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; most recently we offered two introductory cooking skills classes: “Braising and Baking” and “Grilling and Poaching.”

Cooking Essentials series with Certified Home Chef Paula Nusslein
Certified Home Chef Paula Nusslein teaches the Cooking Essentials series of cooking classes at the DCA.The DCA is delighted to present this series of 10 cooking classes, designed to teach key skills that help you - the home chef - create meals without a cookbook. Learn to cook with confidence and breathe new life into your everyday cooking. Class format includes lecture, demonstrations, and tastings. Learn the how and why behind cooking methods and techniques, as well as how to buy, store, prepare, and serve food. Students will receive a handout covering all topics and recipes demonstrated in class.

Classes are designed to build upon previous sessions, so for example stocks created in Stocks I are used to make sauces in Sauces I. However, store-bought items can replace those not made from scratch, and will be included in class suggestions, so classes can be taken individually. Class size will be kept to 18 to ensure plenty of room and time for questions; a minimum of 10 students is required to run a class.

Upcoming ‘Cooking Essentials series’ cooking classes

Paula Nusslein teaches her Cooking Essentials: Grill, Broil & Smoke class on Tuesday, April 29th at the DCA.Grill, Broil & Smoke
Tuesday, April 29th
9:30 – 11:30am
$55 DCA members, $70 public

When Mother Nature interferes with your grilling plans, adapt! Paula will share the science behind grilling, and teach you how to grill and smoke food indoors using a broiler, grill pan, and a stove top smoker.

View full details for this class through this link.


Remaining classes in this series:

  • Salads: Main Course and Sides – Tuesday, May 20th
  • Vegetables - Tuesday, May 27th


Prepayment for these classes is required by noon on the Thursday prior to class. A minimum of 6 prepaid students is required in order to run a class.

Our instructor

Certified Home Chef Paula Nusslein brings her “Cooking Essentials” cooking classes to the DCA beginning April 23rd.Instructor Paula Nusslein obtained her professional training through various cooking schools on the west coast, including the California Culinary Institute. After completing one year of professional training and an internship to become a cooking instructor, she then worked as an instructor for “HomeChef,” a San Francisco-based cooking school and kitchen store designed exclusively for the home chef. In a professional cooking school environment, Paula led students in cooking workshops and classes, as well as through a “Cooking Essentials” series, focusing on bringing both culinary techniques and food preparation skills to those cooking at home. Paula, a 14-year Darien resident, now brings her version of Cooking Essentials to us.

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.