Fustini's Oils and Vinegars

School of Cooking Feature: Wendy Thomas


From date nights to birthday parties to corporate events and so much more, cooking classes at Fustini’s Oils and Vinegars can be a fun and interactive activity for whatever you’re celebrating.

For Holland customer Wendy Thomas, taking cooking classes has become a monthly tradition.

After hearing about Fustini’s classes from friends and family, Wendy wanted to try it out for herself. Since then, she and her husband Dan have taken classes featuring a wide range of cuisine and cooking techniques.

Since her first class in 2017, she’s advanced through the ranks of cooking status from “line cook”, “garde manger”, “sous chef” and up to “executive chef”, completing over 20 classes.

We caught up with Wendy to get her take on what her experience has been like learning and advancing her culinary skills through cooking class.

“I’ve always enjoyed cooking,” she said. “I’m the granddaughter of a restaurant owner and I have an extensive cookbook collection. You could say it is in my genetics.”

With a passion for culinary activities, she thought about going out and trying something new.

“Fustini’s cooking classes were recommended by a family member,” she said. “My sister had had a wonderful evening and highly recommended that we attend a class. Since that first visit and experience, we have tried to attend a class monthly.”

While she has attended a wide range of classes at the Holland store, she says her favorite are demonstration classes with Chef Andy Stewart. “We are big Andy Stewart fans,” she said. “We love his stories. I think our absolute favorite is his jacket story from his work in New York.

For her, those demonstration classes provide her the opportunity to relax and enjoy great company, all while enjoying great food.

“After a long week, there is nothing more enjoyable than packing-up a bottle of wine and heading to Fustini’s for a lovely evening,” she said. “The cost is similar to going out to dinner, but you get the added bonus of learning and enjoying entertainment.”

The cooking lessons and insights she learns from class are concepts she takes with her as she continues to cook in her own home for her own family and friends. “We have tried numerous recipes at home and they are a resounding success,” she said. “Our knife skills have certainly improved as well. We are happy to try new foods and it is nice to experiment with new recipes and old favorites.”

The fun experience and the practical culinary techniques are just part of what makes Fustini’s Cooking Classes a regular outing for Wendy and her husband. It also gives her the opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

“We invite our friends along and also go out with our neighborhood group around the holidays,” she said. “We’ve also been able to meet new friends. It is so much fun and a great evening out,” she said. “It is relaxing and Fustini’s makes us feel like family. We’ve gotten to know the staff and they take great care of us.”

Wendy and Dan continue to enjoy classes and gain more knowledge, skills and experiences in cooking at Fustini’s. “I would absolutely recommend taking a cooking class. “The classes are fun, educational and entertaining,” she said. “You always leave with new skills, recipes and fond memories.”

With new classes coming up at all Fustini’s locations, the School of Cooking can be a fun activity for a romantic date night or a fun outing with friends. You’ll get to discover practical cooking techniques and recipes that you can incorporate into your own menu planning at home. And, of course, you’ll get to enjoy eating whatever you learn to make.

Read about more experiences from class attendees here. Interested in advancing in your own culinary skills? Check out upcoming classes at your local Fustini’s School of Cooking to learn more about class themes and discover your next date night or friends and family outing.




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