Tracy Bruns has taken a few cooking classes at the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts.
A resident of the Golden Triangle, Bruns is able to walk to the school, but she enjoys the classes and events because they’re fun, she said.
Bruns is especially looking forward to attending the sold-out Holiday Cookies class in December. It happens to fall on the same day that she will be attending a family gathering, so she is excited to be able to bring a tray of fresh-made cookies for her family to enjoy.
“They will be much fancier than anything I would be able to make on my own,” Bruns said.
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts, 43 W. Ninth Ave., provides both professional and recreational experiences for the entire community. Its three main facets are its Professional Culinary Program, which is an intensive certificate program; recreational cooking classes; and private events. This upcoming spring, the school is expecting to launch its restaurant management program, which will also offer its students a certification.
Cook Street is unique in its offerings, said Carol Chamberlain, the school’s wine instructor.
“It’s a great place to come if you love food and want to learn,” Chamberlain said.
Particularly for the recreational cooking classes and private events, the main goal is to have fun, said Lindsey Reese, Cook Street’s owner/operator. Second, she said, is the opportunity to eat great food, and the third is to learn something new.
“It’s an experience,” Reese said, adding, “we’re here to teach people.”
Cook Street’s recreational classes are interactive and run the gamut from dim sum to foods of the Mediterranean, and sushi to pasta 101, as well as offering programming themed for most major holidays. The school also offers classes on knife skills and classic techniques.
Its Wine Tour Classes, also known as Cook Street’s wine dinners, are less hands-on with the cooking skills, but attendees gain just as much knowledge. The idea is to explore the world through wine, Chamberlain said.
“Every bottle has its own story,” she said.
The Wine Tours — referred to as such because each one focuses on a specific wine region — are offered every third Wednesday of the month. The dinners feature a multi-course meal accompanied with a wine pairing for each course.
The chefs prepare and introduce the food, and Chamberlain provides attendees with food-and-wine pairing knowledge.
“The culture of wine is wine and food together,” Chamberlain said. “You get hooked when you’ve had that one wine that provides the ah-ha moment.”
Getting their start about a year-and-a-half ago, not one Wine Tour has been repeated, Chamberlain said. People can attend one Wine Tour dinner, or purchase a passport to attend many of them, and they will always learn something new, Chamberlain said.
Cook Street first opened its doors in 1999 at, appropriately, 123 Cook St. in Denver. It was there only about a year before moving to LoDo, Reese said, where it operated until 2019. That year, the school moved to its current location in the Golden Triangle.
Liz France of southeast Denver is a foodie and took her first class at Cook Street sometime when it was in its former LoDo location. She enjoys learning about wine and has a particular interest in continuing to educate herself on how food and wine pair together.
Cook Street provides a great venue for that, France said.
“I love that you get good food and wine, education and good company,” France said, “at a reasonable price.”