Publix Apron’s Cooking School Date Night Out
Heriloom tomato salad at Publix Apron's Cooking SchoolLooking for a creative date night out? Love to cook and ready to advance your skills? Have a “Master Chef Junior” in the making and looking for a place to unleash their talent? At Publix Apron’s Cooking School you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for and make some great memories while you’re at it. Recently, my handsome other half and I headed over to the school for a class with celebrity Chef Harold Dieterle, winner of the first season of Bravo’s Top Chef. As foodies we are always looking to learn more secrets from the masters and gain inspiration for our home cooked dishes, not to mention taste new exciting creations. Read on to discover what we experienced. 

Publix Apron's Cooking School

If you live in the South you’re probably familiar with Publix grocery store. As they continue to spread their brand throughout the US they consistently impress. Their motto? “Where Shopping is a Pleasure”, and let me tell you, they live up to the mission. I am a loyal fan of Publix where customers come first and quality is of the highest priority. I first learned of “Aprons” as the in-store kiosk a few years back. These little kiosks are full of easy family recipes and usually a staff member cooking up samples of said tasty recipes. I’m pretty much a sucker for any sample, so when I’m shopping, I hop my happy little self over to see what’s cooking. I’m never disappointed. When I discovered Apron’s had a cooking school, I was intrigued. Though I’m a well known foodie, sadly my kitchen skills are nothing to brag about. The idea that there is a place I can go to improve is a pretty exciting one. So when my husband and I were invited to experience a night with the cooking school, we couldn’t wait to go! 

Chef Harold Dieterle cooking at Publix Apron's Cooking School

The classroom at the school is designed as part kitchen, part stage. For our class we were escorted to dinner tables where we could enjoy our eats, but also get an up close view of the cooking. Watching Chef Harold was a special treat especially as he and Chef Tony (chief Resident Chef for Jacksonville’s Apron’s Cooking School) bantered back and forth. Witty isms and fun jokes abounded lending a personal feel to the night and making you feel like you were amongst friends. Not only did we have an up close view of the action, we also enjoyed large screens above the demo kitchen where you could see exactly what was happening on the stove top as your delicious meal came together. In the wings the talented Apron’s team of chefs worked hard to create each dish for the entire classroom so that as Chef Harold completed the course, students were presented with the dish to taste and enjoy.  

Chef Harold Dieterle cooking at Publix Apron's Cooking School

Chef Harold skillfully wove his way through each recipe breaking it down in terms even the most novice cooks could understand. When the crowd hesitated to ask questions, Chef Tony was always there to fill in the unsaid questions we might be pondering. Questions like “What exactly is Burrata”, and “What kind of knife do you like to use”. Diners/ students were provided with packets of full recipes upon finding our seats. This made it easy to follow the ingredient list and know how to recreate the dishes when we went home. I found the recipes to be sophisticated but not too intimidating to make at home. 


Heirloom tomato salad at Publix Apron's Cooking School
What We Ate:
Heirloom Tomatoes with Basil, Balsamic & Whipped Burrata Yogurt
As each course was brought out for tasting we were also excited to enjoy wine pairings. These pairings were explained by a pairing expert who again, made the complexities of wine drinking and tasting sound simple and easy to understand. We were also presented with the pairing list and a generous class discount should we decide to take some home. As a final special treat, one of the audience members were brought up to help prepare dessert which I thought was a nice touch and really made the dish accessible for those of us who don’t see ourselves as chefs. 
Lobster Roll at Publix Apron's Cooking School
What We Ate:
Lobster Roll with Yogurt Green Goddess Dressing

Jerk Chicken Wings at Publix Apron's Cooking School
What We Ate:
Spicy Jerk Wings & Cucumber- Yogurt Sauce 

Roasted Peaches in Bourbon at Publix Apron's Cooking School
What We Ate:
Frozen Yogurt with Roasted Peaches & Bourbon

Roasted Peaches and Frozen Yogurt at Publix Apron's Cooking School
What We Ate:Frozen Yogurt with Roasted Peaches & Bourbon
Stock Up
An added benefit to having a cooking school in a grocery store is the ability to achieve immediate gratification. Upon departure, you could stock up on each of the items used and tasted during the class. In addition to food items, this location also sold all the equipment used such as food processors and knives as well as cook books from some of the celebrity chefs who have made appearances. 
We had such an amazing time learning from Chef Harold’s talented skills and getting to experience the hospitality of the entire Apron’s staff. It was a really special date night experience since it was so interactive, entertaining, and educational. We can’t wait to go back! I would recommend the classes for anyone looking to improve their culinary skills, but also for those looking for a unique night out with their date, or for some fun with the girls. Currently Publix has cooking schools in several locations in Florida as well as one in Georgia. Head over to their website for more information on locations. They also feature chefs from local restaurants, and ongoing skill improvement classes you take over several weeks. They even have something for the kiddos! Watch, Learn, and Taste from the best. Where shopping is a pleasure.
Until then…
Enjoy the Journey!
xo- Amy West
Amy West with Harold Dieterle at Publix Apron's Cooking School
Me, the Chef, and my six month preggo belly 

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