from the editor
A few months ago, I enrolled in the cooking techniques series at Nothing To It! Culinary Center in Reno. I gained a colossal blast of cooking knowledge in those eight classes, from discovering knife skills and how to craft delicious sauces and soufflés to studying meat cuts, roasting methods, chocolate types, olive oils and vinegars, cheese varieties, and the importance of salt. Who knew you should grip the knife with your palm on the butt of the blade? I also learned to taste food as you cook, improvise with cooking but not baking, slice meat against the grain, rest the meat after cooking, don’t overwork dough, and store-bought spices and herbs often are old and tasteless.
I also discovered something I hadn’t planned to in the series. I was introduced to a Reno-Tahoe culinary treasure. Though I’ve known Lara Ritchie (also the culinary director) for years, I had never taken a class from her. She totally floored me with her knowledge and natural teaching ability. She peppered each class with her wit and funny analogies. Even though I’d never had the gumption to learn to cook, her character and spirit endeared me to the activity. That’s why her beautiful face is gracing this year’s COOKS! edition cover. Check out our feature on her. I hope you get to know her even more by taking one of her cooking classes. You won’t be disappointed.
Those wanting to take their culinary education to the next level should sign up for the culinary program at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno. For 39 years, students there have enjoyed a mixture of in-the-trenches experience, exposure to mentors, and formal education. And the students — mostly between the ages of 30 and 45 — have done so at a fraction of the cost of other culinary schools.
In addition to these articles, you’ll find cooking tips and tricks for vegetable and meat lovers alike. Step inside the home kitchens of four interesting locals, learn about proper food storage, frost a cake like a pro, and mix a batch of refreshing mint juleps in time for the Kentucky Derby.
We’ve also compiled a listing of Reno-Tahoe businesses that offer cooking, baking, and drinks classes. So, no more excuses: Enroll in a class today. Who knows, you might even meet someone who not only inspires you to learn a new trick in the kitchen, but also makes you laugh and appreciate life just a little bit more.