Chef Alekka Offers a Pittsburgh Chef Experience at Home

Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on June 27, 2023.

Disclaimer: We were hosted for this experience. Our site uses demographic data, email opt-ins, display advertising, and affiliate links. Please check out our Terms and Conditions. Pricing, operating hours, or menus may have changed since our initial visit and may not be reflected in subsequent updates. Please confirm these directly with any business or attraction prior to visiting.

We have to admit that cooking at home is one of our favorite activities. When we're not out exploring the city or eating at local restaurants, odds are good you can find us in the kitchen whipping up an involved meal that takes all day to prepare, baking, or setting up an unusual fermentation project.

But as we are always excited to learn more cooking techniques, we were really excited to have Chef Alekka, a in-home chef in Pittsburgh, come over to our house for a cooking demonstration with some delicious summer appetizers.

All the best things about cooking with a chef but in the comfort of our kitchen? Sign us up.

At-Home Chef Experience With Chef Alekka

In House Cooking Class with Chef Alekka in Pittsburgh

When we first started talking with Chef Alekka about having her out to our house, we have to admit that we were a bit blown away by all of the options. From private cooking lessons to themed parties, decorating workshops, and knife skills lessons, to simply making a custom three-course dinner for a date night, the sky was truly the limit on the types of at-home activities Alekka had on offer.

As tantalizing as it was to have a chef come to our house to cook a customized menu in our recently renovated kitchen, we took the opportunity to improve our own cooking skills at home with a modified cooking class focusing on summer appetizers.

Over the course of the evening, we got the chance to work alongside Alekka to make three unique dishes:

  • Roasted carrot hummus
  • Gougeres (choux pastry with cheese)
  • Bruschetta with pancetta and asparagus

On the surface, these sound like they would be relatively straightforward dishes to prepare, but we quite enjoyed how we were able to learn new techniques and flavor combinations from each of the dishes all the same.

Roasted Carrot Hummus

Hummus, for example, is one of our favorite snacks to make at home, but we often go the more traditional route of making it simply with chickpeas, tahini, a massive amount of garlic, and lemon. We never would have thought to amp it up with roasted carrots and smoked paprika, and when this one was all blended together the extra ingredients added a smokey sweetness to the dip that really took this traditional snack to a new level.

The gougeres were perhaps the appetizer that required the most cooking skill to make, as these are conventional choux pastries but filled and topped with cheese. Although Angie has been making choux pastry for years, often to the delight of our friends, Alekka showed us master-level piping techniques to get the perfect form in the pastry every time.

Asparagus Bruschetta

Finally, we come to the bruschetta, where it was the plating technique that we got new ideas. Asparagus tops stacked in a cross while adorned with pancetta, olive oil, and lemon zest? We can't really say no to how beautiful this one turned out!

These were just a few of many tips we received from Chef Alekka during our evening class, and between those, the absurd amount of food made, a few bottles of wine, and hours of conversation this one had all the hallmarks of cooking classes that we love to take- just simply in the comfort of our own kitchen. 

Making a Choux Paste

At the end of the night, Alekka left us with a greater understanding of cooking techniques, a few great recipes we can try out for our next party, and of course, an absurd amount of leftovers that we got to enjoy for the following couple of days for good measure.

The best kind of cooking class all around!

How to Get the Most Out of an In-Home Chef Experience

Chef Alekka Cooking Class and Knives

Having an in-house experience is a little different from what we normally write about here, so we thought we'd share some tips to get the most out of your experience with Chef Alekka.

First, communication is key. Chef Alekka's home-based experiences are varied and, in many cases, customizable. We originally started discussing a fully catered dining experience, where Alekka simply came to our house, cooked, and left, but as the conversation went on we realized collectively that a communal cooking class was the best option for us.

If you go a cooking class route, think about what you want to learn or improve upon more in the kitchen. Do you struggle with knife skills? Planning? Plating? The sky is the limit on things you could possibly learn in a focused, in-house environment.

Likewise, if you have any dietary restrictions (Angie has a nut allergy, for example), sharing this up front and well in advance allowed the menu to be customized to accommodate these concerns.

In-House Cooking Class with Chef Alekka

Second, prepare your kitchen. Our kitchen was clean, organized, and ready to rock.

We had discussed what tools and appliances our meal needed in advance with Alekka and had those ready to go (although she can tailor if you don't have certain pieces of equipment, like a stand mixer). It took us a bit of time to figure out where everything was, of course (our kitchen was that new), but knowing what all equipment we needed helped things go a bit smoother overall.

Cooking Demonstration at Home

Finally, ask questions and give feedback! We learned so much from our time with Alekka in our experience simply because we would ask questions about the dishes, share cooking experiences, and more. This was not just from the recipes themselves but simply from anything tangential that came up in conversation throughout the evening.

Overall, as in-house chef experiences are varied and customizable, this is certainly one of those experiences where you will get the most out of it based on how much thought you put in. From there, an enjoyable night of dining at home will be your reward!

Chef Alekka offers in-house catering, cooking classes, workshops, and other demonstrations. We'd like to thank Chef Alekka for coming to our house for this experience. As always, all opinions are our own.

Leave a Comment