RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The kitchen can be a daunting place for people who don't know how to cook. But at Sierra Chef, the daunting becomes exciting.
Owner Cynthia Ferris-Bennett is a self-taught cook. For the past 25 yeras, she has been catering weddings and events as well as teaching cooking classes in various locations.
But now, Sierra Chef has a cooking center. Her goal is to make everyone feel comfortable experimenting and learning the way her family made her feel comfortable as she was learning.
"My husband is the experiment," she said, laughing. "Usually they are pretty good. There have only been a few that stand out that were disasters and he's really polite about it."
Ferris-Bennett wants others to have those memories too. Because cooking is not only about creating food to eat. It's about sharing memories with those around you.
"We all, professional chef and cooks, make the same mistakes you make," she said. "To be a cook and a chef is a constant learning process . Whether you're a famous chef or a home cook, it's always learning."
The cooking center has individual cooking stations so everyone has a space to get hand on training through fun classes.
"There are all kinds of classes," she said. "Kids classes, adult classes, pasta making, girl's night our, wine pairing. A little bit of everything."
And everything is right. The list of available classes is impressive. There's cheese making, spice mixing, Kitchen basics 101. Something for every skill level. For the more advanced chooks, Ferris-Bennett brings in guest chefs. But like cooking, there's always ways to shake things up.
"The majority of classes are where somebody calls or emails and says, 'I have 8 people and we want to learn Asian Fusion cooking', so we'll create a custom class," she said.
But her favorite classes are ones with pint size chefs.
"It's so important to get kids in the kitchen, not only for safety but also learning that there are other things beside chicken nuggets."
During the summer, she will host a 10 week farm to fork course for kids. They will grow, harvest, and cook all of their own food. She wants to cultivate their passion for cooking at an early age.
"I love to cook," she said. "I truly love to cook and that I can incorporate something I love into a business- I have it all.
Sierra Chef is hosting its Grand Opening Thursday, January 28 from 3-7pm. It's located at 1516 US 395 Highway Suite D. FOr more information on classes, click the link attached to this story.