Every time I teach a class I invariably get a few emails which say, “I can’t make this one, but I’ll try to take your next session.” In the past there may not have been a next class, but recently I made a commitment to teach some basics, on a schedule no less.

In the next few months I will teach what I consider to be basics within the foundation of baking. My own experience is that by learning some of the building blocks, we can build and grow from there to more complicated ideas and methods. All pastry starts with butter and flour, custards with the egg, caramel is sugar, and meringue, egg whites.

And everyone is a little afraid of pie dough.

My classes will be small. I am offering 2 spots, at half the cost, in each class for those who may not be able to afford the price, but can help me with set-up and clean-up. I am teaching in a commercial space I have been consulting in– not a fancy kitchen, but practical for 8-12 students to get in the swing of actually mixing, shaping, rolling, piping, whisking, smelling, watching, practicing, touching, tasting and discussing. The first and last baking class I taught in this space was pate a choux and the response was overwhelming.

In the last few years I have also taught numerous knife skills classes, but those tend not to need a professional kitchen space. I’ve enjoyed teaching them in a number of lovely homes all over the Bay Area, and will most probably teach them continuously as the need arises. Want to host a class in your home? Follow this link to Eggbeater where you can click on the “Email Me” link, in the upper left hand column, to discuss with me about how these classes are formed.

The dates and subjects are as follows:

Sunday November 19 PIE DOUGH
Sunday December 3 CARAMEL
Sunday December 17 PIE DOUGH

Sunday January 14 CUSTARDS

Sunday January 28
Would you like a repeat, or something new? There’s been a vote for egg whites, but feel free to chime in on what you’d like for me to cover.

For specific information about the cost, how to register, the time and location, click on this link.

What’s great about having a schedule is that people can sign up early, block out the date, or get a gift for someone in advance. I have begun a little Excel spreadsheet to keep all the classes separate and organized. My hope is I can be as organized as June Taylor was with her marmalade and fruit conserve classes– she gave the same handouts for each student, and everyone who took a class from her covered the same information, making us all feel as though we were part of a delicious club.

And for those of you who need a little background:

I am a seasonal fruit-inspired pastry chef with over 14 years experience cooking and baking professionally. I’ve worked in such notable kitchens as Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan, The French Laundry and Bouchon in Yountville, Citizen Cake and Aziza in San Francisco.

My desserts have garnered attention in The SF Chronicle, Gourmet, San Francisco Magazine and I was a featured Chef in 7X7.

Six years ago I gave my first public cooking demonstration through the Shop With The Chef program at the SF Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, and soon taught a myriad of unique baking classes with Sur La Table. I began teaching private independent classes a few years ago, first by teaching friends and friends of friends. My classes are chock full of detailed information and stories about the many kitchens I’ve worked in.

Whether you’re a baking novice, a line cook, or a a seasoned home cook/baker, I assure you there’s something to learn in my classes. I love teaching, inspiring, passing on, answering questions and watching people really get what something should look, feel and taste like when one learns the whys and not merely the hows of baking. I hope to see you soon.

Come one, come all, come hungry to learn.

Baking Classes Arrive, With A Schedule! 12 November,2006Shuna Fish Lydon


Shuna Fish Lydon

Shuna fish Lydon was whisked and baked in San Francisco but served and eaten in New York City. She’s had a 16 year tumultuous love affair with professional cooking and has BFA in photography from CCAC.

Working with and for some of the best chefs in NYC and California, Shuna’s resume reads like the who’s who of cooking today. She identifies as a fruit-inspired pastry chef and calls the many local farmers’ markets her muse.

Currently “at large,” Shuna spends her time teaching baking and knife skills classes, consulting at local restaurants and writing for a number of outlets about deliciousness.

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