Cooking classes

With a full-sized commercial kitchen, and talented chefs in the neighborhood, cooking classes are a natural offering from the DCA. Classes vary with the seasons; for example, the most recent class focused on using spices easily found in winter, to make tasty, healthy and light dishes.

Recent Cooking classes’s Tasting and Demonstration
with Estia’s
Wednesday, November 16th
Chef Colin Ambrose of Estia’s Back Porch Café in Darien is known for his creative use of fresh, seasonal ingredients.  A delicious fall menu was prepared by Colin, perfect for an easy dinner party:  a roasted squash salad, paella, and a pear raspberry tart, accompanied by two of his favorite Long Island wines.  Ingredients were sourced from the Darien Butcher Shop, Pagano’s Seafood and the Darien Farmer’s Market. 

Note: Before the event, Chef Colin posted on his blog the above recipes that he demonstrated that evening.   People who are interested can try making the recipes on their own.

Chef Colin’s Bio:
To call Chef Colin Ambrose a self-promoter would be an understatement. This Utah State graduate in advertising design has done his alma mater proud. Ambrose began his career at the trade publication, Topshelf. With two partners, the magazine provided the on premise liquor market with an editorial product specific to its needs. From Topshelf, Ambrose moved on to beverage sales manager at Connoisseur magazine.

In 1991, Ambrose purchased Estia in Amagansett, New York. To build his business, he added locally grown menu items which resulted in the now famous, “Two Hour Salad”. Customers flocked to the restaurant featuring locally harvested produce.

In 1993, with the help of chefs Rich Moonen, Charlie Palmer and Gerry Hayden, three acres adjoining the restaurant were turned into Basil Brothers Chefs Coop. The garden serviced the four chefs until 1998 when Ambrose purchased Tony’s in Sag Harbor. Known now as Estia’s Little Kitchen, the restaurant was totally remodeled in 1999 and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner year round.

In September 2009, Ambrose sold the Estia’s lease to begin consulting with new food operations. Among his clients are: Le Gourmet Chef, The Lodge Steakhouse, and The Old Stove Pub. In addition, the Estia’s concept has grown to include Estia’s Back Porch Cafe in Darien Ct and in February of 2012 it opened as a full service restaurant serving lunch and dinner six days a week and brunch on Sundays. The new location in Darien also features a small, comfortable bar with a full complement of cocktails, draft beer and an American wine list.

Chef Ambrose is married with three daughters. The girls currently run A Sisters Food Company, a farmer’s market business featuring fresh pasta, pestos, salts and lymanades.

Chef Ambrose can be reached at or 631-725-1045.


Contact us

Register for DCA cooking classes through the links above, or contact the DCA at 203-655-9050 or To be notified of our next cooking classes, please complete the email subscription form through this link, and select at a minimum the “cooking” option. Registration and prepayment is required for all cooking classes.











Click for online registration.