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

$65

WINE 101 - Indian Summer

Monday, September 25  6:00 PM

Tuesday September 26  9:30 AM

Wednesday, September 27  6:00 PM

 

Farm stands are overflowing with late summer’s harvest and Holly is searching out the perfect wines for pairing. We begin with Jacques Pepin’s chilled zucchini bisque followed by a delish linguine with fresh tomatoes, herbs and brie. Assorted pepper and sausage ragout served on buttered noodles is paired with shallot basil sweet corn. Rosemary peach cobbler is a scrumptious seasonal ending. Arrivederci, summer!

$55

Autumn in New England

Monday, October 9    6:00 PM

Tuesday October 10    9:30 AM

Wednesday, October 11    6:00 PM

 

Bet you’ve never had a cocktail made from pine boughs! Have your first, an Alpine spruce Manhattan, alongside Vermont cheddar and bacon cocktail melts. Ciderroasted pork tenderloin is heavenly and served with cranberry applesauce and buttercup squash puree that even nay-sayers can’t get enough of! For a yummy finish, maple pot de crème with brandy cream and pumpkin seed brittle. Cozy, yet? 

Pairing Classes

  • $80

    Dinner in Puglia

    Friday, September 22

    The first of our "Esperanza Italiana" Series!  Join guest chef Nella Neeck as she transports you to the heel of the boot in Italy - Puglia.  Known as Italy's Garden Paradise, Puglia is also famous for its wines.  Holly will pour you some wines to pair as we turn your Friday night into a vicarious voyage to the Mediterranean!  Check out the menu...

    $75

    Oktoberfest!

    Sunday, October 1

    Let's start the month off right!  Its time for all of the wonderful foods of Germany, paired with some of the beverages that Germany does best.  Expect a selection of wine and beer, and perhaps a good digestivo after the feast!  Guest Chef Debbie Maruke will be cooking up a storm, and Holly will be pouring.  PROST!  Menu to be announced...

     

Special events

2017-11-27

HOLLY'S HAPPY HOURS at LENTO!

 

Theeeeeyyyyyy'rrre BACK!  The most fun you'll have in just one hour.  Join us on the third Wednesday of each month (except when noted), for a taste of Art Rogers incredible cuisine paired with wine choices from his award-winning wine list.  Holly will walk you through the pairings, and when we're

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

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!

Dan Eaton

We've been fans of Dan since we first met him years ago!  He is a Rochester signature, and has cooked in some of the area's best kitchens - the Daily Planet, the Rochester Club, Restaurant 2Vine, Rio Bamba, Tonic, Pearl, Max Rochester and Rooney's.  You also might recognize him from "Cooking at Home" with Dan Eaton on Cable News!  We are thrilled to have him as a guest chef at the Seasonal Kitchen.

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...

 

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

  • Shaker Pickles

    Such an easy pickle to pickle!  Ginger has been making these pickles for 40 years.  Somewhere in between dill and sweet, they are the sidekick for our Christmas raclette, perfect in potato and ziti salads, and a Howell burger is hardly legal without them.  Another great gift for the holidays, and that is how it all began 40 years ago when Ginger received a hostess gift jar with recipe attached!

  • Mint Syrup

    We love a mint julep!  Not just with the horses, but all summer long!  

    Not to mention a refreshing mojito now and then too...

    Be prepared with mint syrup in your fridge and the cocktails are ready when you are.

  • Basil Jelly

    Your basil is going gangbusters, and you can only eat so much pesto! Basil jelly is beautiful and delicious, and lamb is hardly legal without it! Make the infusion now and freeze it ’til you have time to “jelly.” Recipe is on our website. Seal in pretty jars for unique holiday gifts. Go, green!    

  • 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!