Hands-on private cooking classes

The Kitchen Society

11 Kim Yam Road

http://thekitchensociety.com

Whether you're a newbie cook or have been cooking all your life, The Kitchen Society aims to be a one-stop shop for all things related to food.

Set up just last month, it comprises an online portal, as well as cooking classes held in a shophouse in River Valley.

Director Ed Ong came up with the idea, after noticing that "there is nothing that brings together a cooking school, a database of recipes and an online retail store all together."

Mr Ong is also the founder of Dwell Interior Design. Most of his projects are private residences, and he has a passion for designing kitchens, "as they are the heart of a home".

At the shophouse which also doubles as a studio space for Dwell, he has designed a kitchen "out of passion". But rather than let it go to waste, it is used for The Kitchen Society.

Here, intimate cooking classes are held. Classes are kept small, no more than eight, so "everyone is close to the chef and the chef has time to attend to each one". Mr Ong prefers this format, as "this is what a cooking class should be, not one where there are endless stations, the chef is so far away, and you rely on video screens to learn. I want to make it feel like you are taking lessons at a chef's home."

Classes are a hands-on affair, and to cater to busy folks, there are classes at night, "for those who want to come after work", says Mr Ong. The Kitchen Society works with private chefs and food writers to helm its classes, which start from S$250.

On its portal, The Kitchen Society lists a series of recipes under its Cook category, which has both savoury and sweet items, such as coffee and cola ribs, and mocha pecan pie bars.

Under its Eat heading, there are product reviews, features on ingredients such as tea and flour, as well as profiles of chefs and bakers.

"The stories are meant to inspire you to either start cooking or to go further and pursue your passion in food," says Mr Ong.

Under the Shop category, there is a small but curated range of kitchen appliances, such as the Kitchenaid mixer.

"It can be mind-boggling going to a department store to pick out an appliance as there are so many to choose from," he says. A team at The Kitchen Society selects what they feel is best, and users can choose to buy the appliance from the site or at the shops. "We've tested them out, and so you don't need to trawl through reviews, which is great for busy people."

Classes and new recipes are added every season, based on a theme. For September and October, the theme is "Bake and Brew", featuring teas and coffees, as well as recipes for cakes and other pastries.

Mr Ong is keeping mum on the details for the next theme, but says it will be based on winter. He reveals however, that there will be a series of Secret Garden events, where participants will attend a cooking class, followed by a high-tea session.

One such cooking class teachers how to make macarons. "You will learn one recipe, and at the high-tea, be able to sample macarons from another two recipes," he says.

For Christmas, he has planned lessons where participants can learn how to make 12 treats and also how to package them to give away as gifts.

"At The Kitchen Society, it is all about the complete experience," he says.


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