The Indiana Insider Blog

Chefs on Stage Seminars at The Chef’s Academy

There’s one less show popping up in my DVR these days now that Top Chef Texas wrapped up its season. I’m a huge fan of the cooking competition, not just for the typical drama that goes hand-in-hand with reality television, but more for the creativity on display in the kitchen by the talented chefs. It has given me a strong desire to learn more about cooking and sneak behind the kitchen doors at fabulous restaurants to see the real action.

The Chef’s Academy in downtown Indianapolis offers just such an experience. For $35, you can participate in cooking demonstrations with expert instructors, called “Chefs on Stage” seminars, and you’ll even take home the completed meal. You do not need to have any type of cooking experience to sign up, just an interest in great food. This is a unique opportunity for the community to get the type of education typically reserved for culinary students.

Seminars are held on Fridays through August 10. Class titles, dates, and descriptions are listed below. The Chef’s Academy is a part of Harrison College, and is located at 644 E. Washington St. in downtown Indianapolis. To register for a class, contact Beth Holbrook at 317.447.6301 or email

  • Art of Food and Wine
    March 30
    10 a.m. to noon
    Chef Matthew Mejia will teach participants how to create a harmonious meal through the careful pairing of various dishes with appropriate red, white, rosé and other types of wines. Attendees will have the chance to become a member of the Chef Mejia Tournants Société Wine Enthusiasts Club as well. Participants must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Modernist Cuisine on Point
    April 6
    10 a.m. to noon
    Participants will learn how to blend the tastes of today with the trends of tomorrow from Chef Joseph Davey, including high tech cooking methods and the physics behind preparation and presentation.
  • A Professional Chef Approach to Mother Earth
    April 13
    10 a.m. to noon
    Josh Horrigan, director of career services at The Chef’s Academy, will be presenting insight into 21st century food from the garden to the kitchen. Participants will learn the basics of cultivating fresh cuisine directly from the source.
  •  Great World of Chocolate Ganache
    May 11
    Noon to 2 p.m.
    Pastry Chef Pierre Giacometti will teach participants the intricacies of Sacher Torte,the famous chocolate cake from Austria. The class will cover the basics enrobing and tempering truffles in decadent melted chocolate as well.
  • Game of the American Plains
    May 18
    10 a.m. to noon
    Participants will learn the basics of hunting and field dressing various types of game animals from Chef Chris Francis, as well as the rustic art of Great Plains cookery, including several traditional recipes.
  • World View of Italian Cooking
    June 15
    Noon to 2 p.m.
    Participants will learn how to embrace the delicious simplicity of Tuscan cuisine from Tony Hanslits, dean of chefs for The Chef’s Academy. The class will emphasize hearty Tuscan breads and cheeses, and fresh vegetables used in traditional soups and pasta dishes.
  • It Was Artisan, But Craft Breads are Better
    June 22
    8 to 10 a.m.
    Boulanger Chef Nate Simpson will take participants on a world tour of craft breads from The Chef’s Academy’s kitchen. Participants will learn the skills necessary to mix, knead and bake the perfect loaf with a variety of international ingredients.
  • Compete Against Yourself and Become a Champion
    August 3
    10 a.m. to noon
    Participants will learn the basics of cooking competitions from Chef Brandon Hamilton, who will give instruction on how to plan and organize like a seasoned professional. Additionally the class will teach the secrets on preparing and serving winning dishes that will wow the judges.
  • Featuring a Play On Pork
    August 10
    10 a.m. to noon
    Chef Lucas Trinosky will teach participants how to prepare a winning pork dish from start to finish. The class will also feature tips and tricks on how to get contest judges to notice your culinary skills.

Photo courtesy of The Chef’s Academy.

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Written by : Nicole is a stay-at-home mom and blogger living in Columbus, Indiana. She blogs about adventures at home and away with her husband and 2-year-old son at She grew up in Plainfield, Indiana and graduated from Butler University in 2002. She grew up in Plainfield, Indiana and graduated from Butler University in 2002. She spent seven years living and working in downtown Indianapolis following college. Nicole is always looking for fun, kid-friendly outing ideas. You can contact her via email or find her on Twitter at @arrowssentforth. Nicole receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.