Every Saturday, 11:00am-1:30pm
Lunch and wine included
$60 per person
Call 480-970-4099 to reserve seats

I have a brand new project in the works, and I’m so excited about it. Starting February 27th, I will be teaming up with Gio Osso — executive chef at Estate House — for a series of demonstration cooking classes held in the Conservatory (a gorgeous private dining room at the Estate House) on Saturdays at 11 a.m. Classes, which will probably run about an hour and a half, will be followed by lunch. Somewhere along the way, we’ll talk a bit about which wines to serve with the meal Gio has made, and of course, we’ll try a few!

Gio will be doing all the cooking and 90% of the teaching. I’ll be on hand to fill in the gaps, prompt discussion and prove that no question is too dumb or crazy to ask.

After the first month or so (meaning, once we have the drill down), Gio and I will begin inviting other local chefs  — and the occasional out-of-town celeb — to teach Saturday classes at Estate House as well. We figure it’s a great way to introduce our students to chefs and restaurants they may not know and in turn, give other talented chefs a bit more exposure.

Here’s a list of the classes we’ve planned so far.

Date: Saturday, February 27
Place: The Conservatory at Estate House
Time: 11 a.m.
Price: $60
Instructor: Gio Osso, Estate House executive chef
Winter Comfort Food Supper
Braised short ribs have become a menu staple in recent years, but Gio shows us how easy they are to make at home. We’ll talk about big red wines that pair well with them and learn how to make celery root puree and celery root chips to add restaurant-worthy style to this simple, comforting supper.

Menu: braised short ribs; vanilla-scented celery root puree; celery root chips; farmer’s market salad; chocolate-walnut bread pudding.

Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010
Italian 101
Gio spent summers with his grandmother in Italy, where he learned the basics he teaches us here.  We’ll also explore simple New Italian sauces and different types of Italian rice as we learn how to make a classic risotto. By the time we’ve tasted a few Italian wines and dunked our biscotti in Vin Santo, we’ll be almost as Italian as Gio!

Menu: the perfect meatball; hand-made pasta (various cuts); pomodoro sauce; New Italian sauces; classic risotto with truffles; biscotti; Italian wines & Vin Santo.

Date: Saturday, March 20, 2010
Spanish tapas are the original small plates, easy to prepare and versatile enough to be appetizers, snacks, buffet items, sides or light meals. Gio will share traditional tapas recipes while educating us about Spanish chorizo, jamon Serrano and Spanish cheeses as well as which Spanish wines pair well with them. And just for fun, fruity Sangria.

Menu: croquetas; tortilla Española; calamares; pan con tomate; marinated olives, alioli; Sangria.

Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010
Easter Sunday Buffet
It’s a big day but who wants to spend most of it in the kitchen? Gio teaches us how to prepare an Easter Sunday spread that’s elegant but easy. You’ll leave with a quick but impressive lamb recipe, two buffet-friendly egg dishes, foolproof hollandaise and the secret to making lox at home. And who doesn’t love chocolate bunny lollipops and an anything-but-average mimosa?

Menu: stuffed leg of lamb; grilled asparagus with hollandaise; lox; quiche; frittata; chocolate bunny lollipops; mimosa.

  • dorinnedobson

    Excellent comments, Nikki – I am looking forward to hearing more of your opinions.

  • cjcarr

    Great to see you online and continuing to raise the food consciousness of Phoenicians. One special request: What is your favorite (clean) East Indian restaurant???

  • happygrrrl

    I love the idea, but it's too high-priced for me. Maybe I'll check it out when you guys have a special. :-)

  • jepizarro

    Yey!!!! Love it!!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1223012517 Laura Crow Williams

    Nikki….so miss your reviews.. I do love cooking classes, but $100 a class for a lunch cooking demo is on the high side. Any chance of bundling a few classes for better pricing or maybe bring someone for 1/2 off when you pay full price? Great idea, though!

  • wildlavender


    We're offering an introductory price of $60. Hope that sounds more like it!

  • wildlavender


    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Didn't know the trick to replying on this thing (there is no trick; I'm just a goofball sometimes). Well, your question is a good one, and I don't have a ready answer–primarily because there are so many East Indian restaurants I haven't been to in ages. Just recently reviewed a place called India's Grill in Mesa. It was very clean, and the food was pretty heavily spiced, which sometimes suited me and sometimes didn't. I thought their buffet was great though. Loved their tandoori chicken.

  • wildlavender

    Thank you! Just getting the hang of all this (downloading pictures, all the junk I haven't learned!) so ya'll bear with me. I'm getting there. I do have lots to talk about. Once I get the technology down, it'll be great!

  • wildlavender

    We do now, happygrrrl! $60 per person. Give Estate House a call when you feel like spending a Saturday with Gio and me.

  • lake havasu

    facebook not active?