Putting it all out on the table

The front of the school

The first day at a new job is always interesting.  What to expect?  What to discover?  New people to meet and get to know.

After a fairly long courtship and multiple interviews I have been hired as the General Manager for a small recreational cooking school, kitchen supply store and European style espresso bar called the The Kitchen Table.  The school is located in a small shopping mall off of Belleview called the Landmark Shopping Center.

I’m always amazed at how jobs come my way. They seem to seek me out.  In thinking back I don’t think I have ever found a job through a want ad or job search engine.  They always come about through a friend or colleague and rarely from who you think  would be able to provide you the most help.   In this case a former student of mine from Culinary School of the Rockies, Sam Milligan, was at Troy Guard’s restaurant and heard I was recently laid off.  It just so happened that his boss was looking for a general manager for her cooking school.

The school has been open for two years and has had a roller coaster ride of a business history.  I’m arriving at a time that seems perfect. Business is growing steadily and the school’s reputation is expanding.  I will be working with one familiar face: Thomas Lee.  He was the instructor I trained as my replacement prior to my departure from CSR.

The owner, Yvonne, is delightful and full of energy.  The place is gorgeous.  The kitchen is appointed with top level gear and plenty of small wares for every student.  Each group of two students has their own Boos rolling workstation equipped with a full set of all-clad cookware.  The same equipment is available for purchase in their small retail shop.  The great aspect of their set up is that every student is paired with another student (12 is the maximum class size) and gets to cook every course of the menu.  Completely hands on.  Much of their mise en place is ready for them on a sheet pan when they walk into the kitchen.

One half of the line

They have several course offerings.  A foundation series set to get the budding cook to a higher level of confidence in the kitchen,  a foundation baking series and an around the world of international cuisine offerings as well as a very popular couples class.  They have a nice events business and can offer all kinds of custom built events.  They are looking to develop a wine curriculum that will compliment their cooking courses as well as more advanced coursework and maybe even some culinary trips to hot food destinations.

A view of the retail shop

The retail shop is filled with All-Clad, Swiss Diamond, Khun Rinkon, CIA line of small wares, Peugeot pepper mils and a big selection of Wusthof and Shun knives.

A view of the espressole caffe

The café offers zoka coffee, teas, some savory items and a pastry case filled with house made pastries.  They draw in a pretty good local crowd and the Baristas take pride in their handcrafted coffee drinks. On Friday and Saturday night they feature a live band and a full bar.  The bands are mellow enough to allow for conversation over a few martinis or selected wines by the glass.

It has been hard to stay out of the kitchen so far but is exciting to begin learning about all the elements that go into running a small cooking school. I look forward to building the business and making it the best recreational cooking school it can be.   Please feel free to come by and say hello.  If you have any ideas for a cooking class I would love to hear about them.  The parking is free and usually plentiful.  There are many other businesses in the mall including comedy works,  movie theater, Ted’s Montana grill, Hapa Sushi,  Jings chinese and lots of other retail shops.


One Response

  1. […] as GM at The Kitchen Table, a small cooking school in south Denver. You can read more about this here. The infinity pool at the Delano, […]

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