The Hidden Kitchen Story

HK Class Overview



Book 2 or more different adventures & receive 10% off

Stay tuned as we add classes and culinary adventures throughout the coming year.

Please note – Classes are nonrefundable although you’re more than welcome to re-gift your seat to someone else – just let us know.



Jan 30-Feb 1 Swine Time Intensive: Whole Pig Butchering & Pork Cookery

Learn from master butcher Cole Ward, author of The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat, how to butcher, not just a leg, we’re talking about a whole pig…from nose to tail.cole ward's book
  • Friday Jan. 30,  5 pm – 6:30 pm – Knife Skills Class and Basic Butchery inside The Hidden Kitchen
  • Saturday, Jan. 31, 10 am-noon  – Cole breaks down half the pig in a well explained demonstration
  • Saturday, Jan 31, noon-3 pm – Students break for lunch on their own and free time
  • Saturday, Jan 31, 3 pm-6pm – Return to The Hidden Kitchen and breakdown the other half of the pig as Cole coaches you along. You’ll also cook – side pork, pork steak and pork cutlets for dinner with the chef (the restaurant will supplement your dinner with a side dish, salad, bread and dessert).
  • Sunday, Feb 1, 9:30 am-12:30 pm – Sausage Making Class inside The Hidden Kitchen – Learn to flush and stuff casings with sausage.  You’ll make Chorizo with Red Wine and Brandy, Basic Breakfast and Sicilian Hot Italian Sausage.  Of course, you’ll dine on sausages, supplemented with a salad, bread and a light dessert from the restaurant.
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photo credit: Sugar Mountain Farm

This class is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for serious-minded cooks. With more than 45 years experience,  Cole’s warm personality and gift for storytelling combined with his qualifications makes him a highly sought-after lecturer, teacher,  and on-farm butcher – an instructor at culinary schools, colleges, agricultural and sustainable-living conferences nationwide.  

Learn more about Cole Ward here

$495 per person – includes 10 hours of instruction, dinner & lunch with Cole plus take home sausage. (Books will be available to purchase.)
(**Stay at the inn and receive 20% off your room rate – includes full breakfast + afternoon refreshments**)
To book or learn more, call 802-263-9217 or email:


February, 28 |

Sat Feb 28 – All About Braising

Join Molly Stevens, chef and cookbook author of the James Beard Award-winning cookbooks “All About Braising” and “All About Roasting”   (W.W. Norton).248276_442085242519521_1758726086_n-240x300Learn how the time-honored technique of braising has become the culinary darling of chefs and cooks everywhere.

Hands-on/Demo Class 10:15 am – 3 pm + Dinner @ 6 pm with author
Learn the steps to successfully braise meats, poultry and vegetables to create dishes with alluring flavors and luxurious textures. Partway through the class, we’ll share a lunch of our own creation. In the evening, sit down with the other students in the private wine cellar and enjoy “An Ode to Braising” dinner with dishes inspired by Molly’s books prepared by the inn’s culinary team. Signed copies of Molly’s award-winning books will be available for sale during the day.


  • We’ll review the basic principles of braising
  • Learn quick-braises – dishes that take under an hour to cook.  Our lunch menu will include quick braises such as Vietnamese Braised Sea Scallops, Lemony Chicken with Prunes and Olives, and Braised Cauliflower with Capers and Toasted Bread Crumbs.
  • Learn long-braises – those sumptuous, deeply flavored, fork-tender dishes that only long, gentle cooking can produce. Learn dishes such as Honey-Glazed Five Spice Baby Back Ribs, Sausage and Pistachio Stuffed Veal Marsala, Fennel Braised with Thyme and Beef Short Ribs with Rosemary and Porcini.
  • These dishes will be divided up and packaged for participants to take home (stored for those staying at the inn until departure).

$375 per person
(5+ hour class + dinner with author in the wine cellar)

Learn more about Molly Stevens

(**Stay at the inn***Receive 20% off your room rate***Includes full breakfast***Afternoon refreshments**)

For more information and/or to book, call 802-263-9217 or email


Sat/Sun March 21-22 – Exotic Vermont Meats: Learn to Cook Venison, Elk, even Alpaca!

Chef/Avid Hunter/Former New England Culinary Institute Instructor Mike Gray, featured in Chefs Go Wild, leads this hands-on/demo class where you’ll learn to butcher  and cook – maybe a loin/leg/rack – (“I hate to commit to getting certain parts and cuts. I look at is as bad juju,” Mike said when we went to write this class description.)

Trust us, this is going to be an amazing class – the kind of class you won’t find in the city. Mike will use both conventional & field tested cooking methods.

Mike Gray Exotic Meats

Saturday 10 am – 2 pm – Hands-on/Demo Class with Mike Gray

  • Learn the different cuts, terminology, how fat, silver skin, clean kill – even the animal’s diet of corn, hemlock, acorns – can affect flavor & texture of the meat
  • Learn about rubs and the use of convenience items
  • Learn how to use liquids, acids, herbs and aromatics to enhance the flavor
  • Better to grill, roast, sear and what’s best + gas versus charcoal/live fire cooking?
  • Making meatballs, burgers, chili, stew and more for a late lunch inside The Hidden Kitchen.

6:30 pm dinner in the wine cellar with cookbook author Rebecca Gray (no relation) & discuss Cooking Wild vs. Farm-Raised Game.

rebecca gray














Learn What’s Different About Cooking Wild . . .
“In the mid-1990s I started writing a column for Shooting Sportsman magazine about professional chefs—usually hunters themselves—who featured game on their menus. I discovered that for most of these chefs wild was a broad and evocative descriptor, not a technical term. There is a difference, and all who cook game know it, and I will always have my bias and preference. Cooking wild game is especially interesting, often challenging, exciting, founded in culinary history and can provide an intensely connected experience in eating which we can’t get from grocery store beef or chicken. But what farm-raised game allows for is a perpetuation of the culinary sensibilities that are inherent in cooking truly wild game. Still what you do in the kitchen with wild vs. farm-raised game IS different. Want to know how so?”

Rebecca Gray bio

chefs go wild






Sunday, March 22 – 10 am 

Enjoy a private tour with Jennifer and Ian Lutz, owners of CasCadNac Farm in Weathersfield, the Alpaca farm partner of the inn.

$350 per person  
(4+ hour class + lunch + dinner in the wine cellar + farm tour)
For more information and/or to book, call 802-263-9217 or email

(**Stay at the inn and receive 20% off your room rate – includes full breakfast + afternoon refreshments**)





Fri/Sat April 24-25 – Kitchen Garden Design & Cooking from the Garden – For Cooks who Love to Garden

 Author Ellen Ecker Ogden, The Complete Kitchen Garden
Friday April 24 – evening lecture & photos
 The Art of Growing Food – Lecture & Photos
Saturday April 25

9:30-noon Cooking from the Garden + lunch
Return at 2 pm – 4:30 pm – Kitchen Garden Design Workshop
6:30 pm – Table-talk Dinner with author in the wine cellar
 KG Cover

Learn how to design a kitchen garden for productivity & creativity and cook seasonal recipes to inspire fresh, healthy eating, ideal for gardeners just starting out or experienced gardeners planning to take the next step.  Learn to make savory tarts, herb swirl bread & seasonal salads with grains & greens.Ellen taking notes in the garden
 Learn more about Ellen Ogden

$300 per person (plus $30 lab fee for book & materials)
Book 2 or more different adventures & receive 10% off

(2 1/2 hour cooking class + 2 1/2 garden design
+ 1 hour lecture + lunch + dinner)

(Cannot wait for this class…it’s a gift that will keep giving and giving!)




















$300 per person (plus $30 lab fee for book & materials)

(2 1/2 hour cooking class + 2 1/2 garden design
+ 1 hour lecture + lunch + dinner)

For more information about Ellen, click here

For more information and/or to book, call 802-263-9217 or email






May 16-17 Wild Flavors: Celebrating Greens, Cultivated & Wild

Join Chef/Cookbook Author Didi Emmons & Forager David Craft PhD

Forage with David Craft, author of “Urban Foraging,” in our woods. Break for lunch & enjoy free time to explore the area. Return to The Hidden Kitchen to learn how to cook these cultivated greens/herbs – including, lovage, knotweed, pokeweed, wild onion, spruce shoots, goosefoot, stinging nettle & more with Didi Emmons. Dine on your creations (supplemented by our restaurant) in the Hidden Kitchen. 

didi emmons photo

 Foraging Walk 10 – 12:30 amdavid craft

Hands-on Cooking Class 3-6 pm + dinner inside The Hidden Kitchen

$ 195 per person 
(5 1/2 hour class + dinner)

(**Stay at the inn***Receive 20% off your room rate***Includes full breakfast***Afternoon refreshments**)

For more information and/or to book, call 802-263-9217 or email


June 5-6 Natural Leavens: Sourdough Bread from a Wood-Fired Oven

2-Day Intensive with Cookbook Author Dan Wing
Learn the secrets to making naturally leavened sourdough breads with artisan bread baker Dan Wing, co-author of The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens.
dan wing's book
Friday June 5 * 5 pm – 6:30 pm
Saturday June 6 * 8 am – 3 pm Class + lunch
Saturday June 6 * 3 pm – 6:30 pm Class + dinner in The Hidden Kitchen

Meet on Friday evening to mix sourdough starters and measure ingredients for Saturday. Then Saturday, mix, shape and bake naturally leavened bread. You will also make pizza for lunch and a chicken dinner, all in Dan’s portable wood-fired ovens. We’ll also bake desserts in the inn’s 1792 beehive oven! Then, eat what you make and take some bread home!
$300 per person (12 hours instruction + lunch + dinner)
Book 2 or more different adventures & receive 10% off
To book or for more information: call 802-263-9217 or email:

July 18-19 Food Photography Workshop

Join cookbook author/photographer/stylist Mary Giordano Brackett
Perfect Class for Food Bloggers, Foodies, Amateur Photographers!
10 hour Food Photography Workshop
Meet Friday night inside The Hidden Kitchen for a Basic Hands-on Photography Class from 5:30 pm – 7 pm. In the morning, we head off to visit some of our local farm partners. Later, we head to the garden to gather greens and veggies, even edible flowers, for our lunch and later garden soiree. Head into the kitchen where we’ll prep our meals, and photographing the entire time. Take a short break then meet up in the garden where we’ll stage our feast and photograph our creations.
(Includes hands-on prep, lunch, cooking, farm tours, Dinner at Dusk in the garden, then dine!)
Learn more about Mary Giordano Brackett
For more information and/or to book, call 802-263-9217 or email

Aug 1 – Pit Roasting Class

8-31-13 020 (944x1024)This is one of the favorite cooking classes of the year.
We start the fire the night before in our stone-lined garden pit. In the morning, we pull the coals aside and place the meat wrapped in cheesecloth then corn husks into the pit, cover with ferns and more husks, lay barn tin on top and then shovel the coals on top. The next morning, we have the unveiling and bring the meat inside The Hidden Kitchen.
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10 am – 1:30 pm + 6 pm Dinner in the Garden
with special guest 
Hands-on/demonstration class – details to come (Native American Cuisine)
$149 per person
(3 1/2 hour class + dinner)
For more information and/or to book, call 802-263-9217 or email

Dec 5-6 Holiday Splendid Spoonfuls – Savory & Sweet

From Bread Pudding to Creme Brulee with cookbook author Barbara Lauterbach CCP

 Saturday Dec. 5  ~ 10 am – 1 pm Class + lunch

Sunday Dec. 6 ~  10 am – 12:30 pm class + lunch 



Explore a savory and sweet range of custards and puddings, from stove-top to oven baked, in this two part weekend class. Certified Cooking Professional Barbara Lauterbach shares techniques and recipes featured in her book.
Learn more about Barbara Lauterbach 
$275 per person
(5 1/2 hours class time + 2 lunches)
For more information and/or to book, call 802-263-9217 or email

hk - apronAnyone can teach you how to prepare a recipe, to measure, chop and braise.

Inside The Hidden Kitchen, our on-site cooking studio, you’ll learn to follow a recipe as a guideline, not as a binding road map. We’ll encourage you to take the “scenic route,” savor what’s in season, buy direct from the farmer and cook for your health and vitality. hidden kitchen more photos 011 (533x800)

This philosophy has defined the culinary experience at The Inn at Weathersfield for years. It’s also why this our farm partners play a key role in The Hidden Kitchen. Without them, we’d be like every other cooking school in the country.

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Our classes are fun, entertaining and up close and personal with our Executive Chef, visiting chefs, cookbook authors and experts in their field.

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Classes are open to all, whether you’re staying at the inn, live in the area, or just passing through.

And in case you’re wondering where the  name came from…

No, it’s not after NPR’s award winning radio series,  Hidden Kitchens.

While that might be a logical conclusion, the only real connection is food.

Back in the early 1970s, The Hidden Kitchen was the name of a little restaurant in the charming beach town, Del Mar, California. It was owned by inn owner Marilee Spanjian’s late mother, Ann Yalian.

“When I was a teenager, I don’t remember why or what made my mother, who was a home cook with no professional training, want to open a restaurant, but she did,” Marilee recalls. “The restaurant was located off Highway 101, below a fresh fish market. There was a wood staircase that led down off the main sidewalk that took you to a courtyard where my mom had tables and chairs for her guests. Around the corner, my dad built a mini salad bar and order counter.  I stitched her a piece of art that hung in her little restaurant.”

Fast forward around 40 years.direction sign

Behind the inn, a short walk down the lane is the cooking studio.

Behind the inn, a short walk down the lane is the cooking studio.

hidden kitchen exterior

Shortly after buying the inn, Marilee, her husband and co-owner Richard and the executive chef were brainstorming names for the cooking school.  Marilee shared the story of her mother’s restaurant and suggested The Hidden Kitchen.

They agreed it was a perfect fit as the cooking studio is tucked behind the inn inside the old barn loft. Instead of going down a flight of stairs, you go up eight and step inside a truly magical space. We invite you to come and visit.

(This was the name of my Mom's little restaurant in California. I made this for felt applique for her even though I was a bratty teenager :)





Details to come.

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