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FLORIDA TREND
April 2003

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March 1997

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Florida Trend: Talk of Florida
April 2003


At Home: Entertaining
Cooking up a good time
By Stacie Kress Booker
Photo By lauren Radack

The latest trend in home entertaining puts dinner-party guests to work in the kitchen learning to cook. Miami Beach-based chef Amanda Cushman says the cooking allure is easy to explain: "Once you've been to all the expensive trendy restaurants, where do you go?" And at $575 a pop-Cushman's $400 fee plus the grocery bill - the tab is about equal to, or even less than, what you'd pay at a restaurant to wine and dine a group of eight. Cushman also credits today's economy, which makes entertaining at home less expensive than dining out, and the Food Network for piquing people's interest in learning to cook.

The Format:
Cushman helps the host plan the menu; the host does the shopping; Cushman arrives before the guests to prep the food stations; and the guests do the chopping, peeling and cooking. She leaves the guests once the meal is on the table. Space requirements are simple: The host must have a "decent-sized" kitchen. "It doesn't have to be huge, but there needs to be enough space to move around. Island kitchens are great." Each guest must bring along his or her own knife, cutting board and apron.

Popular:
Ethnic foods are hot. Some of Cushman's favorite menus are southern French-Provence, northern Italian and Thai-themed.
Cushman conducts cooking parties throughout the Miami and
Boca Raton area, working with groups up to 25. Her only advertising is word of mouth.

This article appeared in the April 2003 issue of Florida Trends magazine. Please contact Chef Amanda Cushman to your own private cooking class party. 

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Simple, Real Food Book Simple, Real Food: Delicious clean food prepared simply

My cookbook Simple Real Food can be purchased online.

The price is $24.95 and the book can be sent to your home or office. It can be included with a gift certificate for a cooking class as the perfect present.

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