Get cooking: New cooking school open in downtown Boise | Money

First posted on on September 10, 2020

The Idanha Building has a new tenant.

Season + Taste, a hands-on cooking school for small group classes, opened its doors next to Guru Donuts on Main Street in July. The business offers classes for adults, families and kids from ages 8-17 in a variety of cooking techniques, including French pastries, knife skills, Sushi making, French cooking and Instant Pot basics.

Owner Christina Mae Murray is a classically trained chef with experience teaching cooking classes at Sur La Table in Meridian, Boise Urban Garden School and with the Idaho Department of Education in Treasure Valley Title One schools. On top of her training in French cooking, she also specializes in plant-based cuisine.

Most classes at Season + Taste for adults and kids start at $59. Due to COVID-19, the school requires masks in class and caps attendance at 10 for adult classes and 12 for kids classes.

Although she teaches difficult French pastries like croissants, Murray said she approaches it in a way anyone can learn. Instead of going in-depth with measuring dough with rulers and fussy measurements common in high-class kitchens, she has developed easy ways to make difficult dishes yourself.

“I’ve taught for a really long time and you need to see it, you need to touch it, you need to do it yourself, hear it, and use all of your senses to do it yourself to be able to fully execute it at home,” she said. “I pride myself in making recipes classes accessible that are difficult to do.”

Home cooking for everyoneClasses for all ages are taught at the same difficulty levels, with the same tools. Kids as young as 8 learn how to use 8 to 10-inch chef knives in her classes and the beginning of each course is focused on safely handling knives and kitchen sanitation.

Murray started her career development window displays and store layouts for American Eagle Outfitters with a degree from Boise State University, but eventually switched careers and headed to culinary school. After teaching in a variety of places, she wanted to open her business to teach kids and families to make their own food in an accessible and healthy way.

After going to culinary school, she earned a second Bachelor’s degree in food politics. This launched her fascination with teaching people of all incomes the knowledge to prepare their own meals in the kitchen with fresh ingredients.

“My goal is for everyone to cook at home,” she said. “COVID was kind of awesome for me because I saw so many people get back in the kitchen and being excited to cook at home again.”

Murray moved into the former Toasted location, which was an off-shoot of Guru Donuts. The Toasted Cafe has moved into the main Guru Donuts shop upstairs and she moved into the small kitchen space to operate her business.

Neo Classic Tattoo and the Maven boutique closed their doors in the historic Idanha due to COVID-19 earlier this year. Mullet Proof Hair Co. took over the Maven location, but the Neo Classic Tattoo space remains for rent.

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