Dining With Darling

Novato Advance May 29, 2013   Novato chef offers in-house lessons; keeps students laughing
By Nicole Baptista

A golden cube of European butter begins to melt in a Le Creuset. The flame is set to medium low and the heat gradually rises as a group of first-time cooks sauté an assortment of hand-carved chicken thighs and wings in the flavorful drippings. The lightly browned pieces soon simmer alongside Spanish onions, lemon zest, broth, nutmeg, thyme and cream.

Chicken Fricassee, a traditional French item, was one of three dishes on Chef Keith Darling’s cooking class menu May 15. Darling’s Novato kitchen was filled with eight students, all of whom yearned to come home with the tools to impress.

His new cooking course “Dining With Darling” commonly hosts four to six people, and can last up to three hours, followed by a sit-down dinner filled with smiles and friendly conversation.

The night’s topic was “Celebrating Pot Meals,” using French cooking methods to create layers of flavor from moist heat.

“My goal is to demystify the language of the recipe,” Darling said. “It must go from my head to your head to your hands.” more here

Marin County Chef Keith Darling Creates a Culinary Adventure
In Your Kitchen with Private Cooking Classes

Novato, CA (3/1/13)…Imagine a private chef coming to your home and creating a culinary adventure in your kitchen for you and a few of your friends. Hosting a cooking class party is a creative way to entertain—for birthdays, special celebrations, as an ice-breaker evening for new friends or colleagues or just for fun.

Marin Chef Keith Darling’s “design-your-own epicurean adventure” classes are exclusively available for Bay Area home cooks. These private, group cooking lessons in your own home are an invitation to get together and learn cutting-edge culinary techniques while enjoying exquisite food and wine in an intimate setting.

Chef Darling’s classes have been created with the home chef in mind, and are for those who want to learn more and are ready to take their cooking to the next level. His classes are designed to be hands-on while bringing students to the head-of-the class very quickly. “My goal is to demystify the language of the recipe,” explains Chef Darling. Students will learn what terms like pan sear, carmelize or reduce (for example) really mean and how to execute these tasks in everyday cooking. Chef Darling has many years of experience as both a professional cooking instructor as well as a chef, and, along with his namesake charm and wit, he is guaranteed to entertain as well inform your guests.

Chef Darling’s “Think Life a Chef Series” offers five different classes to choose from:

  • Celebrating the “Noble Bird” in One Pot Meals: Discover the technique to create “layers of flavors” from moist heat cooking for dishes like Poulet Grand Mere: The Perfect French One Pot Meal
  • Eggstravaganza! Chef Darlings’ Anytime of Day Delicious Egg Dishes: Finesse easy Herb Poached Eggs or Tomato, Potato, and Tapenade Frittata
  • Salmon! Salmon! Salmon! Shrimp! Shrimp! Shrimp! Chef Darling’s Dynamic Duo Dinner Meals: like Unforgettable Shrimp Scampi (and create perfect scampi sauce every time) or Roasted Salmon Picatta Style with Grape Tomatoes
  • The Road to Better Barbecuing – Demystifying Charcoal Briquette Cooking – Bringing Back Flavor to Outdoor Barbecuing: Master methods for moist and tender meat, poultry, and seafood while “protecting the protein”
  • Chef Darling Customized Cooking Class Adventure: Create a class featuring your favorite foods or special diets: gluten free, lactose free, organic, or vegetarian—the chef is waiting to take your order!

Chef Darling’s cooking classes are tailored to meet the needs of those looking to host a very special and unique event. No time or not sure of the best place to shop? No problem. Chef Darling can create a shopping list, meet you to shop for the freshest meats and vegetables, or simply do the shopping for you. His classes also offer the option for clean up. For best results, the chef recommends a class size of four to six people, but larger classes can be accommodated.

Looking for an outdoor culinary getaway? Chef Darling offers a full menu of epicurean adventures, including: planning and being your chaperone for trips to wineries, breweries, or sustainable farms. Maybe you and your friends have always wanted to explore the splendors of Napa Valley with a wine-savvy host. Chef Darling’s Wine Country connections mean you will have access to the top wineries, restaurants, and artisan purveyors. Everyone gets involved in selecting the freshest ingredients while developing knowledge of seasonality and sustainability.

Plan a picnic enjoying hand-crafted cheeses and learning how to use these delicacies in your cooking class. Or get ready for summer with a grilling class using organic, grass-fed beef. Spring is here, and it’s a great time to plan a unique epicurean excursion for you and your friends, while learning new cooking skills and exciting recipes along the way.  Cooking classes are also available in Chef Darling’s kitchen. Love France?  Chef Darling is taking a group to southern France in the fall to teach students the culinary influences of that region.

Get the full scoop at


About Chef Keith Darling

Chef Darling unofficially began his culinary apprenticeship at age 15 in his family’s home kitchen. Inspired by his parents—both descendants of French-speaking families—they shared a passion for discovering and cooking international cuisines blended with handed-down family recipes. Darling attended the American Culinary Federation Professional Chef Apprenticeship Program in New Orleans, including studies in a variety of global and emerging ethnic cuisines. There, he learned the styles of Creole, Cajun, and French chefs, and became executive chef at Annadele Plantation restaurant. Darling then became head instructor at a vocational school in New Orleans, teaching a class of 40 students. Darling’s next professional journey took him in to the world of major food companies, where he spent 22 years traveling nationally and internationally as corporate chef of R & D, developing foods and recipes that reached millions of people.

In Chef Darling’s spare time he developed and taught his own cooking class series, “Think Like a Chef” with emphasis placed on “unlocking the language of the recipe.” He has taught more than 1,200 budding culinary enthusiasts. Darling and his chef brothers Ken (his twin) and Gary Darling have been featured in Bon Appetit magazine. He was also featured in and contributed food trend articles in Culinology, Flavor and The Menu, Food Product Design, and Hotel Food and Beverage Executive magazines.

For more information call Chef Darling at 415-308-3025.

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