On Monday, November 11 Cook Street School of Culinary Arts hosted its grand opening at its new Broadway location. The institution originally opened in 1999 at 123 Cook Street. After less than a year at the original location, the school moved to a new space on Market Street, where it spent the better part of two decades establishing itself as one of the city’s great organizations for serious culinary students. Now celebrating its 20th year in business, the school will continue to churn out culinary professionals with the addition of hosting one-off cooking classes and presenting cooking demos from a new space just off Capitol Hill.
The new venue is well-outfitted for instruction. The open kitchen is helmed by a large butcher block — a crucial relic carefully moved from the downtown location. The piece is perfect for holding large spreads and provides a nice staging area for completed works, wine presentations and kitchen utensils. A full bar, a terrarium for growing microgreens and herbs and a chic interior augment the cooking area. The bright interior is inviting and thoroughly equipped with all the materials to transform cooks of any level into talented chefs.
Two chefs — executive chef John Park and executive pastry chef Jenna Dilullo — helm the Professional Culinary Arts Program. Split between a full-time program —that certifies students after four months of five-days-a-week instruction — and a part-time program — that does the same over 10 months of evening classes — the curriculum teaches pastry, savory, wine training and techniques and theory with a primary focus on the cuisines of France and Italy. Up to 20 students are admitted at a time to each section, keeping the instruction intimate and the kitchen free of cacophony.
The one-off classes are perhaps the most exciting feature being added with the opening of the new space. Regional classes including Mediterranean, New Orleans, Carribean and Indian are joined by pastry-focused events. Holiday pie, braided bread and holiday cookie instruction will all be available. Culinary Date Nights — in which couples are encouraged to come to learn to cook together are also divided regionally, with offerings currently focusing on European cookery. A kids class featuring gingerbread decoration will also be available on December 7. Taught by instructors Cada Fabian, Barb Sagel, Sam Friedman and Zach Jennings, the classes are a good way to explore different cuisines, expand existing skillsets and enjoy some intimate time with partners.
For two decades Cook Street has been developing a reputation as one of the city’s more notable culinary institutions. The new location should only expand the school’s scope, allowing many more residents to benefit from the staff’s field-tested expertise.
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts is located at 43 West 9th Ave., Denver.
All photography by Alden Bonecutter.