Side Dish


If anybody reading this loves the sweaty televised theatrics of the World Wrestling Federation but jibs at shelling out $20 and up on pay-per-view, I have a suggestion: Tune in the Food Channel for free, and chances are you'll hardly notice the difference. Beefy men haranguing the camera, flashing lights, flaming saut頰ans, deafening music, audience whipped to a programmed frenzy: If Julia Child and Jacques Pepin were to go on the air together these days, they'd be expected to go to the mat for the title, best two out of three. But while Emeril, The Iron Chef, and The Naked Chef vie in buffoonery for the Ruffles-noshing, Mickey's-swilling couch potato vote, other professionals are conducting a counterrevolution, getting people off their duffs and into their aprons to practice for themselves the crafts and pleasures of the kitchen. There have always been cooking classes, but never so many so much in demand. When Sur la Table in Kirkland opens its phone bank to reservations on Monday, Sept. 10, most of the 60 classes and programs in its fall lineup will be full before the end of the week. Other cooking programs range from the starkly professional (Art Institute of Seattle's one-day intensives) to the communitarian and frugal (through Puget Consumers Co-op). Some of SLT's classes are taught by national celebrity chefs such as PBS star Joanne Weir (who's in town this week for two classes featuring seasonal ingredients), others by local stars like the Herb Farm's Jerry Traunfeld and Chris Hunter of Supreme. Some chefs run programs of their own: Chef/caterer/consultant Kathy Casey regularly offers a range of basic and specialized classes out of her Ballard Avenue Food Studios. Piatti's Paul Marks offers monthly demonstrations keyed to his restaurant's seasonal and regional Italian special menus. The Painted Table's Tim Kelley likes to schlep his students round the Pike Place Market as he shops, then cook the result- ing bounty and serve it to them. Salumi's Armando Batali periodically indentures a few lucky local foodies as labor on a banquet to be consumed by themselves. The variety of approaches is endless. One rapidly burgeoning variety of class isn't open to all: cooking instruction for children. This week Blue Ribbon Cooking School's Mike and Virginia Dupenthaler will fondly watch as 20 summer-cooking-camp students set the table for and serve dinner to their parents: a dinner they've cooked themselves. Who's prouder: the parents or the Dupenthalers? Hard to tell.   Sur la Table cooking classes for fall 2001 Blue Ribbon Cooking School Art Institute of Seattle culinary programs Kathy Casey cooking classes Puget Consumer Co-op Foodworks classes

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