about the program

The Fundamentals of Cooking: 4-Week Program empowers you with the tools and techniques to confidently cook nourishing, delicious, and seasonally-inspired meals at home. After an initial consultation to assess your specific goals and dietary preferences, this program features three hands-on cooking classes guided by trained chef and organic farmer, Michelle Aronson. Each hands-on class introduces and builds on key culinary techniques - from knife skills, to herbs and spices, preparing proteins, cooking with grains, etc - and together we create a locally sourced four-course meal. This program is fully customizable based on your specific dietary preferences, and is curated to help you achieve your individual culinary goals.

WHO is this program for?

The program is designed for anyone looking to gain more confidence in the kitchen! Whether you're a total beginner looking to start with the basics, or an accomplished home cook hoping to take your skills to the next level - Michelle meets you exactly where you are. The program is designed for groups of 1-4 people. If a group of students elects to take the course together, each student will have an individual private consultation for Week 1 of the program.

WHERE do the classes take place?

The Fundamentals of Cooking program takes place in the comfort of your home kitchen. Group classes take place in the home kitchen of the group’s choosing, with the option to rotate kitchens each week. This program is available to residents located in Santa Barbara City & County. 


For pricing and details about the Fundamentals of Cooking program, fill out the form below and you will be contacted within 24 hours. 

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  • 1 hour private consultation with chef and farmer Michelle Aronson
  • During  this consultation we will address the following:
    • Your specific goals for the course
    • Stocking your pantry
    • Ingredient sourcing
    • Essential kitchen tools

WEEK 2: THE BASICS - Knife Skills, Roasting, Eggs & Emulsions

  • Learn the proper way to handle and care for your knives, and the essential techniques to slice, dice, julienne, chiffonade and mince.
  • Learn to make sensational seasonal salads, vinaigrettes and emulsified dressings.
  • Master the technique for delicious roasted vegetables and proteins.
  • Overview of foundational recipes and techniques for cooking eggs. 
    • Seasonal Salad with Creamy Meyer Lemon Dressing
    • Classic Thyme-Lemon Roast Chicken
    • Chipotle Aioli
    • Crispy Fingerling Potatoes
    • Local Citrus & Mascarpone Parfait

WEEK 3: THE ART OF SEASONING - Cooking with Herbs + Spices, Soups & Stews, Seasoning

  • Overview of culinary herbs - dried vs fresh, how to store, chop, and incorporate into dishes. 
  • Overview of cooking with spices - flavor pairings, when to use, how to source.
  • The art of layering complex flavors throughout the preparation of a dish.
    •  Compound Herb Butter with Local Focaccia
    • Farmers Market Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
    • Homemade Vegetable Stock
    • Moroccan Chickpea Stew with Fresh Basil & Orange Zest

WEEK 4: SPECIALIZED SKILLS - Cooking Proteins, Pan Frying + Pan Sauces, Cooking with Grains

  • Learn different cuts for various meat proteins, and the best methods for cooking each cut.
  • Master the art of pan-frying and creating delicious pan sauces in minutes.
  • Learn to properly cook several different types of grains and incorporate them into healthy menus. 
    • White Bean & Arugula Salad with Red Onion
    • Seared Skirt Steak with Thyme & Shallot Pan Sauce
    • Creamy Parmesan Polenta
    • Oat Flour Brownies (gluten free)