BOISE, Idaho — Launching a business in the middle of a pandemic may seem risky, but Boise-based chef Christina Murray says for her it was oddly ideal, since at-home cooking is one of the few activities that has actually flourished over the past year. Murray says, "My mission is to get everyone cooking at home, and covid actually helped me with that because everyone is stuck at home."
Murray is the chef-educator and owner at Season & Taste in downtown Boise, a recreational cooking school she launched in August 2020 to make upscale cuisine a little more down to earth. Says Murray of her methods, "Even though it’s all very technique-based, I want everything to be accessible to people."
And Murray knows her stuff! She has earned two Bachelor's degrees - including one from Boise State University - and learned classical French cooking from some of the best chefs in the world at the International Culinary Center in New York City. Murray knew pretty quickly that she wanted to do more than cook food herself, though: she wanted to teach others to do it, too. And that's exactly what she does from her kitchen space inside Boise's historic Idanha building. "I teach everyone from 5 years old to 105 years old the exact same technique-based education."
Murray's classes are known for taking delicious but seemingly daunting dishes - like handmade pasta and rich risottos - and making them do-able for even the least experienced cook. Murray explains, "When you break things down incrementally, it makes a really tough recipe a lot more accessible."
If you do book a class at Season & Taste, Murray says to come hungry! "Most classes we’ll learn 3-4 recipes in a 2 1/2 hour class," she tells Idaho News 6. "You prepare the entire meal from start to finish and eat the entire thing in class."
All of the menus at Season & Taste are carefully designed by Murray herself to reach a wide variety of aspiring chefs. During a typical class, she says you'll learn, "[K]nife skills, sauce making, sauteing, every single component of cooking. All the foundations of classical French technique are incorporated into everything, from an instant-pot plant-based class to a French date night."
Classes at Season & Taste cater to everyone from kids to families to couples looking for a fun date night, but they do fill up quickly, so visit Season & Taste online here to see what's cooking and to enroll in upcoming classes.