Ojai Culinary School

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The intimate Lavender Inn is the setting for the innovative Ojai Culinary School. The cooking school offers a wide variety of hands-on and demonstration cooking classes ranging from visiting chefs to local artisanal cooks. The emphasis on the cooking classes is to develop technique and expertise along with a sense of ease in the kitchen. PRIVATE COOKING CLASSES: Let us cook up a celebration for you – whether it’s a birthday, a bridal shower, or just a group getting together. We can tailor your class to your group’s cooking skill level and type of desired menu. Chefs will work side by side with your group to create a memorable meal. See below for more on private classes.


vegetarian randyVegetarian Comfort Food with Ojai Valley Vegetarian Chef Randy Graham

Sunday, February 8th @ 1pm

We are so excited to have one of Ojai’s homegrown original vegetarian chefs show you a humble way to cook amazing dishes.  In this very hands on class, Chef Randy will teach you how to make earthy but fancy foods you couldn’t have imagined.  He has a way to make the ordinary, extraordinary.  His way with food is amazing and tasty.  Join us for afternoon of comfort, fun and delicious food.

What we love about Randy is that he’s been doing this since the 70′s and now it’s a fashion.  He regularly hosts impromptu dinners at his home, cooks everyday, and aside from writing columns and articles for the Ojai Valley News, Edible Ojai and Visitors’ guide, he has a blog and published books.

The Menu:  Beggar’s Purses, Filo Dough and stuffing, Orange Fennel Salad with Orange Muscat Champagne Vinaigrette, Savory Mushroom Risotto with Arborio Rice, Roasted Asparagus Spears, and Decades-Old Family Recipe for Twice Baked Biscotti.

This Class is limited to 10 participants. $65 per person.


clarissa Speak-Cook-Eat the Italian Experience  with Clarissa

Sunday February 22nd @ 12:30

Back by popular demand – Speak~Cook~Eat – The Italian Experience.  You don’t have to leave Ojai to experience the wonderful flavors and sounds of Italy.  In this deliciously fun and interactive class you will be transported to Tuscany as you learn how to cook a traditional Tuscan style meal and learn basic Italian vocabulary, as well as how to order in a restaurant.  We will enjoy role playing, socializing & eating the delicious food we will cook.

The Menu includes:  Tagliatelle ai Funghi (mushroom soup), Tuscan style Roast Beef, Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Traditional mixed greens.  Appetizer TBD *All ingredients for the class will be organic, fresh from the Farmer’s Market and or sustainably sourced. Ingredients subject to seasonal availability.

This Class is limited to 10 participants. $90 per person.


robinSmall Plates & Appetizers with Private Chef Robin

 Sunday March 8 @ 1 pm

Join us in this class as Robin shares her recipes featured in her upcoming new book A Taste of Ojai a collection of small plates and appetizers by Private Chef Robin. In this unique class you will learn to be passionate about all of the details that going into making great food.  As she put it “I believe that preparing food is about great ingredients, and it’s about everything that goes into making a great meal. For me it’s about sourcing well grown, local vegetables, the time you set aside to prepare a great dish, the proper tools you use in the kitchen, the vintage server you use to serve with and the beautiful plates you present your meal on.”

The Menu includes:  Onion Fennel Fritters, Fig Olive Tapenade with Local Pistachio & Goat Cheese Crackers, Signature baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Tahini Lemon sauce & Goat Cheese Tarts with Balsamic jam.

This Class is limited to 10 participants. $65 per person.


Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 10.42.55 PMEast meets West with an Ojai Pixie Twist  with Chef April tucker

Sunday April 12th @ 1 pm

Come celebrate Pixie month with Chef April Tucker!  If you’re not familiar, Pixies are a locally coveted sweet tangerine variety grown and harvested in Ojai.  Chef April will be offering a unique Asian-themed cooking class incorporating the authentic flavor of Pixies.  The menu includes a chopped Asian salad with Pixie-infused dressing, Pixie-honey-sesame chicken served over jasmine rice, Thai coconut custard topped with a hand-dipped dark chocolate Pixie sprinkled with pink Hawaiian sea salt, and Pixie coolers to wash it all down.  Your taste buds will tingle with refreshing Pixie delight!

April’s passion for cooking began at a young age.  Encouraged by her parents and influenced by her Hispanic roots, she honed her skills and became a private chef and caterer, teaching cooking and nutrition classes at various locations for both children and adults.  In addition, April was a vendor at a Maryland farmers market for several years selling homemade baked items and canned goods

This class is limited to 10 participants. $65 per person.

Upcoming classes!  Menus to be posted soon.

May 17th @ 1 pm

Chesapeake Bounty with Chef April Tucker


June 7th @ 1 pm

Farm Fresh Campfire & Grill Cooking with Vanessa


… and there’s so much more spring …   Farm to Table, all things Lavender…  check back soon for menus!


For more information and reservations call the Lavender Inn at 805-646-6635.

***  a 72 hour cancellation required for a full refund.   The Lavender Inn is conveniently located behind the arcade in downtown Ojai at 210 E. Matilija. The Foodie Package is available for those who stay at the Lavender Inn while taking a class with a 10% off your room for one night per class.


Create your own private class for 8 – 12 of your friends! Whether it’s a Birthday, Baby shower, Family-get-together, kid’s party, company retreat, or time with friends, we can help you design an intimate class and menu around your theme. These classes are unique way to spend time with friends and enjoy delicious food. Sweet? Savory? We cater to any palate with a long list of chefs including April Tucker, Aparna Khanolkar, Chef Marcus Hollingsworth, Karen Evenden,, Private Chef Robin, Suzanne Landry and many more … Let us help you create the ultimate food experience and leave the work to us! The Ojai Culinary School @ The Lavender Inn 805.646.6635 210 East Matilija street , Ojai (across from the Rainbow Bridge)