13/02/2008 - 22:00

Kenyon in a kitchen class of his own

13/02/2008 - 22:00

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At first glance, Peter Kenyon might appear a bit ‘old school’ when it comes to food and cooking; as far as its social function is concerned, that is.

Kenyon in a kitchen class of his own

At first glance, Peter Kenyon might appear a bit ‘old school’ when it comes to food and cooking; as far as its social function is concerned, that is.

He says the home cooking tradition is becoming lost, and hopes to revive the social experience of cooking with his new venture, which gets under way at 161 Walcott Street this week.

A specialist in labour economics and Curtin University professor for three decades, Professor Kenyon has taken his hobby to a new level with his cooking school in Mount Lawley.

The self-taught culinary tutor, the Cooking Professor, as he’s known, is focused on providing a unique, contemporary international experience for a cross-section of Perth foodies.

“I used to do cooking classes as a hobby one night a week at Tarts in North Perth. I got overwhelmed by the demand and decided to do the classes in my own premises,” Professor Kenyon told Gusto.

“We have a lot of men and young professionals coming to the classes. In fact, my most successful class at Tarts was an introductory cooking course – ‘Cordon Bloke: Basic Cooking for Blokes’.”

Professor Kenyon plans to keep his part-time teaching position at Curtin University while he develops the cooking school.

He will run most of the cooking classes, while espresso specialist Andrea Capanni will take the barista class.

Prominent chefs including Bruno Securo and John Maiorana have expressed their interest in teaching at the school.

The hands-on courses take up to 12 people per session.

On the agenda for February and March are Cordon Bloke, Enjoying the Good Life, which teaches  more experienced cooks how to put together a menu for a dinner party or a barbeque, and the Barista at Home course, which is a coffee appreciation class for domestic baristas.

Professor Kenyon has many other ideas in the pipeline for his cooking school, such as a seafood cooking class, and a Moroccan cooking class specialising in the use of tajines.

He says he also plans to do a day class called Gourmet Dinners, which would take place on a Saturday and get the students to cook a multi-course meal during the day, then return in the evening with their partner to eat the meals in a restaurant setting.

Cosmopolitan Cooking, Winter Comfort, A Mediterranean Journey, and Two in the Kitchen are other concepts in the mix.

The cooking school is divided in two areas – a large kitchen where all the hard work takes place, and a dining section where the students can enjoy the fruit of their labours.

While enjoying sponsorship from an American supplier of quality stainless steel utensils, Professor Kenyon says he will push for local produce to be used in his classes wherever possible (and practical).

The price for the classes range from $50 to $75 per class, and $280 for a four-class series. Classes are held both in the evening and during the day.

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