish that for centuries have been considered an aphrodisiac. Now science can back up those claims as studies show that there are chemical compounds in mussels that release sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.

Caramelized Onion, Bacon and Brie Napoleon – The recipe for this sexy combination is noted below.

Napa Valley Flat Iron Steak

Shoestring Potatoes

Herbs de Provence Mashed Potatoes

Grilled Vegetables

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Molten Lava Cake and Flirtinis

It was quite an experience watching and listening to Chef Sevaly create this extravaganza! Everything was absolutely delicious, and at the end of the three-hour-long demonstration, we came away quite satiated.

If you have never been to The Cooking Store before, now is the time to go as it is closing at the end of April due to the Chef’s aversion to the retail environment. He still plans on in-home demonstrations and catering of private events. And while Chef Sevaly doesn’t know if another school is in his future, he is actively seeking investors, and you can bet that he will attract them, whatever his next adventure is.

Caramelized Onion, Bacon and Brie Napoleon Recipe

1 pack Wonton Skins (cut into 4’s)

1 wedge Brie (cut same size as wontons)

1 package Bacon (cooked in the oven and then cut to the same size as the wonton)

2-3 Onions (minced)

Oil for frying

2 tablespoons Brown Sugar

3 tablespoons Honey

Salt and Pepper

Fist measure out the ingredients and complete the knife prep in the above list of ingredients. Use the bacon fat to caramelize the onions nice and slow then add the sugars and set aside. Cook the wontons in a small amount of oil so they stay flat. Build the napoleons by layering a wonton, cheese, onion, bacon, onions, and wonton. Place into a 200 degree oven just to melt the cheese, then serve.

Thanks to Bonnie for the above report and photographs.  I hope to encounter Chef Sevaly someday.  We’ll later provide a contact for him.

The Blackmarket Bakery Wants You To Decorate Your Own Cake.

January 28th, 2011 2 comments

The Blackmarket Bakery is a true find — First you have to find it, and then you’ll discover that the somewhat hidden treasure offers high quality, unique baked goods.  It’s quirky and stylish like its CIA-trained Pastry Chef Rachel Marie and my kind of place.  It can be found off Sky Park Circle, near John Wayne Airport for those passing through.

Although the colorful store front is small, it packs in a variety of fresh baked (and baking) goods and other cool items.  I love the tie dye chef’s jackets too.

In addition to the weekly baked treats, they offer Cooking Classes – Here’s the current schedule.  Recipes, baking tips and generous samples are included with all.

As you can see, Blackmarket Bakery has won a lot of awards.

I was recently invited there to decorate CAKES with other local, fabulous food bloggers.

The Cakes were frosted by Chef Rachel in the flavor of our choice and bloggers were paired to create their own masterpiece.  The Cakes were then split in half for each to take home.

As you can see, pre-frosted it’s no ordinary Cake — They’re delicious and we got to decorate and take ’em home.  How fabulous!  And YOU now get to do the same for a birthday, event or any day.  Order a simple two or three tiered Cake with the flavors of your choice.  You pick the Cake, filling and frosting, then take it home to decorate it however you please. 

Most of us here opted for the Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

The professionals added our chosen Cake borders and we decorated the rest.

It was a pleasure to meet other talented food bloggers at this event — Joseline of Daydreamer Desserts, Kimberlin of Rustic Garden Bistro, Quyen of Kitchen Runway, Priscilla of She’s Cookin’ and Anne of Orange Coast Magazine.  My Cake decorating partner was Todd, who will need to provide his link info — I think our Cake turned out pretty good.

This post provides a few ideas for this DIY concept — It’s fun dressing a naked Cake.

We could run amok with the options, but ultimately learned that simple is often best.

You really don’t need much to make them look good.

The above is our final CAKE, by Team Todd and Shelly.  It turned out better than expected.  Chocolate curls and sugar flowers go a long way — Hooray.

Every Cake looked great and it was the first time decorating for most.

What fun!  Thank you Blackmarket Bakery and Chef Rachel.

Tonnino Tuna Chef Challenge: Submit A Video Now Until October.

September 2nd, 2010 No comments

It’s time to submit a video to become the next Chef Ambassador in The Tonnino Tuna Chef Challange.  Tonnino, known for its high quality, hand filleted/packed Tuna is looking for the Next Tonnino Chef.  In addition to the title, the PRIZE is $5,000 towards the advancement of culinary education and a one-year supply of Tonnino Tuna.  I created an amazing recipe and now workin’ on a video (yikes) for a chance to win dinero towards future dinner-O’s.  I hope to fund my varied culinary education through classes, books, events, and all things food related to report on Nibbles of Tidbits — And I’d surely come up with a lot more Tuna recipes.

* The above photo doesn’t do the flavor of our entry/recipe justice — We’ll post more about [it] once our video is submitted.  Good luck all!

Chefz Table: Easy To Arrange Cooking Classes In Your Own Home.

June 14th, 2010 No comments

We’ve attended and reported about many Cooking Classes in Orange County, but no matter where you live (including the OC), you can easily arrange to have a Professional Chef teach cooking in your own home.  Chefz Table makes it happen.  To learn about the Professional Chefs near you, just go to their website and enter your zip code.  After that, select the Course you’d like to learn… A Taste of Italy, French Bistro, Indian Feast, Tamales and Sangria, Southern Cookin’, Advanced Knife Skills, Pies and Tarts, a Date Night to Remember, Cheese and Wine Pairing, etc.  All Course details and prices are clearly provided at Chefz Table.  We haven’t tried ’em yet, but it’s nice to know the fun possibility is only a few clicks away — The menus sound good too! 

* Semi-related photo was taken at a Bloomingdales South Coast Plaza Cooking Class.

Kids Are Really In The Kitchen.

April 18th, 2010 2 comments

Chef Nieces (Lexi & Bailee)

My adorable Chef Nieces, Lexi on the left and Bailee on the right, have prepared a fair amount of treats for Nibbles of Tidbits — We’ve posted all in Kids in the Kitchen.  They recently attended a church camp, Forest Home where they learned how to make homemade Pasta Noodles, Parmesan Chicken and Dessert Crepes.  I still haven’t made Pasta Noodles from scratch and now must ask my Chef Nieces to teach me.  What kind of Foodie do I think I am? 🙂

Did You Know That 50 Forks Serves Lunch To The Public?

February 21st, 2010 No comments

50 Forks Restaurant Kitchen

It’s true — 50 Forks Restaurant at The Art Institute of California, Orange County serves lunch to the public when school is in session.  To learn more, view details posted at Orange County Food Examiner.  It’s a small place, so it’s recommended that you make reservations to secure a table.  Here’s the telephone number to get right on it – (714) 429-0918.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand: Fundraiser Dinner At 50 Forks Restaurant.

February 6th, 2010 No comments

50 Forks Short Ribs

It’s been reported that one can truly judge a Chef by his/her Short Ribs.  If that’s true, let it be known that 50 Forks Restaurant at The Art Institute of California (Orange County) delivered on the above.  We thoroughly enjoyed all this terrific food at a fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation — 100% of the proceeds from this dinner go towards cancer research.  Their motto is… When life hands you lemons, eat! 

Amuse Bouche at 50 Forks

Our 10-course meal started with the above Amuse Bouche, Pumpkin Porridge served with Crispy Rice.  The fundraiser was reported to be a 6-course meal, but we happily received much more — Hover over each photo to learn what’s on the menu.  To raise additional funds, all is being served again at 50 Forks tonight.  For cost information, times and telephone number, click here.  There still might be room.

Parpadelle Pasta with Mushrooms and Beans

Swiss Chard Tart with Goat Cheese

Braised Capon with Citrus, Fennel and Gaeta Olives

Potato and Tomato Gratin

Blood Orange, Date and Arugula Salad

Pot De Creme with Churros


We were seated and served family style, which can be fun or awkward, but luckily we ended up sharing our meal with some cool peeps who love food too.  The Art Institute staff and students were friendly and focused.  Thank you 50 Forks — We’ll be back for lunch.  And God bless Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Melange of Winter Vegetables (blurry, thus not enlargable)50 Forks Kitchen Students and Staff50 Forks RestaurantAlex's Menu

On certain days, 50 Forks Restaurant is open for lunch.  It’s a great place to get a gourmet meal for a good price.  And for a limited time, they will soon be open for dinner — The specifics are here.

* Click on the above MENU to enlarge it for better viewing.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand At 50 Forks Restaurant At The Art Institute.

January 28th, 2010 2 comments

On February 5th & 6th, 2010, The Art Institute of California, Orange County will be hosting a special fund raising event to help raise money to aid in the search for a cancer cure.  All proceeds will be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.  Chefs at 50 Forks Restaurant will be preparing a 6-course “delicious feast” that’ll be served by Art Institute students.  The small cost of this big event is only $50 (plus tax and gratuity).  There will be two seatings (6PM & 8PM) that are filling up fast.  Nibbles of Tidbits will most likely be attending the Friday event, second seating and we hope to see you there too.  Make your reservations today — (714) 429-0918.  It’s a win-win.

Where To Find Cooking Classes in Orange County.

August 20th, 2009 No comments

If you’re interested in taking a cooking class or two in Orange County, you can learn a lot more information HERE.  Ciao.

Interested In A Dads Only Cooking Class?

June 12th, 2009 1 comment

In honor of Father’s Day that’s fast approaching, Lucca Café Owner, Chef Cathy Pavlos will lead a group of Dads through a course dubbed “Manly Meats on the Grill.”  Dads will have the opportunity to learn about grilling various Meats — Marinating, brining, sauces and more.  Each attendee will get to feast on the fruits (Meats) of his labor, while sipping wine paired by Lucca Café’s General Manager and Sommelier, Elliott Pavlos.  The price is $50 per Dad and includes tax, tip, FOOD and Wine.  It sounds like a good time if you can get your Dad to go — Mine won’t, HA.  He already knows how to BBQ and prefers his Budweiser.  It’s just the way it is. 🙂

Lucca Café: (FYI & UPDATE: If you click on this link, you will not be able to use the back arrow to return to Nibbles of Tidbits, not even if you double or triple click it — It appears to be programmed that way.  For the record, I don’t appreciate that in any site and will not be linking to similarly programmed sites in the future.  It’s not convenient for the readers.)

Manly BBQ Grill:

It’s Now Orange County Restaurant ‘Two’ Weeks.

February 28th, 2009 No comments

il-farro-0151Today at the Bloomingdale’s Cooking Demonstration, Executive Chef Owner Cathy Pavlos of Lucca Cafe announced that Orange County Restaurant Week has been extended for another week.  That’s great news!  There’s more time to enjoy the prix-fixe meals being offered at several OC Restaurants.  Pictured here is the Braciole al Forno we had for dinner at Il Farro Caffe Trattoria.  More about our visit will be reported in an upcoming post.


Kimera At Bloomingdales For Restaurant Week.

February 26th, 2009 No comments


Continuing with the Orange County Restaurant Week Cooking Demonstrations at Bloomingdales South Coast Plaza is Kimera Restaurant & Lounge.  Chefs from Kimera made Crab Cakes and Shrimp Spring Rolls.  Both seemed so quick and easy to make BECAUSE all the ingredients were chopped ahead of time.  I subsequently had the IDEA to raid a Salad Bar for quick Spring Roll contents.  Good idea huh!?  That’s what I’ll do when I make them.


Kimera representatives so kindly gave all the Cooking Demonstration guests a $20 Gift Certificate.  Thank you — I’ve been wanting to go there.

Kimera Restaurant & Lounge:

Orange County Restaurant Week:

Previous Cooking Demonstrations:

Wild Mushroom Ravioli At Bloomingdales To KICK OFF Orange County Restaurant Week.

February 22nd, 2009 No comments


The First Annual Orange County Restaurant Week officially starts today and continues through February 28th — More details about it are linked below.  As previously reported on Nibbles of Tidbits, participating Chefs are giving cooking demonstrations at Bloomingdale’s Home Store at South Coast Plaza.


Here Chef Paul French of The Californian at The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach makes their Wild Mushroom Ravioli with sauteed Jewel Box Mushrooms, Farmer’s Market Vegetables and Brown Truffle Butter Sauce.  WOW, it’s the best we’ve sampled (thus far) during these demonstrations.  And it’s fortunately one of the dishes being offered during OC Restaurant Week.

Related Links:

Ruth’s Chris Steak House At Bloomingdales.

February 19th, 2009 1 comment


To gear up for The First Annual Orange County Restaurant Week, 13 top Chefs from participating restaurants are demonstrating the preparation of their signature dishes.  Today Ruth’s Chris Steak House Chefs showed us how to prepare their Sweet Potato Casserole and Creamed Spinach.


bloomingdales-0041And this is ‘Ruth’ of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.  Her last name isn’t Chris, but you’ll need to learn the rest of the story regarding the name on their website.  The Chefs pre-prepared the Steaks, Shrimp and Desserts pictured above, but we didn’t get to try them. 🙁

If I ordered the Sweet Potato Casserole in the restaurant, it would be for Dessert — It is sweet city!  And my rechargeable battery conveniently died at the Creamed Spinach.  That’s okay, because I really wanted the Steak they weren’t serving. 🙂

Ruth’s Chris Steak House:

The Loft at The Montage Laguna Beach Cooking Demonstration:

Orange County Restaurant Week INFO:

Cooking Demonstrations At Bloomingdales SCP.

February 15th, 2009 1 comment


Today Orange County Restaurant Week kicked off its pre-event festivities with the first of 13 Cooking Demonstrations to be held at Bloomingdale’s Home Store, South Coast Plaza.  Chef De Cuisine Brian Black of The Loft at The Montage Laguna Beach prepared Barbecue-Braised Laughing Bird Shrimp with Warm Winter Citrus Vinaigrette, Spinach and Pine Nuts.  It’s one of the dishes to be offered during the inaugural Orange County Restaurant Week, February 22-28, 2009.

Participating restaurants will be serving three-course pre-fixe lunches for $10 & $20, and dinners for $20, $30 and $40.  During that time and leading up to it, select Chefs will demonstrate how to prepare dishes featured on their respective OC Restaurant Week menus.  It’s a good way to sample a few items and see how they’re made. 


The related Demos started today and will continue through the end of  OC Restaurant Week.  We’ll hopefully see and taste more.  Chef Manny Gomez of Ruth’s Chris Steak House Irvine will be making Sweet Potato Casserole and Creamed Spinach at Bloomingdale’s Home Store on February 19 — That’s of interest.  The rest of the schedule and more information is linked below.

Orange County Restaurant Week INFO:

Laughing Bird Shrimp INFO:

Mélange – Local Cooking Classes Now Available.

September 16th, 2008 2 comments

A friend of a friend started Mélange, which offers fabulous high quality Cooking Classes.  If you live in Orange County, you should definitely sign up — The menus sound terrific.  Here’s a message from one of its founders:

“I Am So Excited!!! …to announce the launch of Mélange, a new cooking school! Mélange is an engaging and entertaining hands-on cooking school. I am one of the co-founders. We offer group cooking classes and private party events. You can find class descriptions, sign-up for classes and find out more about the Mélange experience at”

2008 Celebrity Food Show Cake Competition.

August 18th, 2008 2 comments

It was a Cake Making Competition among culinary students from The International Culinary School at the Art Institute.  The participants represented a few different schools, including Orange County, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Texas. 

The theme was America’s Best.  On this first day of the competition we saw the makings of a Liberty Bell, Luggage, a Hamburger and French Fries, a Stadium, the United States, and a few others we couldn’t make out at the time.

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food-show-flowers-yard-house-040.JPG    food-show-flowers-yard-house-052.JPG    food-show-flowers-yard-house-041.JPG

food-show-flowers-yard-house-043.JPG    food-show-flowers-yard-house-044.JPG    food-show-flowers-yard-house-049.JPG

food-show-flowers-yard-house-048.JPG    food-show-flowers-yard-house-055.JPG    food-show-flowers-yard-house-054.JPG

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And the winner is…


We didn’t see all the Cakes in final, but do have a picture of the WINNER.  This picture was sent to me by one of its creators, Michael Hadobas, who is coincidentally the one piping the playing cards above.  He did a great job on them.  He and his partner Dorthy Sepcic made the winning Cake.  As you may guess, they’re from The Art Institute of Las Vegas.  Congratulations!

Related Links:

Pink Party Theme Appetizers. It’s Close Enough.

May 17th, 2008 7 comments


A friend just had a party catered by a couple guys attending the Culinary Program at The Art Institute of California, Orange County.  While sitting at a bar one night with my friend talking about a networking party she was going to be hosting, our conversation was overheard.  We were discussing food for the party and what to do.  And Randall, a fellow sitting next to us happened to be attending the culinary school — He sounded knowledgeable about food and came up with some sophisticated suggestions.  We were initially impressed.  It was a bit tricky, since the party theme was PINK and my friend wanted all the food to be pink-ish in color. 

To make a long story short, she ended up hiring him and another student from the Institute to make the food.  We ultimately decided on the following MENU:

* Asian Marinated Lamb Chops
* Sweet Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Brown Sugar & Chili Powder
* Polenta Cakes with Sun Dried Tomato Mousse 
* Tomato Cups with Mozzarella, Basil and Balsamic Gastrique  
* White Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Pink Stripes

Read more…