Left photo courtesy Erin Coopey, right photo by Erin Coopey
Noted West Seattle professional chef, Erin Coopey, offers a cooking class called "Impress Your Date" at South Seattle Community College. She is operating a culinary tour of Manzanillo, Mexico. Pictured right are her "Guacamole 'Deviled' Eggs".

West Seattle chef Erin Coopey offers cooking classes to singles, food trips to Mexico & more

Professional Chef Erin Coopey has her fingers in a lot of pots, but she wears just one hat, a tall, white one. That's because her work is her passion, and her passion is all about cooking.

Coopey, a talented food photographer who resides near Morgan Junction, currently offers 12 cooking classes at South Seattle Community College, including Knife Skills 101 Feb. 2, and Moroccan Cuisine Jan. 19, as well as classes at ChefShop.com on Elliott Ave. W., and operates her own catering business, Culinary Arts Enterprises.

At South, there is still room to sign up for her class "Impress Your Date":

Impress Your Date! Wednesday, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm; 1 session starting January 18, 2012, ending January 18, 2012 Instructor: Coopey Rm. CAB - FSA Kitchen Class Fee: $45.00 Materials Fee: $20.00 Please read: Your $20 Materials Fee is not paid at the time of registration. It is paid directly to your instructor at the time of your class.

She explained, "This is a class for people who don't feel very comfortable cooking to show how easy it is to make a meal for friend or loved one. We'll make a nice salad, a homemade vinaigrette, a simple chicken dish, a wonderful sauce, and a fancy little dessert."

Another class Coopey offers at South is "Cooking with the Gypsies, Hungarian and Eastern European Food":

Cooking with the Gypsies - Hungarian and Eastern European Cooking Monday, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm; 1 session starting January 30, 2012, ending January 30, 2012. Instructor: Coopey Rm. CAB - FSA Kitchen Class Fee: $45.00 Materials Fee: $15.00 Please read: Your $15 Materials Fee is not paid at the time of registration. It is paid directly to your instructor at the time of your class.

"I cooked a lot of Hungarian dishes with my grandmother, a first generation Hungarian-American," she said. "I'll be using her recipes."

Her latest entrée is not European cuisine, but rather south of the border, her "Culinario de Mexico" tour of Manzanillo.

"I started the company with Susan Lewis from Seattle, who now lives outside Manzanillo," she said. "She has several homes there that we will use for the tours. It's really a fun thing, visiting local mercados, learning hands-on techniques for authentic Mexican dishes, working with chiles, tortillas, touring coffee plantations, attending tequila tastings, and sitting on the beach from time to time."

Coopey earned a degree in culinary arts from the ACF (American Culinary Federation) accredited program at Scottsdale Community College. During her course of study she was awarded a scholarship based on academic performance and culinary skill. She was also recognized with an “Excellence in Creativity in Culinary Arts” Award by the Culinary Arts Department and SCC.

She went on to train at the highly-respected Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, CA. where she received certificates in Mastering Wine, American Food Media, and Food and Wine Pairing for Chefs.

"I just love it so much in so many forms," Coopey said of the world of food. "I want to photograph it, make it, teach other people about it." And, guess what? She loves to eat, too. "I indulge in butter and cream and wine," she said. "That's my diet secret."

"I've always loved to cook," she recalled. "It's a very natural thing for me. When I was a little girl I would offer people something to eat when they came to the house and my mother would think, 'Where does this kid come from?' With all the cooking shows on TV, the perception is that being a chef is more glamorous than it has ever been. At gatherings cooking is always a talking point. There's excitement about what they saw on the cooking channels, and what their favorite dish is. It's a great time to be a chef."

For information about Culinario Mexico click here.

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