Awaken Your Inner Chef
Right in the heart of West Chester is the perfect couple’s night out or place to join your friends for a new experience while visiting Butler County. I tried the Learning Kitchen for the first time for their pot stickers workshop, and I have to say – I’m hooked!
These days, when so many people love the idea of getting to know cooking techniques through meal delivery kits and exploring new recipes online, it is actually rare to get a real interaction with a professional chef. I took a class with Chef Lily, who has lots of experience in restaurant kitchen. We learned a little more about knife skills, simmering and sauteing, and how to season the three delectable pot sticker variations.
I’d be the first to admit that I’m a real amateur when it comes to cooking, so I felt like a sponge absorbing all the techniques that were being demonstrated. Ultimately, I learned that I shouldn’t have been scared to make my pot sticker fillings and steam them to tasty, crispy perfection in the pan.
We first did some of the prep – the Learning Kitchen strikes a good balance between having the kitchen stations set up for us and letting us do some of our own produce chopping to get into the spirit of the meal. Chef Lily showed us techniques for chopping, but she saved us time by having our seasonings measured out already when we began adding different elements to the two fillings – one veggie, one pork. We also made potsticker “raviolis” later in the evening – it was a lot of food! For the elements that we didn’t measure ourselves, we went home with recipe cards so that we could replicate the process at home.
My favorite part was learning how to handle the little rounds of potsticker dough. Chef Lily demonstrated three different methods for folding and sealing them with filling inside. The cooking part of the process had me nervous – I’m not much for sizzling pans and spitting oil – but it turned out great, with each of my potstickers perfectly steamed but also fried to a crispy golden brown on the bottom.
While I’m glad I learned so much, my favorite part was sitting down to a meal together after working hard. Chatting with other class members was a nice, low-key way to meet new people, and beer and wine were available for purchase with the meal, really making it feel like we’d made our own pot sticker feast for a dinner party. The space in the Learning Kitchen is beautiful, and the nearby shop area is filled with high-quality cookware – if you love something you cook with in the class, you can buy it afterward and take it home!
I have decided that gift certificates for cooking classes are my new plan for holiday gifting this year for anyone I know who considers themselves a foodie – just getting to spend that much time with a chef makes me feel like I’m ready to tackle the next tricky food prep challenge.
7659 Cox Ln.
West Chester, Ohio 45069
Main Image: The Learning Kitchen West Chester