|Chef Baxter does not draw any distinctions between amateur and professional. You are in a professional kitchen being trained by a chef at the top of the whos who list in this country, who also happens to be at the top of his form. If you want to watch a chef show you how HE makes the latest ring molded, cod-foamed, tea infused fannied-about-with pretentious unrecognizable and unpronounceable amuse that passes for an entrée, DONT COME HERE!
Instead, what you WILL get is an exhaustive practical hands on seminar on 4 courses, replete with enough food science to keep you cooking for a lifetime. Indeed, you could theoretically come away from Neils classes with enough knowledge to write your own cooking show! (Although that IS theoretical)!
Everyone is expected to contribute, and everyone does there is no hand holding here Baxter makes Gordon Ramsay look like Jamie Oliver (figure that one out for yourselves!).
ANTONY JOHN (The Manic Organic)
Chef Baxter welcomes you to his kitchen, and his ridiculously high standards. He guides your preparation and execution of his exceptional menu, and then he graciously lets you pay for it. His class is an inspiration and one of the highlights of my year.
We look forward to Rundles Cooking School with the same anticipation we have for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The same warm associations of the Holidays come to mind the wonderful smells, tastes, sumptuous meals amidst the hustle and bustle of cooking in the kitchen. We enjoy going with our friends as well as meeting new people in the class. The conversations while cooking and dining are stimulating and interesting.Chef Baxter welcomes you to his kitchen, and his ridiculously high standards. He guides your preparation and execution of his exceptional menu, and then he graciously lets you pay for it. His class is an inspiration and one of the highlights of my year.
Rundles is as much a learning experience as a gourmet dining experience. We have so much fun preparing the food, it is almost sinful to think that we get to eat it too. The challenging menus each spring renew our appreciation and curiosity in cooking. After we return home we find ourselves practicing newly acquired techniques, incorporating new ingredients, and experimenting with different combinations of tastes.
Chef Neil entertains us with a new repertory of jokes and his sous chefs are always ready to rescue us from our occasional mishaps. It is a delightful way to spend a spring weekend.
MARTY and HSIAO PING KATZ
Rose Murray and I have often taken part in Neil Baxters cooking weekends at Rundles. As food writers whose workplace is a consumer kitchen, it is a fun experience to be in the professional kitchen of such an acclaimed restaurant, and to have master teacher and chef Neil Baxter as our "leader".
We have always found the menus intriguing, yet within the skills of a class of mixed experience. Preparation for the classes by Baxter and his helpers is completely professional. Chef Baxter always begins the classes by explaining the menu and demonstrating challenging techniques, and throughout the actual cooking by the student teams, circulates with encouragement and helpful hints.
Of course, if the class cooks, the class gets to eat, always with appropriately matched wines. The dinners and lunches that form the cooking structure of the weekend are always a delight as students get to know each other, and share their enthusiasm for what they have cooked. And have fun. I have recommended these cooking weekends to a number of people and all have raved about how much they learned, what a good time theyve had and how absolutely delicious the food was.
Neils cooking classes are inspirational and informative mixed with just the right blend of humor. Chef is a true artist blending flavors and textures to create outstanding new dishes. It is the perfect class for beginners as well as the more advanced cook. I always leave with a wealth of ideas and at least five extra pounds. I would not change one thing about this superb weekend.
Cooks Weekends with Neil Baxter at Rundles in Stratford have become a reunion of old friends found in Neils stimulating menus that are demonstrated, cooked and created by groups all sharing the love of imaginatively creative food, wine, learned talents and techniques.
Neils easy manner, dry humor and anything is possible attitude has given me courage to try even the most difficult recipes. I started out being a very basic cook, but have through Neils direction the confidence to try and add new dimensions to meals, create delight in new flavors, combine menus with courage and knowledge to try anything with success and pleasure.
I still cook from many of the menus that we have learned over the years, I have only missed only two since 1986.
I have attended Chef Neil Baxters cooking classes at Rundles for the past 20 years. A wonderful weekend of working with people who share an enthusiasm for preparing and enjoying fine food. Chef Neils teaching approach is serious, well organized, but non-threatening and fun.
My friends and I always return home, new recipe folder in hand, inspired by reworking the old, and by trying the new techniques and tastes. Of course we get to sit down with interesting wines, to consume the fruits of our labours. This is the best foodie get-away week-end.
Ive been going to cooking courses for the last 10 years. Not one course has come close to the quality of program Neil offers. A top-notch event and worth every penny.
These classes contain an impressive amount of information. It is not only educational, but also a lot of fun.
Im passionate about cooking. Neils classes have fulfilled that passion and his recipes have formed a large part of my culinary repertoire.