Enjoying the new Cooking School of Aspen with local Chef, Susie Jimenez.
The Cooking School of Aspen is a recreational cooking school open to the public, owned by Rustique Restauranteur Rob Ittner, that promises a dynamic cooking experience in a 3,000 square foot space with hands-on classes, demonstration classes and tasting classes, giving Ittner the ability to offer various dynamic classes and private events with prominent chefs and sommeliers.
When Susie Jimenez invited me to attend her cooking demonstration at the Cooking School I shouted out a “hell yeah….I seem to be doing that more frequently these days.
In the new space Rob is bringing in high name chefs, about ten of whom are locals. The demonstration cooking classes are like a “Chef’s Table,” which is what I experienced, where guests sit at a horseshoe table around the kitchen while the Chef, in my case Susie, prepares dinner and shares stories and cooking tips (and what fabulous stories they are). All demonstration classes are paired with wine with facts presented by a sommelier. Hands-on classes are where guests actually participate in the cooking of the food.
I was glad to have been able to have an on-the-fly interview with Rob and hear about his culinary history (watch video below). Rob came to Aspen about 17 years ago and has now been in the restaurant industry for approximately 32 years. His past history includes; teaching at a culinary school, studying as a student at a culinary school in Napa, opening up several restaurants in the East coast, and in the year of 2000 opening Rustique Bistro. He also was one of the owners of Aspen’s past restaurants, Renaissance and Range, and was one of the wine sommeliers for the previous cooking school that was much smaller than the space he now owns, “we are excited to be a community center and hosts events. There is a need for this type of venue, with moderate prices that can host 50-120 seated for non-profit organizations and private parties for up to 165 people in a cocktail setting. Private cooking classes are also available and work well with group sizes between two and 25,” Ittner stated. “We have created something that is very much needed in our community with a different chef and a different menu every meal.”
All in all it was an amazing four-course dinner paired with delicious wine and great company, my mouth is still watering over Susie’s mushroom, wild rice and spinach strudel with a chipotle red bell pepper sauce, and the braised short ribs with pea polenta and chile de arbol mole.
The Cooking School of Aspen is holding events regularly including “Farm to Table” dinners in the summer time, or the occasional over the top “Pop Up” restaurant theme nights with chefs flown in from around the world. Check out CookingSchoolofAspen.Com and click on the calendar to see all the different offerings.