New to Baltimore but not new as a culinary instructor, Chef Scott Ryan has recently opened the Baltimore Chef Shop cooking school in Hampden. Chef Ryan has been a culinary instructor since graduating the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Massachusetts well over 10 years ago. During the Dim Sum class that I attended, the chef and I shared a moment fondly reminiscing about a common acquaintance, the founder of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, Roberta Dowling who recently passed away.
Chef Ryan has taught the culinary arts in multiple cities while moving about the country supporting his wife’s career. They have set down roots in Baltimore and truly focused on his career as a culinary instructor. Initially, the classes were held in his house until his school recently opened on ‘the Avenue’ in Hampden.
Being a dim sum lover, I was excited to take the Baltimore Chef Shop class. Each student’s station was set with written recipes, cutting board, apron, towel and knife. Impressed that chef emphasized that your recipes should be read through thoroughly and more than once before starting the cooking, a practice that I personally abide by. Many a soul has started working on a recipe and found that something had to marinate overnight, lacked an ingredient or they overlooked a necessary piece of equipment.
The class had a challenging number of recipes to accomplish in our 3 hours: baked pork buns, the baking the char sui marinated pork to be used in the pork buns, vegetable spring rolls, shui mai-stuffed won ton wrappers with ground pork and shrimp, and steamed shrimp dumplings. Chef Ryan adapted a recipe for a student who was allergic to shellfish and made it just pork. We broke into teams of two although I was the odd gal out, being the number 3 on the pork bun recipe. We started on the dough first, it needed to rise, cooked the already marinated char sui for the stuffing mixture. We baked the buns, we didn’t steam them, the texture was superb and I look forward to trying out making meat knishes with this dough. Loving the flavor of the char sui marinated pork, I have already used that recipe on a pork tenderloin.
Previous cooking classes that I have taken have premeasured ingredients, not this class – you did your due diligence, measured each component and did your own mise en place (getting your ingredients in place). Chef Ryan was right there demonstrating stir fry techniques, how to properly stuff the shui mai to handling a knife properly in a kitchen. Our reward was eating the multiple dishes prepared. A couple of friends who took the class came brought their own libations, orange juice and champagne for the mimosas. The class was a mix of friends, a couple dating, and those interested in learning something new in the kitchen.
Whether you want to really learn culinary techniques, Baltimore Chef Shop’s 5 part Kitchen Technique series to themed classes; i.e. Brunch, Vegetarian Indian Cuisine, Homemade Fresh Cheese to Vietnamese Street Food – there is a class for everyone. Their website is well thought out so you can look at a calendar or at specific classes for information – for example, December classes or categories- vegetarian, baking, for kids. You will find that most individual classes run about $65 per person on average. Recipes and techniques with photographs are also available on their website.
The Baltimore Chef Shop offers kitchen rentals, gift certificates, team building etc – full service.
Baltimore Chef Shop – 807 W. 36th Street – Baltimore, MD 21201 www.baltimorechefshop.com 443.759.4291 Twitter and Instagram @BaltChefShop Facebook