Ignite Your Culinary Passion

Discover the Art of Cookery: Fall Culinary Classes in Whitehall, West Michigan

Hello, food enthusiasts! I’m Chef Valerie, and I’m thrilled to invite you to join me at Art of Cookery in Whitehall, West Michigan, for a series of exciting culinary classes this fall. As the autumn colors reach their peak in our picturesque town, there’s no better time to embark on a culinary adventure. And if you’re coming from afar, we even have a cozy Airbnb bedroom waiting for you. Let’s dive into the delectable details of our upcoming classes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds and ignite your culinary passion.

October Classes

How to Can Dill Pickles – $39*Date: 10/16/23 at 3 pm*

Ever wondered how to preserve the crisp, tangy goodness of dill pickles? Join us for this hands-on canning class and discover the art of pickling. You’ll take home jars of your very own homemade dill pickles, perfect for snacking or gifting.

Making Soft Cheeses – $45                   *Date: 10/19/23 at 5 pm*

Unleash your inner cheese aficionado as you learn to craft luscious mozzarella and creamy sour cream or yogurt from scratch. Elevate your culinary repertoire with these versatile dairy delights.

Sourdough Starter to Finish – $45

*Date: 10/22/23 at 1 pm*

There’s nothing quite like the aroma of freshly baked sourdough bread. In this class, you’ll master the art of creating and maintaining a sourdough starter, and we’ll guide you through the entire bread-making process. Get ready for warm, crusty perfection straight from your oven.


November Classes

Sweet Pickled Beets – Canning Class*Date: 11/7/23 at 5 pm*

Join us for a delightful canning adventure where you’ll learn to create sweet and tangy pickled beets. Preserve the flavors of autumn and enjoy these vibrant beets as a delicious side or salad ingredient throughout the year.

Tamales – $50

*Date: 11/9/23 at 5:15 pm*

Dive into the rich and diverse world of tamales. Chef Valerie switches between the flavorsome pork tamale with red chili sauce or the zesty chicken tamales with salsa verde. If you are the first one to book you get to choose!  Right now the plan is for Green Chicken Chili Tamales.  Craft these traditional delights and savor the taste of Mexico.

Venison Canning – Pressure Canning Class – $50

*Date: 11/12/23 at 1 pm*

For the adventurous foodies, learn the art of

 pressure canning as we delve into preserving venison and other meats. Unlock the secret to enjoying succulent, home-canned meats year-round.  This is not the prettiest jar on your shelf but it is GOLD!  Don’t lose your meat to a failed freezer, learn to SAFELY can meat.

Veggie Burgers – $30*Date: 11/14/23 at 5 pm*

Embrace the world of plant-based cuisine with our Veggie Burgers class. Create hearty, delicious veggie burger patties from scratch, perfect for a wholesome and satisfying meal.

Traditional White Bread Baking and Butter Churning

 – $35
*Date: 11/16/23 at 1 pm*

Experience the timeless art of bread baking as we guide you through crafting traditional white bread. But that’s not all; you’ll also churn your own butter for the ultimate homemade experience.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner – $39*Date: 11/18/23 at 1 pm*

Indulge in a complete and budget-friendly meal preparation class. Craft a beautiful and delicious full meal that won’t break the bank. Your taste buds will thank you!

Yaki Udon – $40*Date: 11/21/23 at 5 pm*

Transport yourself to Japan as you master the art of making udon noodles from scratch. Learn to prepare the delectable Yaki Udon dish and gain the skills to use a wok like a pro.

Register today!

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to enhance your culinary skills and savor the flavors of autumn in Whitehall, Michigan. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned cook, there’s something for everyone at Art of Cookery. Join us for these hands-on classes and embark on a culinary journey you won’t soon forget. Book your spot today and let’s create mouthwatering memories together!

Visit Art of Cookery (https://artcookery.com) for more details and to reserve your seat. Hurry, spaces are limited!

*Notes: Want a class that isn’t listed or doesn’t fit your schedule?  Reach out to us, we may be able to adjust or add classes.  231-7404065

Availability is subject to change. Please visit our website for the most up-to-date information*

A Thyme for Every Season(ing) Under the Sun

Change, Change, Change

I am very excited to tell you about some news.

We are renovating our kitchen so we can extend our line of food options for our customers.  And also to streamline the teaching space.

That having been said, this change means that the teaching kitchen will have some sporadic hours and there is likely to be a couple of weeks coming that we will be fully shut down.

Stay tuned for more details.  Know that if you are already registered for an upcoming class, that class will run.  We will be doing some online classes during that time.

We are aiming for mid to late October for the renovation to be complete.

Upcoming Classes

Here is a list of some upcoming classes.

This is subject to change and do contact us if you want a specific topic added to the schedule.  We do that all of the time to accommodate individual schedules and desired topics.  Click here for more information on times and prices

  • Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner – August 19
  • Sourdough Bread Start(er) to Finish – August 31
  • Pickle Party – September 2
  • Pickle Party – Online Class – September 2
  • Rock your Pot Instant Pot Cooking – September 7
  • How to safely Can Venison (and other meats) – September 11 & 28
  • Pressure Can…Like a Boss – September 14
  • Fettuccini Pasta and Alfredo Sauce – Online Class – September 16

Snack Kits Now Available

We have just developed a little picnic kit. 

It is great to take to the beach and/or to the local brewery.  

In it is a cute little loaf of our housemade sourdough bread, made with fresh rosemary and craft beer from Sawyers Brewing Company and topped with our version of Everything Seasoning; housemade Pear Almond Conserve, single serve commercially packaged butter and cheese.  A disposable knife is included.

The bread is made daily and the cost is $6 per kit.  Each kit will serve 1-4 depending on how hungry people are.

To order, call or text 231-740-4065 with desired pick-up time/date.  We try to keep them on hand.  The kits are also sold at Sawyers Brewing Company in Montague.

If you don’t care for rosemary, or everything seasoning, give us enough notice and we can change out a few of these options.

Everything Seasoning a la Art of Cookery

This delicious blend is great on everything...thus, its name!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Course: Seasoning
Keyword: Seasoning
Servings: 20
Author: vkhanson
Cost: $5


  • Jar
  • Lid
  • Measuring spoons


  • 2.5 tbsp Poppy seed
  • 2.5 tbsp Sesame seed
  • 1 tbsp Minced dried garlic
  • 2 tsp Onion powder
  • 2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder


  • Mix everything together in a jar and close with lid. Easy peasy!


Great on more than just bagels.  Try on bread, in salads, grilled meats, mixed into cream cheese or sour cream for a quick spread or dip.

Opening Fully!!

Art of Cookery is Reopening Fully for In-Person Classes

Like so many other small businesses, Art of Cookery shut down in March 2020.  Many attempts were made to provide live online classes via Zoom.   However, those classes just were not engaging public interest.

Recently, we’ve done a few small group live classes for people who are in the same “bubble” while we wore masks.  

Now, we are fully vaccinated and the CDC recommendations are that it would be safe enough to increase class sizes and allow unrelated class participants who are vaccinated to attend and no masks are required!!  That’s pretty exciting.  Unvaccinated persons cannot attend unmasked in a mixed group of unrelated persons.

There are many classes on the schedule including some youth classes.

Upcoming Classes

There are too many classes on our schedule to list them all here, and some are booked out with no more tickets available, but here is a highlight of some you may be interested in.

Pickled Asparagus on June 7th at 5:30 pm.  Learn how to make this delectable and unique local delicacy.  Learn some home canning techniques too!

Quiche on June 12 at 2 pm.  Learn tips and techniques for this quintessential brunch/breakfast dish.

Kids Young Chef Series June 14, 21, 28, July 12 & 19 at 11 am.  It is for young people ages 10-16 who are interested in truly learning how to cook.

Condiment Series: Ketchup o!n June 17 at 5:30.  Learn how to make ketchup from scratch and to control what goes into this condiment favorite.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner on June 23 at 12 noon.  Together make this delicious and vibrant full meal…and then sit down and enjoy it at Art of Cookery

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing on July 2 at 1 pm.  These are great to celebrate any holiday

Cookery Creations Meal Kits are A Hit

The meal kits were rolled out for orders in early May and are well received.  These aren’t boxes with whole, raw produce and proteins.  The veggies have been prepped to the recipe and much of the dinner is so close to finished that you have only a few steps. 

They tend to take between 20 to 30 minutes for a hearty, complete meal. 

The second menu set was just posted today.  Check it out!  There’s something for everyone…even a vegan option.

Make Your Own Chili Powder

Did you know chili powder is not simply powdered dry chilies? It is a blend of various spices.  Chef Valerie makes most spice blends she uses instead of purchasing them.  

Here is a great chili powder recipe.  Ideally you blend it in a small food processor or, better yet, a coffee grinder, but you don’t need to.

Chili Powder

This quick mix is a very tasty chili powder and was developed by Chef Valerie at Art of Cookery
Prep Time5 minutes
Author: vkhanson


  • Coffee Grinder


  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Mix everything together and pulse in coffee grinder. Store the resulting chili powder in a sealed container.

Spring, Asparagus, and Easy Peasy Meals

Hope Eternal

Have you ever read An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope?  If you haven’t, you should.  If you have, read it again.  Read it to discover how relative it is in these times.  I am referring to politics, very divisive issues, global warming, earth day…even spring.

Even though it was written in the early 1700s, it is startling how perfect it is for today.  Thinking about the often used quote snippet “Hope Springs Eternal” as I was starting to introduce some thoughts on Spring, and wondering where it came from.  I did dome searching and was amazed.

But, I digress, Spring brings hope for me.  In normal years, it means the start of cooking classes really getting going, the flowers and leaves unfurling, warmth.  Getting seeds in the ground.  This year, it brings hope for healing and health.  I wish that for everyone.

The Asparagus is up!!!

I’ve had three pickings now.  And even though I have a little patch of younger asparagus, I had enough today to pickle a couple of jars. today.

I LOVE pickled asparagus.

There are four classes listed on Art of Cookery’s schedule to learn how to make this seasonal and local specialty.  If you can’t make one of the dates work, let me know what dates work for you.  Perhaps we can do some rescheduling.

Pickled asparagus really jazzes up a simple hotdog on a bun, is truly the best veggie for bloody marys, dresses up a charcuterie board, and, of course, is great right out of the jar.  There are so many more uses for it.  Come learn how to make this spring delight!

There are a lot of class topics taught at Art of Cookery, have a look.  If the one you are interested in isn’t on a good date for you, just tell us what does work.  On a related note, se below for a recipe to pickle another unique spring food, hops.

Easy Peasy Meal Options

Last year, and still this year, we are in the midst of changes.  Art of Cookery tried to do distance learning ZOOM classes, but it just wasn’t what people wanted.  They wanted hands on learning but with social distancing rules, and indeed a complete shutdown in many industries like restaurants.

We got a little creative and created a hybrid “class.”  Called Cookery Creations, it is a meal kit that has your cooking the final details of the meal, but Chef Valerie has done all of the prep and created a self guided set of instructions to help you get meals that include chicken Kiev, Bahn mi bowls, crusted tuna steaks, Spanish rice, and pork cutlets along with other sides … in MINUTES of your time. 

Check out our facebook page for the pinned current menu of meal kits.  These menus will change every few weeks and will include brunch and picnic kits too.  Our website has some information too.

We’d love to hear from you on dishes you would enjoy in a Cookery Creations Meal kit.  Let us know!

Pickled Hops

Pickled Hops

Just like spring delectables of morel mushrooms and asparagus, hops is a great spring food to capture.
Prep Time3 hours
Cook Time20 hours
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: canning, Hops, Pickling
Servings: 12
Author: vkhanson
Cost: 5.00


  • Large bowl
  • Large sauce pan or Dutch oven
  • Water bath canner or pressure canner and equipment (funnel, magnet, jar gripper)
  • 4 pint canning jars (& lids/rings), OR 1/2 gallon pickle jar & lid if making refrigerator version
  • knife and cutting board


Prepare the hops

  • 10 c young spring hops sprouts If they are allowed to get too tall they will get woody.
  • 1/4 c canning salt or coarse salt
  • water to cover/submerge

Prepare the jars/jar

  • 1/4 c horseradish prepared
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp Pickle Crisp (calcium chloride)

Prepare the syrup

  • 3 c cider vinegar 5% acidity
  • 1 1/4 c beer made with hops I like an IPA
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 tbsp mustard seed
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp canning salt


Prepare the hops

  • Then transfer out, rinse Trim woody bases. 
  • Wash the hops in large bowl of water and swishing.  Then transfer out, rinse and repeat.
  • If a bit droopy and you aren’t processing right away, trim the ends and soak in cold water for an hour or two.  If you will be pickling the next day, drain and put into plastic bag(s) in the refrigerator or a cooler. 
  • If you are continuing the process, place washed hops in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water.  Let stand for one hour.  Rinse.

While hops are soaking

  • Sterilize (or at least wash very well in hot water and detergent)4 pint jars (you may need 5), OR, if not canning and storing in refrigerator, a ½ gallon glass or plastic container. If you have a sanitize stage on your dishwasher, that will work best. 


  • Into each jar, place: 1 TBSP horseradish, ½ tsp red pepper flakes, ½ tsp fennel seed, 1/8 tsp Pickle Crisp (Calcium Chloride)
    Alternatively, if using the refrigeration method, add to the syrup or directly into 1/2 gallon jar: 1 TBSP red pepper flakes, 1 ½ TBSP fennel seed, ¼ c TBSP horseradish, 1 tsp Pickle Crisp (Calcium Chloride)


  • If you will be canning, prepare the water bath or pressure canner and get water to a simmer.
  • Have the proper lids and rings ready. Be sure to scald the lids briefly in water and have hot for when placing on the jars.


  • In Dutch oven, place: 3 c cider vinegar (5% acidity), 1 ¼ c beer of choice, (I suggest an IPA), 1/3 c sugar, 2 TBSP canning salt, 2 TBSP mustard seed, 2 TBSP onion powder (you can also choose to pack stalks loosely & use minced onions), 2 TBSP garlic powder (or finely minced garlic)
  • Bring syrup to a boil and boil gently for one minute. 
  • Add the cleaned hops and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Ladle into pint jars to ½ inch head space. 
    1/2 gallon jar and let cool, then refrigerate.
  • If canning:  Wipe rims with clean damp cloth (or paper towel) and tighten on rings.  As you fill and seal jars, place on canner rack. Remember that cool jars meeting boiling water equals broken glass…try to move swiftly when putting hot syrup into jars and placing on the rack.  
    If water bathing, the water should be boiling with the rack hooked over the sides just above the water.    When all jars are in the canner, process. 
  • Water bath canning:  lower the rack into the boiling water carefully. Place lid on and boil for 10 minutes.  Start timer when water comes to a boil with the jars in it. 
    Pressure canning:  Turn heat on to high, close and tighten lid.  Exhaust steam for 10 minutes then place the steam weight on.  Process at 5 pounds of pressure for 10 minutes. Allow pressure gauge to return to 0 before opening.


If canning and the center of lid doesn’t go down with vacuum after cooling, jar did not seal.  Store unsealed jars in the refrigerator.  They will last a long time in the refrigerator.
These are especially delicious served on extra-sharp cheddar cheese.