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 2016

$ 58

Wine 101 - So Long, Summer!

Monday, September 26 6:00 PM

Tuesday September 27 9:30 AM

Wednesday, September 28 6:00 PM

Zucchini, tomato and gouda melt - a very good place to start!  Farmers market pasta is a magical melange of the season's bounty and the best darn pasta in our repetoire.  An incredibly delicious roast chicken is paired with a four-star gratin of beans, tomatoes and bacon. Luscious baked peaches and ice cream are a sweet ending.  All this and wines by Holly.  Corkscrew, please!

$ 52

Autumn Leaves

Monday, October 10 6:00 PM

Tuesday October 11 9:30 AM

Wednesday, October 12 6:00 PM

Turn back the clock, get out the sweaters and put a pot roast in the oven!  Sip autumn fruit sangria and nosh on rosemary braised mushrooms.  That pot roast is simmered in red wine along with root veggies and served with a creamy apple slaw and bacon cheese biscuits.  Oh-so-good apple cake with brown sugar rum sauce is the fall finale.  Does the word "comfy" come to mind?

Pairing Classes

  • $70

    Not Your Nonna's Italian!

    Tuesday, August 30   6:00PM

    Debbie Maruke is in the kitchen!  And she will be cooking up some specialties of Italy that are not your mainstream pasta and sauce.  Each dish will be paired with a wine from Holly's Cellar Collection.  Prepare yourself for a virtual tour of the BEST of Italia.

    $70

    Oh Canada, Oh Canada!

    Sunday, October 16  3:00 PM

    Inspired by our trip to the Great White North, we are going to immerse ourselved in the cuisine and wines of beautiful Canada.  Guest Chef Debbie Maruke will be cooking up a storm of Canadian specialties, and Holly will be pairing a fabulous Niagara Peninsula wine with each course.  These wines are not easy to find in the states, but once you taste them, you will definitely want to schedule a trip across the border.  Until then, we are thrilled to bring Canada to YOU!
  • $45

    Happy Hallowine!

    Sunday, October 30 3:00 PM

    We love any excuse for a party, and Halloween is one of our favorites.  Once again, Chef Debbie Maruke will be IN THE HOUSE!  Inspired by the foods of the season, and the theme of the holiday, you can expect some classic Debbie creativity.  With each course, there will be an elixir to taste that will bring out the soul of each dish.  Costumes welcome, and highly encouraged!

Wine Classes

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    $48

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    Monday, May 30 6:00 PM

    Tuesday May 31 9:30 AM

    Wednesday, June 1 6:00 PM

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    $48

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    Monday, May 30 6:00 PM

    Tuesday May 31 9:30 AM

    Wednesday, June 1 6:00 PM

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Culinary Trips

  • A Taste of Bordeaux 2016!

    November 11-18, 2016

    Holly is thrilled to be hosting this AMAWaterways River Cruise through one of her favorite French wine regions - BORDEAUX!  Begin with a two night stay in Paris, the magical “City of Light,” and enjoy a panoramic tour of the city’s top sights. Continue on to Bordeaux, the capital of Aquitaine in Southwestern France and one of the world’s undisputed wine capitals. You’ll discover stately chateaux, abundant vineyards and stunning scenery as you sail along the Garonne River and its surrounding estuaries, calling upon port cities like Cadillac, Bourg and Libourne. Enjoy tastings of some of the region’s most distinguished wines and visit notable sights before concluding your journey with a two night stay in the Loire Valley and one night in Paris.

    Visit http://www.amawaterways.com/taste-of-bordeaux-wine-themed-2016 for more details!

  • 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

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!
 

Joel Kraft

The genius behind all that diverse cuisine at St. John Fisher. Tall, handsome and incredibly talented, he should have his own Food Network Show!

 

Nella Neeck

Broadway Mom, former "What's For Dinner Tonight" spokesperson, and one of the best Italian cooks on the planet.  Her Lasagne should be in the National Archives!
 

Food Tidbits

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!