By Chef Neil Baxter for Rundles Cooking Classes, a certified “Good Food Fighter

At the beginning of this year, I went to Denmark to work at restaurant Noma in Copenhagen.  Noma is not your average restaurant, and Chef Rene Redzepi is not your average chef.  Noma sets a standard in excellence that has been recognized worldwide.  It was an experience of which I can only say, “wow”!  When chefs go to work at other restaurants for the purpose of studying and learning we call this person a stagier.  The stagier is at the bottom of the kitchen hierarchy, and should be willing to do anything with grace and deference.  Being a stagier is very humbling and rewarding, provided that you keep your eyes open.  Learning in a cutting-edge kitchen can be very osmotic; ideas soak into you and surface much later.

This coming New Year, I am returning to Europe, this time to Stockholm, Sweden, to be a stagier at a restaurant called Frantzen/Lindeberg.  From the research that I have done, I gather that it is a very exciting restaurant, which is run similar to the new Nordic Noma approach.  They do not offer a menu; rather, they cook a multi-course seasonal meal; the restaurant is run by two chefs, Bjorn Frantzen and Daniel Lindberg.  It was new to the San Pellegrino best restaurant awards this year, and was ranked #57 just behind the French Laundry in Napa.  Frantzen/Lindeberg got the title of the restaurant to watch.  I am very excited to be going away again to see what I can bring back for the coming restaurant season at Rundles, which will be our 35th year in Stratford.


The ‘Weekend Cooking’ classes earlier this year, late March thru mid-May, I believe were our best ones to date.  Now it is time to start the slow process of planning sessions for next year.  Putting the menus together is never an easy process for me, but it is one that allows me to introduce new ingredients and techniques.  I am acutely aware that whatever we cook together during the classes in my professionally appointed kitchen at Rundles, must be able to be duplicated at home.  Some products that I would like to introduce next year are fresh sardines, the lightest ricotta gnocchi for our Saturday vegetarian luncheon, a selection of unique vegetable pickles, potato pave, and a subtle chicken liver mousse.   (The chicken liver mousse was one of the items on our Sophisto-Bistro charcuterie plate this year, and I received many requests for the recipe.)

Below are the advance dates for the weekend classes.  Have a happy end of Fall, and joyful holiday season.


March 30 – April 1

April 13 – 15

April 20 – 22

April 27 – 29

May 4 – 6

May 11 – 13


The Weekend Cooking Class fee for 2012 is $410.00 Canadian Dollars per participant, plus 13% tax.  Non-participant fee is $200.00 Canadian Dollars per person, plus 13% tax.  

For more info about my cooking classes, please visit:  


Rundles Restaurant & Bistro

9 Cobourg Street,

Stratford, Ontario

Canada   N5A 3E4

Tel.: 1.519.271.6442

Fax: 1.519.271.3279

Rundles Video

35th year: FRIDAY, MAY 25th, thru SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th, 2012.