Culinary Underground School for Home Cooks

Emancipation from Frozen Food

By Shelly Aucoin

You burn toast, make crunchy eggs and can’t identify the business end of a chef’s knife. The last time you tried to make Ramen Noodles there may have even been a small fire. Well my friend, help is finally here!

Enter the Culinary Underground School for Home Cooks, the Southborough based cooking school that aims to teach the average Joe (that’s you!) how to cook high quality meals at home. dining-side-culinary-under-copy

Founder and Director Chef Lori Leinbach created the school to fill the gap between professional chefs and home cooks. Her motto is, “Anyone who is motivated to do so can learn to cook very nice meals.”

She identified the gap while teaching cooking classes at Assabet Regional and Keefe Tech, where she noticed that many students didn’t know how to hold a knife.

Chef Leinbach doesn’t believe in being a slave to meal planning and recipes, so instead she suggests sticking to the “Rule of Two:” choose two courses and make them wonderful. That can be soup, salad, protein, veggies ~ whatever works for you.

Chef Lori identifies with a quote by famous cookbook author Marrion Cunningham: “A generation of kids is growing up never having been exposed to home cooking. Most people live off of pre-prepared, pre-packaged highly processed food. Good eating and breaking bread with others are two of life’s great pleasures ~ we’re losing something both socially and culturally.”

Few could argue with that! But what if you have no cooking skills?

In addition to the Very Basics classes (starting with knife technique), you can learn how to build sauces, develop flavor profiles, bake or even make cheese. Small classes of eight or less let you jump right in and get your hands dirty.

Not only does CU provide pre-cooking munchies, you’ll have plenty of time to eat your creation during class and have leftovers to carry home ~ so bring a container!

What’s that? You’re too lazy to go to the school? Custom instruction is also available in your home for classes of two to eight. Just gather your friends, choose a topic and the school will do the rest.

Meanwhile, be sure to look for inspired recipes such as Maple Pumpkin Butter and Rhubarb Crisp on Chef Lori’s blog at http//

Whether your last home cooked meal went about as well as Li-Lo’s sobriety or you just want to step up your game, Culinary Underground School for Home Cooks knows just what you need to make your very own fabulous meals.

Ability to boil water helpful but not required.

Culinary Underground
21 Turnpike Road/Route 9, Southborough