Thanks to those who have taken time to share information about Purple Kale’s classes, and for helping spread the word about our unique culinary instruction.
Below, some notes from former Purple Kale students. For words from the press, click here.
“I cannot thank you enough for providing, what I think really is a service, to people who desperately want to feed themselves and the ones they love.”–Stella (Calling All Cooks, 11/2014)
“Just wanted to say thank you so much. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating to say that you’ve changed my life. Best.cooking.class.ever.”
–Heather (Parents class, 10/2014)
“Just wanted to follow up to thank you for a wonderful experience on Sunday. I already feel like my perspective on food is shifting, and I’m looking forward to continue to learn more about food, and change not only what I do in the kitchen, but other aspects of my life as well.”
–Kim (Vegetarian class, 3/2014)
“I’ve been meaning to sit down and write you for too long. I want to tell you how much I enjoyed the cooking class the other day. You are a breath of fresh air. . . and your methods are so smart. I can intuit that your way of “meal planning” needs to become my way of meal planning and STAT. . . What you said about nourishing ourselves with good food and letting our kids fall in line was resonant–I had never once cooked (with care and love) a meal whose sole recipient is myself.
Can I tell you what I did when I went home after your class? I roasted all the scallions that were slated to die a withering death in the fridge last week. I salt-boiled potatoes. For what? i didn’t know! . . . I threw the artichoke from whole foods into a pot and boiled it. I had lemons without a purpose in life, so I found Julia Child’s recipe and I whipped up a lemon butter to dip the artichoke leaves in. This week, I’ve spread the leftover lemon butter on toast topped with a poached egg and stared out the window while eating. Ronna, I’m staring out the window over here. Life changing stuff.” Sarah (Primer class, 1/2014)
“I had such a great time at the workshop and love your philosophy about food and cooking. Breaking down the process of putting food together helped me to look at cooking quite differently. Tasted my improv dish the next day and it was terrific.” –Ellen (Parents, 12/2013)
“This is an addictive way to cook!”–Marian (Calling All Cooks, 10/2013)
“I absolutely loved your class and it was what I really needed to get myself back into the kitchen. You have changed my entire perspective on how I view cooking, and I love it! You took the fear out of cooking for me and removed all the blocks I had from getting myself into the kitchen. You pretty much took the stress out of cooking for me. . . You not only made me feel like a better mom and wife by taking the guilt out of not having home cooked meals on the table every single day, you really helped me discover a new creative side to me that I didn’t think I was capable of in the kitchen! I will use the tools you gave me for the rest of my life and will share them with others I know. Thank you so much!” — Christine (Parents, 5/2013)
“[We] had such a wonderful time at your workshop today. Thank you so much for teaching us, inspiring us, and motivating us.
We had a bunch of pearl onions, potatoes, and bread sitting around, so we already made the following:
– Poached pearl onions in water & sherry (I figured if it worked for garlic, why not these?) I saved the stock and the onions separately.
– Boiled potatoes, which I then smashed and refrigerated, for use later this week.
– Boiled a 1/4 bag of whole wheat fusili that was sitting around in our cabinet.
– Froze leftover takeout Indian food from Friday (mostly sauces), which ordinarily would have just gone bad, but which I realized I could incorporate into future dishes.
Then for dinner, we *almost* ordered takeout as a reward to ourselves, but then figured why not save the money and try to use what we had in the house already. . . IT WAS ALL SO DELICIOUS!!!! And super fast to throw together. I feel so empowered!” — Pam (Calling All Cooks, 6/2013)
“Hi Ronna, My husband took our 3-year-old to his parents’ house today — I needed a little peace and quiet more than I needed a big brunch — and because I’d stocked up the fridge I’m having a lunch of asparagus and potato soup w/herb butter plus rosemary chicken, beets, and sweet potatoes, and the whole thing took no time at all to throw together. So part of my celebration of getting to do whatever I want for a day is a really good lunch! Thanks!” — Anne (Parents at the Stove, 5/2013)
“I dare saying my cooking will never be the same. Good thing I have just started so I can start well. I was sooooo bored in the cooking routine. But I had no clue I could, was allowed, should do it this way. So you took this burden off my shoulders. I will always be grateful.” — Luciana (Parents at the Stove, 5/2013)
“Have been chatting with my husband about a beautiful phrase you used in class that resonates with the way I view the so-called ‘mundane’ work of household labour, including cooking. You said that it gives you a sense of accomplishment knowing that, in simmering a pot of beans while eating Chinese take-out for dinner, you are still ‘feeding your system.’ Such a deeply rewarding way to imbue our everyday activities with a greater sense of purpose and meaning. Holding helps keep foods appealing/edible for longer, makes possible successful improvisatory cooking, and it feeds the systems by which we nourish our families. Thank-you for sharing this lovely lesson. Much of what I have already been doing can be considered ‘holding,’ but having a language to describe my labour is enormously illuminating.” — Riva (The Vegetarian Plate, 4/2013)
“Hi Ronna, so many thanks for that amazing afternoon yesterday. First off, everything you fed us was wonderful, including the gorgeous soup! I can’t even count how many times one mouthful of something stopped me in my tracks, just so truly delicious – those are the moments we hope for in a restaurant, and so rarely have, but virtually everything you make has that effect.
It was really neat to come walking back into the real world, after that cocoon of a class. While I haven’t even done much in the way of cooking since then, just the way I’m thinking feels better, and clearer. You are so gifted at what you do, both cooking and teaching.” — Megan (Parents class, 3/2013)
“Thanks for a wonderful class. I learned a lot and had a wonderful time. This morning I put what you taught us into practice at breakfast. I made some scrambled eggs for my 2 1/2 year old. Beside the carton of eggs in the refrigerator was a plastic container of wrinkled cherry tomatoes. Prior to yesterday I would have thrown the tomatoes in the trash. However, this morning I took the garlic butter you gave us and tossed it in the pot with the tomatoes and let them cook down. I threw in a bit of salt and put them on a plate next to the scrambled eggs for with my daughter. She looked at me and said I don’t want tomatoes I said okay but just try them. She finished all her eggs and said I want more eggs but she still had not tried the tomatoes. So I said try one tomato and then I will make you more eggs. Well she ate all ten of the tomatoes up and then said she no longer wanted more eggs. It was a great feeling to see her eat them and know I will never throw out wrinkled tomatoes again.” — Jennifer (Parents class, 3/2013)
“I did a private group class with you back in October, and as I professed to you a while back, it changed my life. There is always something wholesome and yummy for my family to eat, and that is no small feat with a vegetarian, gluten-free, teenagers and school age child in the house.” — Lillian (1/2013)
“Thank you Ronna. I really enjoyed the day, can’t believe how fast the day went by. The first time I looked at the time it was almost 1:30! I am excited and empowered to be thinking about creating food in this new way. I went to the co op last night and am excited to make the garlic stock and cauliflower, with plans for a cauliflower gratin for dinner! . . . It was a fun day.” — Lill (workshop with friends, 10/15/2012)
“This morning…last minute, my husband said, ‘what could I take for lunch?’ It’s so infrequent that he asks that I can’t plan for it.
Well, thanks to your class, I already had spaghetti cooling on the counter to hold it. I looked at my mise drawer and pulled out the roasted green peppers, the tomato/red pepper confit, the poached garlic and added that to some bottled marinara that is fine as a base, but not good enough for a lunch. I coarsely chopped the pepper, smashed the garlic and added a few tablespoons of the confit. I utterly adore Whole Foods’ lemon garlic green olives, so I also threw in a few of those sliced. I gave him a container of spaghetti with the sauce on it, plus a small bag with grated Parmesan cheese too. I’m thinking I deserve flowers.”. . . .”BTW, no flowers, but my husband came home raving about lunch. And then, he wanted more for tomorrow. He got out a huge Tupperware. I got the mise out and told him amounts and he assembled his own sauce and tasted it. He got out his own grated cheese. All in all, that’s the most motivated I’ve seen him to cook in 26 years…” — Liz (Calling All Cooks, 9/22/2012)
“I took your workshop last Fall, and it totally transformed the way I feed my family. I bet you hear that a lot.” — Rachel (Parents workshop, 10/16/2011)
“Again, thank you so much for the wonderful class – it was so inspiring, and I can happily say that your methods work!!! With an almost-7-month-old at home, I don’t have the time I wish I had to cook all of the different components, but I’ve been making it work with an hour here and there. At this moment I’m eating a soup I created from the leftovers of sauteed collard greens (along with its delicious liquid, of course!), acorn squash butter & its liquid (from your delicata squash recipe), whole wheat shells (I made mac and cheese the other night and cooked the whole box of pasta, holding what I didn’t use in pasta water), and garlic stock. I topped it with some fresh parmesan and a squeeze of lemon. Delicious! Currently I have a pot of beans on the stove, braising fennel in the oven, and plan to roast cauliflower and mushrooms afterwards.” — Jackie (Vegetarian workshop, 1/15/2012)
“Big big thanks for the most amazing afternoon of learning and playing and eating. I have had a wonderful day today that ranged from cleaning out my frig from top to bottom, then all the kitchen cabinets (!) . . . I’ve rearranged our kitchen set up so it’s so much better for working in …. and that’s the best because the kitchen is TINY. So thanks again for the incredibly intelligent and well-prepared class. I will most definitely be recommending your classes to anyone within earshot.” — Liz (Vegetarian workshop, 1/15/2012)
“What a wonderful workshop today–mindset-changing, inspiring, and fun! I look forward to putting into practice some of the ideas we discussed, even if it’s just small steps for now. Thanks, again!” — Olivia (Parents workshop, 12/6/2011)
“I was really thrilled with today’s class. It’s so great to have a whole new way to think about food prep. I love the modular approach that you’ve developed and look forward to taking another class.” –Jill (Parents workshop, 12/6/2011)
“Thank you so much for such a wonderful class. It was such a paradigm shifting experience that I feel will revolutionize my approach to cooking. I am still taking it all in, but feel really inspired.” –Angela (Calling All Cooks workshop, 12/4/2011)
“Thank you for such a fantastic experience yesterday. I was thinking about the workshop and your suggestions all day and am very excited to implement.” –Nellie (Parents Workshop, 11/9/2011)
“I arrived home to an empty house but a kitchen a complete mess. My wife had carved three giant pumpkins with my two daughters and a friend. They left a big bowl of all the pumpkin innards and cuttings in the middle of the counter. You’ll be proud to know that as soon as I looked at it, my mind went “hmmm, what could I do with that….”.–David (Vegetarian workshop, 10/15/2011)
“I am so thankful to you for your most amazing workshop. We are living with your ideas and slowly trying to adapt them to our hectic household. My husband has been doing alot of plant based cooking and I’m trying to merge your brilliant ideas and strategies into our kitchen. The process is slow, but I think that is a good thing.” –Mary (Parents workshop, 10/16/2011)
“David and I; I had a terrific time at the workshop (and we were too stuffed to have dinner!) So far David has turned a badly bruised under ripe mango into mango ‘jam,’ I’m about to caramelize some extremely tart pineapple, and David is planning on making a double recipe of pasta tonight & saving the extra. So, I guess you could say we were inspired!”–Janet (Vegetarian Workshop, 9/18/2011)
“By the way, tonight I made chicken stock from your recipe with three chickens that were leftover and frozen. Then, I made Risotto using first, some saved chicken jus, and then I added a big blob of onion jam. I also defrosted a container of the turnip soup, that I had made last month, and I added a half of a cup of the chicken broth and a blob of heavy cream, and put it into the blender to smooth it out from the applesauce texture. Steamed some peas and had myself a fabulous tasting meal! I am impressed by how much I was able to pick up from your workshop that I have been able to implement into daily life- the saving and reusing of most of the food by-products, the having handy-in-the-refrigerator the incredibly versatile blocks/bridges like the onion jam, chicken jus, and how it becomes easier and easier to build confidence with these minor culinary victories. Before, I would have started some impossibly complicated recipe, invariably failed in some step, ended up with a bland tasting end product, and that would quell any desire to cook from scratch for a long time. Bravo to Ronna for your great instruction!”–Jackie (Open Workshop, 2/5/2011)
“I took the class with a friend and in addition to being lots of fun (and full of yummy things to taste), it was a real inspiration for busy parents. I describe it to people as “culinary geranimals” – teaching you how to mix and match from yummy ingredients that you can front load preparation of in your spare time, so that on those busy weekday nights, you can quickly whip up a delicious meal in no time flat (or as her website says, literally 2 minutes).” –Eve (Parents Workshop, 9/12/2010)
“I fourth (or is it now fifth?) recommendation for Ronna. Her method is truly brilliant. It’s not just a cooking class, it’s actually a methodology of cooking that allows even the beginner cooks to experiment with great results. And I should add that Ronna is a fantastic chef. If you taste her food, you might find even your most favorite restaurants disappointing.” –Angelina (Parents Workshop, 2/5/2011)
“One more vote for Ronna Welsh’s cooking Purple Kale Kitchenworks workshop! Ronna is an approachable, articulate, organized, and talented chef who has created a workshop that teaches home cooks to run their kitchens like a professional from an efficiency and quality standpoint. I consider myself to have solid cooking skills. I am committed (admittedly some more days than others) to cooking a healthy meal for my family. Before participating in Ronna’s workshop, I was completely tied to recipes. I planned our meals every weekend, shopped for what I needed, and cooked 5 nights/week. From Ronna, I learned to shop for what appealed to me and looked good, to prepare each food so that it can stand alone in terms of flavor, and then to combine the various things that I prepared in ways that I never would have imagined. I walked away understanding how restaurants create the multi-dimensional flavors we all enjoy so much. I am well on my way to adopting her method — so much so that last week when my husband and I tasted a spelt salad at Al Di La wine bar we agreed that this was something we can now create at home.” –Tara (Open Workshop, June, 2010)
“I also liked the general correlation between the challenges of a professional kitchen and the challenge of cooking while working and having kids – the planning, preparation, and assembly concepts all apply really well, and I really liked the idea that Improvisation (work with what you have, don’t worry about what you don’t have) is what it’s really all about .” –Mark (Open Workshop, October, 2009)