What’s better than an incredibly talented chef cooking a delicious dinner for you and friends at home? An incredibly talented chef hosting a private, interactive cooking class for you and friends in the comfort of your home, with a sit down dinner and dessert grand finale! Introducing Chef Nikki’s Tallahassee home cooking classes.
Rather than taking Chef Nikki Pettineo up on her generous offer to gift us a class any time, I decided to invite the entire admin team over and host them for the holidays. They work so hard year after year, so I wanted to make sure they felt appreciated; but I’m the lucky one, getting to enjoy this rare time together!
We had SO much fun and the holiday vibes were in full effect – a sparkling tree, the candles were lit, holiday music, champagne upon arrival, a fire in the fireplace, red wine to accompany dinner, and ZERO intention of moderating our Facebook Group for a solid few hours lol. A full on unplugged moment!
Local talent Chef Nikki, the entertaining and educational creator behind Nikki Talks Food and culinary artisan behind my favorite seasoning blend that I sprinkle on everything, Pro Seasoning, treated us to an unforgettable cooking class experience, right in my own home. I first met Nikki at one of her Brown’s cooking classes, so it was wonderful to have a similar educational experience at home with friends.
When we booked the class, Chef Nikki asked us to take a look at her site’s course offerings, there are so many fun options to choose from – I filled her in on our selection mentioning, “we mostly agreed on Pasta Making, but Show Stopping Desserts was a very close second”. She replied, “let’s do both”! She also showed up early to give us a lesson in the art of chopping, incorporating her Knife Skills course into the mix as we helped prep.
On The Menu –
- Caprese Salads
- Short Rib Ravioli with Tomato Ragu
Chef Nikki, accompanied by her wife Jen, arrived with a full on kit to set up, along with their wealth of expertise. I was in a frenzy after a rough week and trying to get all the last minute details sorted out before guests arrived, but they took over and got me back to my usual namaste lol.
They quickly transformed my kitchen into a hub for a creative Tallahassee home cooking classes, setting up stations so that everyone could jump in and participate. Every moment was so full-service, as they started by giving my countertops a scrub to ensure everything was food safe for all the pasta, short ribs, and lady fingers that were about to grace my countertops.
Our evening commenced with delightful insalata caprese appetizers. Chef Nikki offered up two delicious variations. My personal favorite featured a huge portion of thinly sliced onions pickled in a tasty pear vinaigrette, layered over ripe tomatoes and creamy fresh mozzarella. The presentation was beautiful.
Tallahassee Home Cooking Classes
We then embarked on our culinary course journey – all jumping in to chop garlic, onions, carrots, and celery for our savory ragu. Tan and Chef Nikki expertly worked pasta through the roller, short ribs simmered in the pressure cooker, Idella consistently mixed eggs over a double boiler for the dessert, while Becca and Celeste layered our delicious chocolate desserts. It was a collaborative effort for all involved!
I have no idea how Chef Nikki is able to teach skills, keep up with all that is going on, while sharing big laughs and fun conversations. I have to have everything done before people arrive, otherwise cooking and chatting may lead to me burning the house down lol. She’s such a pro.
After much fun, laughter, and lessons in how to make these culinary delights, we all gathered around the table to enjoy this incredible meal together. The short rib stuffed ravioli smothered in the flavorful ragu sauce was high-end restaurant quality, served with a side of tasty broiled asparagus, seasoned to perfection with Chef Nikki’s Pro Seasoning, and dusted in freshly shaved pecorino romano! Everything was DELICIOUS! I literally sprinkle her Pro Seasoning on everything!
I enjoy coffee these days, but coffee flavored desserts are not my favorite. Chef Nikki customized the experience to feature a caramel-infused twist on tiramisu with lady finger layers dipped in caramel syrup, layered in a chocolate and egg infused mascarpone, and lightly dusted with cocoa. This dessert was delicious, and easy enough that I will keep this fun take on tiramisu on repeat at our house, maybe even a dish that I bring to a friend’s house, or our annual work dessert auction. I shared a slice with my kids the next day and they also loved it.
The entire meal was a comforting dining experience together, we savored every bite.
I also have to mention, that in addition to all else, Chef Nikki and Jenn kept the glasses of wine and champagne topped off, scrubbed every dish leaving my kitchen more sparkly than when they arrived, and found their way to our tupperware, gifting me a fridge full of the extras.
Each admin friend left with a goodie bag from Chef Nikki filled with her latest Aleppo Style Chili Flakes, a spatula, all of the recipes featured at our in-home cooking class, and a Pro Seasoning pin. We also multiplied the desert recipe times 6 so each admin could take home a tray of the dessert we all made together, and a gift card from myself, a little token of my appreciation for all they do.
I highly recommend Chef Nikki’s in home cooking classes any time, but especially for the holidays or a special occasion! She offered up a little insight into her New Year’s party cooking class and I am SO jealous of what’s in store for the host and guests, the evening is going to be so fun and full of festive creativity, customized for the occasion.
With our incredibly busy lives (we all have day jobs and kiddos), getting together is always a challenge, which made this get-together even more meaningful. Not only did our Facebook Group’s three long-time admins get together – myself, Becca, and Tan, which is never easy, but we were also joined by our newer admins, Idella and Celeste. All 5 of us have never been in the same room together, and most of the admins were just meeting Celeste for the first time. All of this made Chef Nikki’s gift to us not only a fun and tasty educational class, but also much needed time together.
Thank you, Chef Nikki! We appreciate you and your time so very much! Your dedication to your craft is truly commendable, and Tallahassee is fortunate to have you as our local, culinary treasure. I highly recommend her Tallahassee home cooking classes!
Disclosure – Chef Nikki was kind enough to gift us her time, effort, and expertise for this experience, in exchange for our feedback. I took care of the food and bev contribution to our admin get together, including gift cards I purchased for all guests. Partnerships help maintain my expenses, so that I may offer our readers more fun posts like this, and continue to support our locals.