About us

Hi everyone! We’re Ginger and Holly Howell – Welcome to the Seasonal Kitchen Cooking School, now in its 45th year of bringing great food and good times to foodies everywhere. Our menus change constantly, always using seasonal, fresh ingredients, and hopefully making life easy for the cook.

Ginger doesn’t make dishes that take hours to prepare and she doesn’t use ingredients you can’t pronounce or buy at the market. She loves to entertain, but she wants to be with her friends, not working in the kitchen! She hopes that her food is reasonably healthy, but she does admit to a certain predilection for butter, cream and chocolate – hey, it worked for Julia!

Holly is wild about wine and a Certified Sommelier from the Master Court of London. But don’t let that scare you!  Her classes are "serious" fun. Spend an hour or two with Holly and her knowledge and enthusiasm will transport to you to places from the Finger Lakes to the Greek Isles!

In between classes by the two of us, some of the best chefs in town do demonstrations here and these classes are really popular – we even have a 4-star chef from a fabulous Vermont restaurant who pops in twice a year – and he has plenty of fans!  The Seasonal Kitchen is a fun place to be. You’ll get great instruction, a terrific meal and go home armed with recipes and pairing ideas to do your own party. Come and see us. We’d love to meet you!

Schedule 2017

$60

Wine 101 - Beautiful Bordeaux

Monday, January 16  6:00 PM

Wednesday, January 18  6:00 PM

Fresh from cruising the Gironde river, Holly is pouring the wines of Bordeaux, and Ginger is cooking up her favorite southwestern French recipes!  Mushroom duxelles on toast, decadent truffled celery root bisque, Ginger's take on the classic French housewife's Cassoulet, a lovely salade with roquefort croutons, and salubrious winter fruits poached in butter and Armagnac served over ice cream.  C'est si bon!

$55

Fireside Fare

Tuesday, January 24  9:30 AM

Wednesday, January 25  6:00 PM

Let's cuddle up and sip a winter white cosmos and munch on stuffed mushrooms with bacon and olives.  There's a Moroccan pot roast braising in the oven to be served with a rice pilaf and marinated green beans with hearts of palm.  Save room for a butter pecan ice cream tart with pecan crust and warm caramel sauce.  Bring on winter!

Pairing Classes

  • $70

    A Taste of Spain!

    Sunday, February 12   3:00 PM

    It's the middle of winter, and we need a trip to somewhere fun. So, Spain, here we come!  We will travel the country vicariously via the gift of food and wine.  Nella Neeck will be serving up some savory Spanish specialties like Potato & Onion Tortilla, Chicken Croquettes, Albondigas Spanish Meatballs with Serrano Ham, Creamy Mushroom Sherry Soup, and more - plus the best Flan you''ve ever tasted.  And Holly will pour some of her favorite Spanish sippers, from Rueda to Ribera to Rioja.  Not to be missed.  Viva Espana!  

Culinary Trips

  • The Enticing Douro 2017!

    November 7-14, 2017

     

    This will be an immersion into the world of Portuguese wine and food!  Begin your journey down the Douro River with its dramatic gorges, lush vineyards and tranquil fishing villages.  From Porto, continue on to the ancient and picturesque city of Lamego where you enter Spain to visit Salamanca, s well as the beautiful inland countryside and the palace and gardens of Mateus.

    Check out http://toursandwine.com/HollyHowell/ for more info!

Guest Chefs

2Foodies

Carrie and Andrew Morabito own and run the fabulous "2Foodies" Wine and Spirits Shop on Ridge Road in Greece (www.2foodies.com). Their classes feature Andrew's own homemade recipes along with a sampling of some of the unique wines that they carry in the store. Their motto - "Wine + Food = Fun!".  We couldn't agree more...

 

Debbie Maruke

Debbie has been one of our most popular guest chefs for years.  She is a culinary genius, and one of the best bakers we know.  She and Holly love to do food and wine pairing classes and they are always looking for a fun new theme.  Downton Abbey?  The Titanic?  The Great Gatsby?  We are always open to ideas!  Dressing up for class is HIGHLY encouraged.

Michel Baumann

The King of the Hill, who treks over here twice a year from his 4-star Vermont restaurant (The Chantecleer), to bedazzle his fans!

Food Tidbits

  • Zucchini

    So you planted a few zucchini pants and now you’re wondering why. There’s no way to stop them from coming - your neighbors are tired of your largesse – and you’re bored to death with zucchini bread!  This chocolate cake is one of the best we’ve ever eaten.  It’s a recipe from a Cape Cod Bakery.  Frosting lovers – this one’s for you!

  • Pasta Salad Passé?

    Not on your life!  This Ziti Salad from the late, great “Store at Amagansett” is a garden in a bowl and a perfect pairing with fried chicken and a nicely chilled Dry Rosé.  Don’t even consider skipping the beef bouillon – it is the key to that amazing dressing and so is the pickle juice.  And the fresh dill, well.. just try it – bet you’re gonna love it!

  • Restaurant Review - LAURIER

    What?  You haven't been to Laurier?  We're almost loathe to brag about this little gem in charming downtown Mendon for fear that we'll never get a seat again!

  • Gorgonzola and Camembert Fondue

    Nothing is more comforting on a frigid wintry night than a bubbling pot of fondue.  A hearty appetizer that could easily become a yummy supper with sausages and/or salad.  While a Swiss fondue is always appealing, just give this twist on the tradtional a try.  You're gonna love it - I guarantee!

    Holly's Tip: Whatever wine you use in the fondue, serve that same wine as an accompaniment.  For example, if you use Riesling, serve a nice Finger Lake Riesling alongside.  If you use Sauvignon Blanc in the recipe, serve a nice bottle of Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc from France).  Or if Chardonnay is your thing, put a little in the fondue, and serve the same wine alongside!