Classes Offered For Serious Cooks Only


The Loaves and Fishes Cooking School at the Bridgehampton Inn is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this summer. With a successful decade under its belt, the school is turning it up a notch by introducing a new series of advanced classes to complement the recreational classes that it currently offers.

Sybille van Kempen, the dean of the cooking school, has been excited to announce the additional cooking classes.

“The reason we developed the professional-style class is to address a customer we saw more and more who doesn’t want to just learn a recipe, but who wants to learn the techniques of how to cook and bake,” Ms. van Kempen said. “It highlights the skills you need to cook anything, the process is the same, it’s the science of cooking and that’s what we’re teaching.

Participants will learn advanced culinary techniques from instructor chef Carolyn Giacalone, she reported.

Ms. Giacalone has been teaching at the Bridgehampton Inn for five years. Over the course of her career, she has apprenticed in France and has also spent 10 years in Manhattan cooking in notable restaurants such as The River Café, San Dominico and Restaurant Mondrian. She then became a professional instructor teaching the Culinary Arts Program at New York City’s French Culinary Institute, among other notable institutions.

The professional courses will run in addition to the recreational classes, both of which are taught by Ms. Giacalone. Each leg of the professional courses will be held during a four day-span at the end of each month in the summer, from 1 to 5 p.m. each day. There’s a method to the unusual hours, according to the instructor.

“We pick those hours because we want a commitment, those are beach hours, so this is for somebody who really wants to learn how to cook. They’re going to give up four days of their summer, prime-time,” Ms. Giacalone said.

The professional-style class series began in June. This month’s classes will be intermediate, and the August classes will be more advanced.

“We get a lot of people who really want to know how to poach and how to broil, what’s the difference between braise and sauté, ‘what do I do with all these herbs I get from the green market?’” the chef said.

These are the topics that Ms. Giacalone will teach those who are there to really cook and learn, she said.

The professional-style series begins with a description of equipment, then knife skills, weights and measures, herb and spice identification, and egg cookery, on day one. The second day covers sauces and soups. Students will learn to cook stocks from scratch and how to make sauces and soups out of the stock. On day three, techniques for cooking protein will be taught, including poaching, braising, grilling, sautéing and searing.

“It’s all the different methods of cooking,” Ms. Giacalone explained. “There’s a little bit of butchery in every class, but basic butchery, how to fillet a fish, how to break down a chicken, how to butterfly a chicken.”

The final day, day four, will address desserts such as crème brûlée, custards and ice creams.

“Then we move on to pâte a choux, pastes, dough, cookie dough, pie dough and cake batters. So each week gets more advanced,” according to Ms. Giacalone.

Pâte a choux is a good example of what the advanced class will have to offer. The pastry base can be either savory or sweet. Because of the versatility of the dough, it can be filled with salmon mousse, herbs and cheese, or used as a dessert base for profiteroles and éclairs.

The daily schedule is the same each month though the recipes and techniques become increasingly difficult, according to the chef, who added that the professional-style series classes are for people who want to be better cooks at home as well as for aspiring chefs.

“People who are also thinking maybe I do want to go into the industry and I would like to see what it’s like. Because everything has to be put into four days, and four hours in four days, the program will be vigorous, unlike the recreational program which is very relaxed,” she reported. “This is going to be from the minute you walk in until the minute you leave work.”

For those who want to learn techniques, but in a more relaxed atmosphere, the school is still offering recreational cooking classes. The recreational classes consist of 10 to 12 people cooking a four-course meal, which they will eat while sharing a bottle of Long Island wine. The recreational classes are approximately three hours long. All of the recreational recipes come from the cook books written by the matriarch of the institution, Anna Pump.

“I encourage cooking a simple way and nutritionally wise,” Ms. Pump, the owner of the Bridgehampton Inn and Loaves and Fishes in Bridgehampton, said. “It’s cooking, it’s good cooking. Don’t buy any processed foods, don’t eat all these chips and things that are not good for you. Just cook naturally and what’s around you, that’s what I tell people and that’s what I tell Carolyn and she’s doing a great job with it.”

The Loaves and Fishes Cooking School at the Bridgehampton Inn’s professional-style series will be held from Monday, July 22, through Thursday, July 25, and again from August 26 through August 29. All classes will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. The cost per four-day series unit is $800. Students must be 16 years or older. Recreational classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays during July and August from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. and are $165 per person. For more information, visit or call 537-6066.

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