Some may say that working in the kitchen is all about the food. But for Chef Scott Ryan it’s the technique that makes the meal.
“If you know how to cook, you can cook anything,” says Ryan, who has taught culinary arts for more than 10 years.
Ryan owns and runs Baltimore Chef Shop, a teaching kitchen on Roland Avenue in the heart of Hampden.
After only a year at the Roland Avenue location, Ryan's business quickly outgrew the space.
To accommodate the crowds, he'll be opening a new shop on W. 36th Street next month and will offer classes in every conceivable kind of cooking.
Ryan runs classes on everything from Chinese cuisine and crepe brunches to handmade pasta and a series on kitchen techniques.
Patrons can sign up for individual classes or a class series online. Each class typically costs around $65.
“Although it’s fun to cook, we really do try to teach people how to cook,” he says.
Inspired by his own passion for cooking Asian dishes, Ryan instructs a class in which students prepare a whole steamed fish with ginger and scallions.
“People are stunned at how delicious and simple it is,” he says.
Ryan will also put an emphasis on outreach work.
In the new space, Baltimore Chef Shop is planning to partner with community resources like the No Kid Hungry campaign.
Ryan will offer the space to local businesses that may not have a large kitchen or comparable resources. “We know what it’s like to be a small business in need of help,” he says.
The shop will partner with the American Culinary Federation, as well.
Visiting artisans will hold classes on preparing specialty items, such as handmade cheeses.
Ryan also intends to take advantage of the Hampden Farmers’ Market and host a market-to-table class. Students would start the day by going to the farmers’ market, shopping for what’s in season and then bringing their supplies back to the kitchen to make a meal based on what’s available.
With his community involvement, Ryan is making his mark in Hampden.
“I’m happy to be the guy who owns the cooking school, and not just a face in the crowd,” he says.