Culinary Center, 4315 Arden Way, Sacramento, CA, 95608. (916) 488-2800 ext. 261

I love to cook, but I'll admit my knives skills could use some work. I'm definitely no culinary samurai in the kitchen. When I'm cutting, I exert too much force, I have a tendency to hold my fingers too far away from the blade or too 37 years somehow I've miraculously kept all my fingertips, but there's always room for improvement. So for our date night last night, I thought it'd be fun for Mr.S. and I to check out the Knives Skills 101 class offered by the Sacramento Whole Foods on Arden Way. (I had stumbled upon their class calendar several months back when some friends and I had thought about taking a class.) At a mere $9 for the class, I was willing to give it a was cheaper than going to a movie and I figured I was bound to learn a skill or two.

We showed up Thursday night at the Whole Foods Culinary Center (a small instructional kitchen located within the store) through the rain, hail, thunder and lightening. The classroom was ready to go with cutting boards and knives for each student. We were there a bit early so we got to chat a bit with the instructor, Chris Chisholm (who teaches several other cooking classes at Whole Foods as well). The class began with a brief introduction to knife safety, choosing a knife and knife care. The majority of the class, however, was devoted to hands-on learning. We learned how to chop, cut on the bias, batonnet, do a large and small dice, and julienne. During the class we worked on carrots, celery, potatoes and onions to learn how to cut vegetables of different shapes. Mr.S. turned out to be a natural at cutting; he was whizzing through stuff like he was Richard Blais. I, unfortunately was not. For some reason, sticking the knuckles of my left hand against the blade of the knife, really freaked me out. Flashbacks of knife injuries in the past kept flipping through my brain, causing me to tensing up. Our instructor was extremely patient, friendly and helpful though. He just kept gently reminding me to keep my knuckles against the blade. He also suggested a smaller, lighter knife for me which helped a lot.

Class ended up running longer than it was scheduled for which was great. The instructor also stayed after and showed several students quick ways to smash and cut garlic and how to hone knives since they were interested. Overall, both Mr.S. and I had a wonderful time and felt that we learned a lot. Mr.S. liked it so much that on the ride home he commented that he would be up for attending another cooking or food related class. As for me, I'm thinking I need to make a batch of vegetable soup soon so I can practice all the new knife skills I just learned.

* Whole Foods Sacramento usually offers this class once a month. You can check their calendar, it's updated monthly.
* Must 18 to attend this class.
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