New cooking school in Oak Cliff courts Dallas’ knife-wielding foodies
A new concept opening in North Oak Cliff promises to bring something totally fresh. Called Garnish Kitchen, it will be a chef-run cooking school with a small eatery on the side, opening in the space on Davis Street that was previously the short-lived wine bar Bouchon 1314.
Owner Aaron Hubbard is a graduate of the blue-chip Culinary Institute of America in New York, and former chef who was an instructor for the Le Cordon Bleu chain of cooking schools. After those shut down, he became inspired to open a school of his own, and came into possession of the advantageously located Bouchon space.
"Our core will be culinary education, and we'll do whole spectrum of stuff, from how to use a knife all the way to advanced pastry work," he says.
He'll also take a unique approach to how the classes are structured. "It's going to operate like a gym membership or a spa where you're a member, and individual classes are priced below the competition," he says.
He knows from his experience at Le Cordon Bleu that there's a market.
"During the week, students were learning a career, but on weekends, we were doing open classes for people not enrolled, and those were selling out," he says. "There's a vacuum in Dallas for this. Some stores do classes but they're more demo-based, where you are watching rather than cooking. At our classes, you're going to get your hands dirty."
That means everyone gets their own tools and access to a range. Hubbard is currently outfitting the space; he hopes to open in August.
Along with classes, Garnish will also serve food, including ready-to-eat items such as sandwiches and salads that revolve.
"We want people to come and have a glass of wine and a snack on he patio before or after the Kessler, or before a meal at a more formal restaurant," he says.
He's also bringing in a brick oven — "although I'm not going to use pizza word," he says. "It'll be flatbreads, roasted chicken. I’m from Virginia and I want to do a true Carolina-style pulled pork. We're not trying to compete with the barbecue world, we're just going to have this one sandwich, with slaw — it has to have slaw."
Still, the focus is on the school. "That's the core of what Garnish Kitchen will be," he says.