Ahmad Yasin, master chef and one of the early advocates of the open-kitchen concept in the Boston area, is well-known for his restaurant, Kareem, in Watertown. Kareem closed over a decade ago, and Yasin has been catering and holding cooking classes in his spectacular kitchen studio in Watertown.
After a short hiatus in 2011, Yasin Culinary is back with new cooking classes and a Valentine's Day dinner/class on February 12.
Yasin Culinary's cooking classes are highly regarded as fun, informative, and beyond the ordinary. In addition to basic Arabic cooking techniques, the classes also teach Syrian and Middle Eastern historical approaches to food and dining. Boston Globe Magazine has recommended the class for "culinary anthropologists."
Yasin's impeccably clean and organized kitchen studio, with its sage-green walls and assorted jars of colorful spices, is open for classes of up to 12 participants. His kitchen allows people to gather around the prep and cooking areas for a close, personal learning experience.
"I thought I was joining a class to learn how to make hummus and tabouli," said Tracy, new to Syrian cooking. "...but I walked away with a new appreciation for spices, healthy eating, and where my food comes from."
Indeed, the source of food is important to Yasin. "we should be careful about what we put in our bodies. Life is too short to eat things that are bad for you, or worse, food that is prepared without love." Most of the vegetables that Yasin uses in his classes are grown in his own garden in Watertown. His dedication to fresh and healthy cooking is evident in his classes:
"He was a champion of eating and cooking with whole, organic, fresh foods long before doing so became fashionable," writes Mary, who took a class in 2010. "He is a superb cook, wonderful teacher, and kind and generous human being."
With each class taught, Yasin always includes a dessert treat for the group, which eats together at his large table. He considers his students as guests during the meal, which has been described as a large family gathering.
There are two upcoming classes in January and February 2012. Classes are limited to 12 participants, and are $85 per person.
- Saturday, January 28, 11 AM
- Saturday, February 4, 11 AM
A special Valentine's Day dinner and class is being held on Sunday, February 12, at 4 PM, for $100 per person. Last year's class sold out quickly, so early reservations are highly recommended.
Yasin Culinary's site, for more information and to register for classes and events: yasinculinary.com.