I can honestly say cooking is one of my favorite pastimes. I love the process of selecting the menu, gathering the items from my favorite local market, turning on my go-to playlist and diving into a new exciting recipe while drinking a glass of wine, of course. The process is almost like therapy after a long workday. It’s relaxing, creative and rewarding.

With that said, my husband and I are quite the duo in the kitchen these days. He takes the lead as the chef, and I proudly accompany him as his sous chef. It’s all about balance, and we love the quality time spent together. When it comes to exposing our pallet to new and tasty cuisine we are all about the adventure. I recently read the  Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State hosted cooking classes! I immediately signed us up for Date Night: Arabian Nights.

Atop the Cincinnati State campus, my husband and I found ourselves walking through the halls of college once again. Upon discovering the class in one of 12 commercial kitchens, we were greeted by Ann with a warm and friendly face. She gave us a brief overview of the evening and invited us to sit down among other date night couples at a long family-style table. We mixed and mingled with others before class began and were grateful to meet new fresh faces!

We had the honor of being instructed by Chef Jamie Carmody that evening. I’ve heard her name in the culinary community before and was grateful she would be instructing us! She recently opened her own business, Out of Thyme Kitchen Studio. Her personality is fabulous! Chef Jamie and her team made the cooking class so much fun, and I would strongly recommend taking her class in the future.

After quick introductions, we grabbed our menus and headed to our personal work stations. The flow of the evening included a quick lesson in Knife Skills 101, which came in handy immediately as Chef Jamie gave instructions on the importance of food prep and how to manage your time in the kitchen.

Ann came around with the option of red or white wine as we created magic in the kitchen! My husband and I took turns sharing the responsibility of creating our amazing menu of homemade pita chips with hummus, Tabbouleh, Falafel, baked shrimp with tomato and feta and baklava rolls for dessert.

Once our cooking was complete we headed back to our seats to enjoy our meal together. Chef Jamie and her team boxed up our leftovers, and we didn’t even have to do the dishes! The three-hour class was engaging and eye opening. I learned so many wonderful skills that I will bring back to my own kitchen, and I can’t wait to recreate Arabian Nights! We had such a great date night,and we will 100 percent be back again!



Lydia J.

Author: Lydia J.

Lydia is an event planner by day and a social butterfly by night. Her goal is to always be up-to-date on the latest and greatest happenings around the city. Her passion for travel, good food and amazing cocktails has her calendar filled with new places to explore weekly. She and her husband, Fred, have been married for six years and have never stopped dating – they are always looking for new date night adventures!