The Chef, The Designer, The Kitchen and The Party

Busy in the kitchenOrdinarily, I write here about cooking, trips and/or the antics of our Gourmet Club. But for this post, I was urged by Club Member Laura to write about the KITCHEN of our most recent dinner party, and the DESIGNER, who also happens to be in our Club. Laura is right, it doesn’t always have to be “me me me” on Worth The Whisk. Here you go…

Marlene and GinnyVirginia Evans runs a cooking school in Sierra Madre called Create N’ Cook.  She and I worked together on food client projects for decades; we’re both home economists. Ginny has written user manuals for appliance manufacturers (Gaggenau, for one… huge topic of convo that night as Laura and Jeff just installed theirs), cookbooks, worked trade shows, TV shows, food styling. But after a few decades of all that, she wanted something else and enrolled in the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, Pasadena, CA and voila! Chef Virginia. THEN she tore her Sierra Madre home apart and created this yummy cooking school venue. Now… back to the Gourmet Club. This night, Ginny created a cooking class dinner party. We split up the couples into four teams, and then cooked and ate for hours. Yes, I will give you some of those recipes… another upcoming post. If you like the idea of a personal cooking class, talk to Ginny. She also recently catered a 90th birthday party here for my mother-in-law.

Marlene Brown (Oliphant) moved to California from Des Moines a few decades ago. Another home economist. She’d been an editor for Better Homes and Gardens, and before that, worked for Pillsbury. But she wanted to be HERE (what part of “balmy” doesn’t sound appealing?). She pulled up stakes, got herself here and eventually built quite a business in food styling and cookbook writing. Then a few years ago, like Ginny, she wanted to go in another direction, so back to school to earn her CCIDC credential and open Marlene Oliphant Designs. You can see her work in Ginny’s kitchen, and others on her website.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dianne Yoss July 11, 2015 at 7:54 am

Ginny & I go way back to days in an engineering kitchen where we cooked, baked or tested large appliances. When she went back to school to become a chef, then remodeled her kitchen our adventures took off! She is such a Create N Cook!
Now, w/ our Foodies, we meet 4-5 times a year & the kitchen & recipes have become events I’d hate to miss! Always a great time!!!

2 Laura December 22, 2011 at 8:04 am

We had a fabulous time at our annual Gourmet Club holiday party at Ginny’s. Great food, lots of laughs, real fun and recipes to take with us. It’s ALWAYS great to get the guys in the kitchen and best of all, we don’t have to clean up the mess! Patti, wonderful pictures and write up!

3 Sandy Cohen December 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

What a wonderful segment this is and not only since Ginny is my mom. This is an amazing woman in a beautiful kitchen who has produced wonderful food for many years for friends and for family. Thanks for sharing this.

4 Kelly December 21, 2011 at 8:54 am

I always enjoy hearing about your cooking club. IT seems like such a wonderful group of people and there is nothing better than sharing a hobby or passion with others, especially if it is a passion you can eat.

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