For many Bon Appétit chefs, leading cooking demos and culinary workshops — whether teaching knife skills or introducing guests to different global flavor profiles — is a key way to engage with guests and students.
At Foundry & Lux in South San Francisco, CA, Executive Chef Darryl Bell has taught several such courses for tenants of The Cove biotech campus, touring the restaurant’s culinary garden and sharing the inspiration behind many of his celebrated dishes. Now, Darryl is taking the chef-led teaching model and focusing his attention on a new audience: his own staff.
The hour-long demos are open to all Foundry & Lux staff, though they are predominantly attended by the kitchen team. He has hosted two such classes thus far: the first focused on butchering techniques for whole chicken and fish, and the second centered around cooking techniques like proper seasoning and sautéing. For Darryl, the idea to host staff teaching workshops came as he observed his kitchen staff on the line and noticed areas where they could benefit from additional training and technique. “When I see an action that is due to lack of knowledge, it seeds the idea for a course,” he says. “I want my staff to be purposeful with the process, whether it’s at work, cooking for their families, or taking these skills to their next job and throughout the rest of their lives. I hope staff see these classes as a means to learn skills that can be applied beyond Foundry & Lux.”
Darryl joined the Foundry & Lux team with a background in fine dining, having spent eight years with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville, CA. He draws on this background and his training in classic French techniques for these workshops.
“I’ve seen a lot of ‘aha’ moments, where you can see it click as someone learns something they’ve never been formally taught before,” Darryl recalls. “When the team is engaged, taking notes, and asking questions, that’s when I know the classes are a success.”