Midwest Living Review
Le Chat Gourmet cooking school offers a full menu of classes for budding gourmands.
Surrounded by acres of woods, organic gardens and field animals, Le Chat Gourmet is a placid treat. Denene Vincent, the one-man band (make that one-woman band) that runs the show is a self-trained chef with more than 25 years of professional culinary experience. She teaches cooking classes ($65 and up) from the basement/dream kitchen of a cedar shake cottage 10 miles from Lansing.
Named for Vincent’s numerous cats, who are themselves allegedly adventurous diners, Le Chat Gourmet offers a variety of cooking courses ranging from sushi preparation to Tuscan dinners. Each class accommodates about 12 individuals who gather around a butcher-block island to watch and learn from Denene. Each student is given an apron, a towel and a job. At the end of the demonstration, everyone gathers in a rustic exposed-brick dining room to sample the finished products.
Le Chat Gourmet is an interactive spot, and Denene also teaches team-building courses for corporations. “Everyone learns something, and comes away with a good meal,” she says. The back of her kitchen is a culinary retail paradise, where inspired students can easily make a hefty investment in Le Creuset cookware and Wusthof knives. Denene also displays a vast array of wine and advertises wine-themed dinners where, oddly, no wine is served, although guests can bring their own.