The best gifts are those that can’t be unwrapped: Sharing experiences with friends and family. Having a laugh. A delicious dinner. Well… all of those boxes can be checked with a gift certificate to Chef Johnny V’s cooking classes! Whether you are on a short visit to Santa Fe or a lifelong local, he offers something for everyone. One of the most beloved personalities in these parts, he is not only fun to hang out with – but also a fabulous private chef for hire and heads the cooking school at Las Cosas Cooking Shoppe in DeVargas Mall.
I have taken several classes with Johnny and had a blast at each one. An ideal class is limited to about 8 people, and each intimate group shares the experience of newly found skills, teamwork, and a yummy meal at the end. (I’ve always left overs to take home, too.) From New Mexican specialties to knife skills to exotic Indian curries, the choice is varied– and when you’re learning from Mr. Personality himself, you’re pretty much in for dinner-and-a-show!
His December schedule includes holiday themes such as “Christmas in New Mexico;” “Christmas Lunch in Umbria;” Chile Fest-Green and Red;” and the “Annual Tamale Roll.” Santa Fe newbies must take “High Altitude Baking for the Holidays”to finally understand why your cakes just aren’t turning out the same at 7000 feet elevation! Johnny V is also a SuperChef with the local Cooking With Kids organization so his “Kids Holiday Cookie Class” is a great way to entertain youngins during school break.
Johnny has his own cookbook if you want to take a piece of him home with you (and everyone does…) and he also is partnering with another local cookbook author, Lynn Cline for a “Maverick Cookbook” class based on her tome of the same name.
What’s the saying about “teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” Give your loved ones a lifetime of yummy meals by way of Johnny V’s classes… and maybe they will even return the love and cook for you!