On Saturday night, chef Dawn Burrell of Kulture cooked some chicken alone in a kitchen. Across Houston, several other home cooks were doing the same, going step-by-step with Burrell in a virtual cooking class over the Zoom video-conferencing platform.
In the age of COVID-19, we're all looking for ways to change up our routines, so what better than to hang out with an acclaimed local chef as you cook a meal with her?
It's thanks to I'll Have What She's Having, the Houston non-profit that offers health care support for women, especially in the hospitality industry, that this weekend hangout took place. It was the first of a hospitality-based video demo series called "I'll Have What She's Cookin'."
"We chefs don’t feel whole unless we are creating and caring for others, so we’ve created this series to express our love of our craft and our diners and what they are going through as well," said Burrell, who is serving as culinary director and co-producer of the series, in a press release. "The silver lining of this year will be new relationships and stronger friendships that are forged out of these historic times."
The vibe of Saturday night's cooking class echoed those sentiments. As Burrell cooked, students—hustling to keep up while sipping wine inside their kitchens—provided updates and comments on their work while asking the Olympic long-jumper-turned-chef questions about her life and career. Journalist Kate McLean, moderator of the class and co-producer of the series, popped up every once in a while to ask Burrell questions and keep up the flow.
To take part in the class, folks had to at least pay $10 for webinar access. For $55, students would also be sent a meal kit, so they had all ingredients to cook with Burrell. For an additional $50, viewers would be sent a wine pairing from Antonio Gianola of Houston Wine Merchant.
A second class, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, is a "swirl and savor happy hour" with Goodnight Hospitality partner and master sommelier June Rodil and cheese monger Shannon McCracken. Bread from Magnol French Baking will also be provided, and tickets are $85 for wine, cheese, and bread plus webinar. The webinar alone is $10, and Rodil has put together a package with six bottles of wine, four cheeses, and bread with a separate webinar for $175.
Then at 2 p.m. Saturday, pastry chef Dory Fung will host an Easter cookie decorating class. Tickets with a meal kit are $55, while the webinar alone is $10, and you can add a bottle of rose from Rodil for an additional $20.
I'll Have What She's Having is also offering a service called Pivot, which brings chef-made, re-heatable meals and meal kits to families who are juggling work and home life and need help with getting food on the table. If interested in Pivot, click here.