Make the Leap: From Tentative to Talented Cooking!

A beautiful bowl of hearty vegetable soup served with grain cakes.

It’s a small leap from tentative to talented cooking. All it takes is an open mind and commitment to the process, and home cooking will reward you in spades!

This is why I continue to teach cooking—in various forms—after many years at Tree House Kitchen. My students have ranged from ages nine to 91 years old. My life as a chef, coach and speaker never gets old as I constantly pursue the next best meal and love being a part of lightbulb moments with audiences.

For the best meals, recipes and food experiences, remember to:


Explore cuisine with great curiosity—both up close and far and wide. Try new foods when travelling, experiment with ingredients and ask questions.


Grow your cooking repertoire with essential culinary skills. Why not try growing a vegetable/herb garden or making your garden bee-friendly?


Nourish your mind and body by incorporating all five senses into your cooking. Always choose the best ingredients for your body, and take the time to read and understand food labels.


Connect with your inner foodie and gift yourself with the time to cook! Trust your own instincts when playing in the kitchen. Share your experiences with friends and family and connect whenever you can to local hardworking farmers, food purveyors and kitchenware suppliers.

That is ALL it takes to leap from tentative to talented cooking.

Chef Nancy Henley teaches important cooking skills to food lovers of all ages, including this young student.

Pictured here, nine-year-old Olivia is fanning the delicious smell of a minestrone soup toward her. There are organic and farm-fresh ingredients, spices, herbs, pasta and even a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind stewing in the pot. Olivia attended one of our past cooking classes*, where she learned that chefs rely on more than just their taste buds—we also need our ears, sense of touch, eyes and noses to get a true sense of what’s happening in the pot.

*Update: We’re so proud of the work we’ve done in our hands-on teaching and dinner party classes. Working with you, our clients has played such an important part in the new direction of Tree House Kitchen as a food literacy company, specializing in problem-solving skills and resources for busy families and community-members, like you! We hope you enjoy reading about our past classes, and also where we’re headed moving forward.

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