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 salads as a main course or side. Two types of cooking classes are offered:

Cooking Essentials
Certified Home Chef Paula Nusslein delivers skills-based training, to help “home chefs cook without a cookbook.” These “Cooking Essentials” classes are 2 hours, during which time Paula will demonstrate basic to advanced cooking techniques, including essential cooking methods and tools. Through tastings, lecture, and group discussion, students will expand their food knowledge, learn about cooking with fresh ingredients, and pick up new tips to make-it-light, make-it-ahead, and make-it-quick substitutions. Students will receive a handout covering all topics from class.

Learn & Lunch
Chef Angela LaPick invites students to learn to make fabulous yet practical dishes, then join her for lunch. “Learn & Lunch” classes are 3 hours, and incorporate step-by-step demonstration, including tips on sourcing the best ingredients in the area, how to best manage your time in the kitchen, and which tools are right for which dishes. Dishes selected are authentic, flavorful, and taste like you spent all day in the kitchen (but you didn’t). The group will then gather for the last 1/2 hour to dine on the freshly-prepared dishes. Students will receive a handout detailing recipes covered in class.

Upcoming Cooking classes (in date order)

Learn to make vegetables as main or side at the DCA on Tuesday, October 21st in this Seasonal Vegetables and Salads Cooking Essentials class with Paula NussleinSeasonal Vegetables and Salads
Cooking Essentials with Paula Nusslein
Tuesday, October 21st
9:30 – 11:30am
$55 DCA members, $70 public
Register by noon on Thursday, October 16th

This class has been cancelled due to low enrollment


Learn & Lunch: Thanksgiving Sides with Angela LaPick  will be held Friday, November 14th at the DCA.Thanksgiving Sides
Learn & Lunch with Angela LaPick
Friday, November 14th
9:30am – 12:30pm
$65 DCA members, $75 public
Register by noon on Wednesday, November 12th

Click for full details and online registration


Cooking Essentials: Sweet & Savory Pastries will be held on Tuesday, November 18th from 9:30-11:30am at the DCA.Sweet & Savory Pastries
Cooking Essentials with Paula Nusslein
Tuesday, November 18th
9:30 – 11:30am
$55 DCA members, $70 public
Register by noon on Thursday, November 13th

Click for full details and online registration.



Our instructors

Certified Home Chef Paula Nusslein offers her “Cooking Essentials” cooking classes at the DCA.Instructor and Certified Home Chef 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 for “HomeChef,” a San Francisco-based cooking school and kitchen store designed 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.

Chef Angela LaPick leads the DCA's Learn & Lunch cooking classes beginning October 10th, 2014Instructor and professional chef Angela LaPick developed her unique cooking style through both traditional culinary arts classes in the U.S., and by learning from local chefs while she travelled abroad. This international exposure has helped her bring an authentic touch to her menus, including the frozen gourmet Empanadas she offers in select area gourmet markets (“The Girl From Empanada” brand). Angela has 20 years’ teaching experience. Previously she led a variety of classes at Williams Sonoma, and more recently she has run cooking groups in select Fairfield County locations. Angela now offers “Learn & Lunch” classes at the DCA, showing step-by-step how to make some of her favorite recipes, which the class then enjoys for lunch.

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.