UPDATED — Some lucky Wichitans have known for years that dinner at Jackie Smith’s house is one of the hottest tickets in town.
Now, everyone is invited.
Smith is starting Zest for Cooking, a cooking school she plans in her east-side home.
“I am just enthused about teaching people to cook,” says Smith, a former home economist.
“Each class will touch upon different things,” Smith says of what Zest for Cooking will offer.
Some classes will be more complex and some more basic, but each one will feature a list of skills that participants can learn along with dishes.
Smith wants to emphasize technique and skill but also ingredient exploration and sensory training and awareness. She says that means “learning how to taste and smell and feel as part of the whole cooking process.”
Participants should understand how each ingredient can transform to play a role in a dish “rather than just saying, ‘Oh, it takes half a cup of this.’ ”
Each year, Smith hopes to have a new theme for her classes. This year, it’s Rome, which means a couple of features a month on cooking from there. Classes won’t be limited to that, though. There will be quick-and-easy recipes, seasonal dishes – including using farmers’ market finds – and cooking from chefs’ cookbooks.