Registration now open for all fall cooking classes

It's going to be a busy fall season at both Common Ground Food Co-op and Urbana Park District's Phillips Recreation Center as we've scheduled a full season of six cooking classes starting in September. 

The first class will be "A Taste of Palestine" on September 21 at the Phillips Recreation Center's James Room Kitchen. For the first time, I will step back and assist Fairouz AbuGhazaleh who be the chef du jour and cook up several of her family recipes. According to Fairouz, "Palestinian food begins at home with recipes that evoke feelings of homesickness, happiness and nostalgia that have been passed down by generations." This class is part of my continuing series called "Flavor Principles of Ethnic Cooking" where we travel around and sample the best tasting ethnic cuisines available (see full menus and details). If you want to attend this class or the other classes in this series, please register today. From past experience, we know that this series sells out fast. Even though we've increased the seating to 12 people per class, we anticipate this series selling out within days. Register with Urbana Park District.

Registration is also now open for the next "Deep Dive" series at Common Ground Food Co-op. So far, we've explored China, Japan, and France in great depth with dozens of dishes and recipes. This fall, we'll continue to explore the rest of the northern Mediterranean coast while sampling all the good eats available in this region. Our "Taste of the Mediterranean" series starts on September 26 with an Italian pesto feast, to be followed by a Greek small plates meze dinner on October 17, and finally moving on to Spain for a tapas crawl on November 7. Each class in this series will also feature wine pairings selected by Analog Wine Library with notes on how to choose the right wine for the right dish. Register with Common Ground Food Co-op.

All my classes are "dinner party" style events where students will have the opportunity to watch demos and/or participate in the preparation of our dinner party. Do come hungry and thirsty because the tuition includes a full dinner complete with wine, beer, and/or cocktails. Whenever possible, students will get to participate by helping me make a dish or two. I'll also share all the tips and tricks I know on how to get from A to B to Z quickly and efficiently.

More information about upcoming pop-up events and cooking classes can always be found at For the latest news, feel free to subscribe to my monthly email newsletter.