Please leave your feedback in the comments section, including the date and title of the class you attended.
LeQuan from Luvtoeat attended my first class: Greek Escapes, and has written about her experience!
You may choose to address:
- My initial response to the class
- Were my expectations met?
- Did I learn what I came to learn?
- Did I receive value for the money I spent?
- Would I recommend this to others?
- Favourite parts?
- suggestions for improvement?
- Did anything exceed your expectations?
I found the class very fun and informative! I loved learning about the products we used and the products we are making! It made it easy to know I can do it from home. I really enjoyed the bread making techniques and the tips as we went along. It was definatly worth the money! It was wonderful to take so much away from it! I would just like to have seen the pictures on line,and I know that wasn’t anyones fault. I give it 4 STAR OUT OF 5!
I attended the Greek Escapes class on January 22, 2010. At first, I was just interested in learning how to make Valerie’s roasted red pepper salad, but after tasting everything she taught us to make, I can honestly say I would make the other recipes again. Everything tasted spectacular and she made the learning fun and relaxing. I never felt rushed at all. She demonstarted her techniques and how to make the dish, then set us off on our own to try the recipes while always attentively being close by if we ever needed help.
I’d like to say my favorite part of the lesson was the taste testing, but in order to not make myself look like a little piggy (ha!), I’ll have to say kneading the dough was my favorite part. Valerie taught us the same technique Mr. Richard Bertinet uses to knead dough. I had so much fun making the bread that I just went out today to buy all the ingredients so I can try this recipe again all on my own (cause I’m a big girl now haha). Seriously though, after taking this class, it gave me the confidence that I could make all these dips and dishes again on my own. All the recipes she taught us were spectacular and easy enough for a beginner cook to do again on their own. I make a lot of Chinese dishes, but Greek food is very new to me.
As for getting my money’s worth? Heck yeah! The level of confidence that this class gave me with being able to make these dishes again was priceless. You can teach technique, but it’s hard to teach confidence. Valerie somehow did it though. So thank you Valerie for the confidence you gave me and for this fun and positive learning experience. To anyone who’s thinking of taking this class in the future, I highly recommend it!
The Greek Escapes cooking class was such a fun experience! None of the recipes looked complicated, but I had never tried a couple of the foods before, so learning how they are supposed to taste was a huge part of the experience.
For me the best part of the class was baking bread from scratch. Knowing exactly what ingredients went into it, and finishing the process with a perfect product was great! I did not know how easy it is to actually bake bread from scratch.
The only suggestion for improvement was already acknowledged at the class. With Valerie teaching we were in desperate need of a second person to keep up with the dishes. Other than that, it was an excellent class.
The Greek Escapes class was a lot of fun. Who knew how delightfully tasty and easy each recipe was going to be. I had never been shown how easy it is to make yogurt cheese before or babaganosh..yummm.
I also learned a new way to knead bread! Valerie shared her expertise, showing us how she herself was taught by Richard Bertinet. I was so impressed how beautiful my flat bread turned out..now I had something to scoop up the hummus and the babaganosh (besides the spoon I was using)
The best part of the class was Valerie herself. She is warm, welcoming and generously shares her knowledge of cooking. I came away from the class loaded with containers packed full of Greek delights and a keen desire to follow up on her numerous tips. Her enthusiasm for learning is definitely catching.
I’d highly recommend this class to anyone. Opa!
I attended the Apple Pie 101 class and thoroughly enjoyed it. Christan was a wonderful teacher and Valerie was a welcoming hostess.
I was most interested in making the pie crust, since I’ve only ever used frozen, store-bought ones before. I had memories of sticky, dry, not-flaky pie crusts from the past, so I was a little intimidated. But Christan and Valerie helped make it almost effortless. I really appreciated their answering all of my questions and showing me what I needed to do (or not do).
The final test was the finished pies. I took one to a friend’s house on Saturday evening for dessert and everyone raved about how good it was. I was so excited as I cut into the pie, because I could just feel how flaky the pastry was as the knife was cutting through it.
I’m looking forward to making more pies in the future, both sweet and savoury!
Nadia DeVenz says
The Apple Pie 101 class was everything and more then I thought it would be. I was always scared to try to make pies but after this class I no longer have a fear of trying to do this on my own. Christian was a great teacher, and Valerie you are the hostess with the mostess, I enjoyed the company of my fellow classmates. Overall I have to say your class was a 5 out of 5 and I definitely look forward to taking further classes from you again and I would recommend this class to anyone. Thanks to both of you.
P.S. We cooked one of the Pies on Sunday it was delicious.
What an amazing class. I learned how to make an apple pie, and in addition, met some fantastic ladies, and had tons of fun. I would definitely do it again. Valerie is an amazing hostess. She opened her house to us, provided food and refreshments, and brought in a great teacher. Christan is such a good teacher. She was patient, and explained everything in easy terms. While I’ve baked many cakes, I’ve never attempted to make a pie. Both Valerie and Christan gave me the knowledge and confidence to created a yummy treat. I took it to my family on Super Bowl Sunday and everyone really enjoyed it. Thank you ladies. It was a memorable experience I hope to repeat soon.
I attended the pie making 101. Overall the class was a great learning experience, and I plan on using the technique I learned when I make pie crust in the future. Valerie was a great hostess as she was welcoming and provided delicious morning treats. Christian was a great teacher as she was able to explain and demonstrate the steps as we went along. Overall it was a great way to spend the morning with my mom learning a new way to make my favorite desert.Â
I think these classes would be a great way to spend time with friends and family while you learn how to cook some different things.Â
Suggestions for improvement?
suzanne dennis says
Sausage Making with Allan Suddaby
I was thrilled when I saw Valerie’s initial post about the exciting new venture, ‘Taste Tripping’. I would have liked to sign up for EVERY class, but had to choose and decided that the sausage making evening would make a great Christmas gift for a friend.
What a wonderful decision that was!
From start to finish this class EXCEEDED all my expectations.
I really appreciated the prompt attention and super customer service when I asked for some information prior to signing up.
The actual registration process was a breeze, and nice and safe with PayPal.
The class was held in Valerie and Vanja’s lovely lovely home. Honestly!!! THAT kitchen is to DIE for! The only thing to overshadow the luxury of the surroundings, (there was something more beautiful to look at every time you turned around), was the warm hospitality of the host and hostess themselves.
The class was taught by Allan Suddaby. He has a charming and generous teaching style. No question was a dumb one and he was most knowledgeable about his craft. His preparation was evident.
The class itself was limited to a reasonable number of participants so that we ALL got as involved in the sausage making process as we wanted to be.
The value was outstanding! The ingredients were top notch and procured from local sources if possible. The product that we took home with us would have cost a small fortune in the store, that is if you could buy such GREAT sausage in any store here in town. 🙂
I have alredy signed myself up for another class this session, and would have no hesitation to recommend ANY class or trip that ‘Taste Tripping’ is facilitating.
foodie in training 🙂
Today a cherished friend and I attended the French Tart class and I must say it made a lasting inpression. The instruction was phenomenal! Bene was so technical and fun. Val (mommy) was a gracious host and a FABULOUS sous chef and photographer. With her talent and Bene’s expertise, it was something I will recreate over and over again! Who doesnt love chocolate and the crust was sweet and complimented it well. The savory tart was a huge success and wow’d us all.
I loved the breakfast to start! The warm buttery biscuits and the homemade yogurt and granola was the perfect start to the day! Tasting as we went and learning that technique is only half of it! Creativity is endless! The other technique that was a great tip was hot to remove the extra pastry from the moulds! Thank you for this experience!
I attended the French pastry class, and the final products were amazing! Bene is a great instructor explaining things as we were going and was hands on when help was needed. Great experience overall. Once again Valeire was a great hostess and assistant through out the entire class.
I would definitely make both the chocolate tart and quiche in the future (and my family can’t wait for more). Would recommend this class in a heart beat. Great way to spend the morning learning something new and delicious.
I attended Kevin’s Wild Game cooking demo, and it exceeded all of my expectations. Seriously, Kevin has to be one of the most knowledgeable local “urban homesteaders” around, which makes him an invaluable resource for those of us trying to eat more locally, and produce as much of our own food as possible. The discussions we had during the class were very informative. That being said, the best part by far was the tasting! The quality preparation of the meats has me convinced that if more people knew how to prepare wild game properly, a lot less people would crinkle their nose at the prospect of eating it. I am very interested in taking the plunge and learning how to do my own butchering next, but even if I don’t have a chance, I feel like I know a lot more about what kind of meat I want to be eating, and how to track it down.
suzanne dennis says
bread making 101
this is the 3rd session i have attended. obviously, i think that there is tremendous value here!
each session has been wonderful in it’s own way; while each session has been totally different and an individual experience.
breadmaking 101 was a real day out for me!
started off with a fabulous breakfast of piping hot cinnamon buns, homemade granola, fresh coffee, assorted juices, the the most devine local organic dairy products, (cream and butter), and all the easter candy you could eat!
a lovely visit with the other participants and then down to bread making business.
for the next number of hours we weighed, measured, (sometimes acurately, and sometimes not), had a few laughs, and by golly we made bread dough!
we also had a demonstration of a loaf made with local red fife grain….most interesting to me. the finished product, which we all sampled as well, with more of the luscious butter was delishious.
lots of help from valerie herself; and lots and lots of support from HER helpers, (who just happened to be her lovely mother helen, and ‘blushing bride-to-be’ daughter, ragan) brought us to cooking what we had produced.
it was a regular production line when we started baking off all of our product. my goodness…there were breadsticks, there were loafs, there were cinnamon buns, there were flat-breads and MORE….some fancy frech stuff that i can’t pronounce or spell-lovely lovely bread….i was in bread heaven!
i left with bags overflowing.
the value is indisputable. the lessons learned are priceless. the fun and laughs had by all of us are the stuff legends are made of!
what a day!
bravo valerie and team
Thank you very much for the wonderful class! It was amazing. Maybe now, that I know how to make bread (and apple pie – which I learned in one of your previous classes), my dad won’t jokingly (at least I hope he’s not serious) bug me about eating at McDonald’s everyday. Back to the class though, you are an incredible teacher and such a fun person. You didn’t seem to get flustered by our endless questions. You were so patient in showing us the techniques of “working” the dough. The breads came out wonderful. My husband and I have been eating them since I came home from the workshop. I thought of freezing some, but frankly, there isn’t enough left to freeze. Anyway, hats off to you for the wonderul and fun experience.
Bread making 101 was fantastic! It exceeded all my expectations.
The lovely breakfast in your beautiful home made me feel like I was about to have a spa day. Oh so wrong, no time for lazing around, there was dough to work! I cannot believe the volume of bread we made in such a short time period. The ease & patience you had while teaching us was amazing…..especially when some of us (who me?) messed up the measurements. I chalked it up to valuable trouble shooting lessons for my future bread making endeavours.
I had so much fun, better than a spa day! It makes me smile when I think of it. Can’t wait for your next kitchen adventure, whatever it may be.
French Tarts: Sweet and Savoury
This was a very well organized class. Valerie was a great hostess (her mom’s blueberry muffins were delicious) and her sous chefs helped everything run very smoothly. Bene was a great teacher, very relaxed and open to questions and comments. I have made tarts before, but I came away with a better understanding of the pastry. Mixing by hand was new for me and I found I really enjoyed the process. The end result (a chocolate tart and a quiche) did not last long at my house : ) I would certainly try other classes.
French Tart..who me?? This is my second class that has been offered in Valerie’s home and she never fails to amaze me…organized and cheery before she’s even had coffee. We started the morning with piping hot coffee and Valerie’s Mom’s,(Helen a.k.a.sous chef too!) delicious lemon blueberry muffins. Can it get better than this? You betcha! Bene, our gracious teacher led us through the making of pastry for a Tarte au Chocolat and Quiche Lorraine. She answered questions and demonstrated the techniques passed on to her by her mother. I came away with two beautiful,mouth watering tarts and a better understanding of how to make pastry.I would highly recommend Valerie’s classes to anyone interest in food.Yummmm:))))
The Bread Making 101 class was excellent I would recommend this class to anyone who has an interest or is scared to try bread making. This is my second class that I have taken, Valerie is an exceptional teacher as she is able to share her passion for food and teaching that when you are done your class you are given the passion that she has, I am now converted and will be making home made bread for my family and friends. Valerie not only teaches the subject class but shares and shows you the skills and her experiences with you. The class had 6 students, and we were taught how to make Basic White Dough and Olive Oil bread, the different things you could make from that recipe such as pain d’epi, fogasse, cinnamon buns, Rosemary flat bread, and cheese bread sticks, we were able to bake the breads that we made and let me tell you they were delicious, my family is wanting more. Thank you Valerie for opening your home to us, sharing your knowledge, and a big thanks to your sous chefs one and two (aka Helen and Regan) for keeping up with our messes. Looking forward to your future classes. 🙂
Breadmaking 101 was a fabulous experience for me. I loved the new-to-me technique of “working” the dough instead of “kneading” the dough. Since taking the class over 2 weeks ago, I have successfully made a batch of cinnamon rolls and 2 batches of pain d’epi, both to rave reviews from everyone who tried them. I’m no longer afraid of making bread and am now ready to move onto experimenting with other grains/flours in my bread-making. Valerie’s experience as a teacher really shows through in her classes and I always come away with a headful of new knowledge.
I am so excited to hear that you are actually making bread and eager to try more kinds. Now, that is a gift for me!
I had the 2012 responses elsewhere and have copied them here:
Conni Lemieux says:
January 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm (Edit)
I just returned hoime from your wonderful Ukranian
Christmas Eve dinner! It was fabulous!
Further to our discussion tonight, I would like to submit my name
for the next available spot in a macron class.
Please let me know when you have enough reigstrants and have decided on a date.
Tanis Palmer says:
January 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm (Edit)
Oh my goodness! What an experience I’m so grateful for the chance to have gotten in on the macaron class ““ and doing it with my best friend made it all the more sweet. Connie was an amazing instructor, full of patience and encouragement, knowledgeable and even more important (at least in my mind) willing to share that knowledge. There was no question that was unanswered and her willingness to share her experiences, tips and tricks was such a blessing. Val, you have an amazing home, perfect for entertaining and teaching, and your ability to share knowledge from your wealth of experience was also invaluable. Going home with the recipe and tips/tricks definitely takes some of the anxiety out of trying these again, which I definitely will do soon. The most amazing part for me, however, was when we actually had macarons to take home that looked like a proper macaron! These truly are The Diva Cookie, but I can’t wait to start eating them. Thank you both for an awesome experience. I’ll be back!
Chelsey Kasha says:
January 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm (Edit)
I just wanted to drop a quick line to thank you again for such a wonderful experience at the macaron making class on Saturday. You couldn’t have chosen a better instructor! Connie was fabulous! She was very patient and I was impressed that she was actually willing to share her tips and tricks with us. The class was a very good value for what we learned and I was so pleased with the finished product. I hope you decide to do another macaron class because I’d really like to come back and make some different flavours. Cheers.
Eva, Wes & Marlow says:
January 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm (Edit)
The macaron class was fantastic! Valerie was a fantastic host (I wasn’t expecting breakfast upon our arrival), and made us feel at ease. I loved the formal atmosphere of the class and that it was hands on, getting a real feel for how to make macarons. Connie was a fantastic teacher, not only teaching us how to make them, but giving us tips and tricks on what could go wrong and how to fix the potential problems that could arise while making macarons. As well, all the prep Connie did ahead of time made the class go smoothly and allowed us to really just get in there and learn. We also left with a huge lot of macarons which was a pleasant surprise! Overly it was my favorite cooking class to date and I look forward to other Taste Tripping courses!
January 9, 2012 at 10:20 am (Edit)
Thank you for being a great host (yummy biscuits!) and offering this macaron class. Connie was a fantastic instructor. Thanks to her prep work and tips, along with the hands-on experience, certainly gave me the confidence to make these treats on my own.
I look forward attending other Taste Tripping Classes!
I attended the February 4th Macaron class and just want to say that it was a great class! The mystery of making the macarons totally unfolded for me that day. It doesn’t seem that difficult, But Connie was sure good at making it seem easy!
-I would suggest a few things for improvement: It would’ve been nice to measure the ingredients ourselves that went in, rather than being done for us. But I understand that it was probably to maintain consistency with everyone’s batch.
-Price-wise, I thought it was a bit pricey. I understand that nothing is cheap these days. I didn’t mind paying for the price, but at the price, I would’ve expected more supplies to take home, like having cake boxes if someone forgot to bring a container, or even keeping the piping bags, stuff like that.
Other than that, great job on the class! Thanks Valerie and Connie!
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Mona.
We enjoyed you, too!
A comment about the pricing as it is always a sensitive issue; have you investigated other comparable classes within the city? Other classes held in home kitchens that I am aware of have the students pay for the skills they learn, enjoy tasting their food or eating what they prepare, but to my knowledge, do not take what they make home. This is what I hope is unique about our classes. Probably not for long, but at least for now. It is a fine line between breaking even and making a profit in this business due to our commitment to purchasing only the best ingredients from local producers and farmers, so, sadly this is probably feedback that we cannot put into practice. Good to hear it, though, so I can respond and hopefully foster understanding!
Good feedback regarding the measuring, too. It was either: do we have them measure and sift, or do two batches each – as both were not possible within a class time frame. It was me who made that call as I found sifting and measuring fairly straightforward, and something I could do on my own. Not to negate the importance of doing it together – as it is important to see and to teach, as well. I decided that I wanted you each to have two times to go through the macaronage process to really offer a learning opportunity to you with that technique. If enough people are interested in a follow up class to do each step from start to end together, we will absolutely offer it to you. You and Mr. Moo have really shed some important light on issues Connie and I discussed.
I attended the Macaron making class on February 4, 2012 and all I have to say is it was FABULOUS. Connie is a fantastic teacher and she shared her baker’s skills and secrets which made for beautiful and successful macarons… even for a first time macaron baker like me! Valerie shared her home with us and provided a relaxed and comfortable learning environment which made the morning go by enjoyably. The best part of this class is that you leave not only with a wonderful recipe with all of the directions, but you get to take home the delicious cookies too! =) I would definitely recommend this class to anyone looking for a fun and engaging morning filled with all things yummy! Thanks so much!