Some introductions have a way of making a lasting impression. One such introduction occurred in the fall of 2011, when I started my cooking journey at Seattle's Bon Vivant School of Cooking, where Louise Hasson makes it her mission to teach essential kitchen skills, and not just recipes. As a token of gratitude for her endless support, I write this series to introduce my second mentor (first being my parents), and her cooking ideology to you and your friends. Pass it on, share the story, and be inspired.
Louise's relentless passion is apparent from the second you walk in her front door. Class sizes are kept small purposefully, to enhance the learning experience of each and every student who walks in. Before we get into all the nitty, gritty details of what running a cooking school in a cosmopolitan city of Seattle entails, let us get to know Louise a little better, shall we?
Louise started Bon Vivant School of Cooking in 1977, that makes this Seattle school 36 years old. A remarkable feat, especially in the 21st century, where technology can unsettle old brick-and-mortar businesses faster than a blink of an eye. Louise blogs occasionally, as time permits, she says with a smile. "I enjoy writing, I just don't get enough time to get around to it."
Louise, a retired Seattle Public School teacher, had been studying with a chef in the 70's, who she later assisted with catering. That led to teaching a few classes out of her teacher's shop. Her teacher soon became conflicted about operating two businesses, and decided to stop teaching completely. Louise enjoyed her classes so much, and with an initial following of about 10 students, she started Mastering The Basics Course from her home kitchen. "I followed my passion, which was cooking," remembers Louise. Nothing has changed there, her passion for cooking is as present now, as it was back then.
I am only affiliated with Bon Vivant as a student first, and now, an assistant. I have not been paid to write this series, and it is not a plug or a commercial. It is solely about Louise Hasson, and her journey as a cook and teacher in Seattle. This is as much an interview, as an autobiographical story-telling attempt on my part, which Louise supports whole-heartedly. We shall see where this journey leads... stay tuned! :-)
|Louise Hasson, Bon Vivant School of Cooking|
|A plate of Gougères (French Cheese Puffs) from a Saturday Saveur Class|
|Louise's table setting from a Saturday Saveur Class|
|There will always be dessert... A perfect chocolate soufflé? On lucky days only.|