Welcoming Chef Annie Copps to Carysfort Kitchen
By Holly Houser, Ocean Reef Press Manager
On Thursday, March 18, Guest Chef Annie Copps will share her take on a lightfare Mediterranean spread for Members attending her cooking class at the Carysfort Kitchen.
A Boston-based chef, cooking instructor and food activist, Copps has spent the past 30 years working in the local and international public health field, building her life around her passion for food, wine and travel. She’s written two cookbooks, including “A Little Taste of Cape Cod” and “The Little Local Maine Cookbook,” and co-founded a year-old venture, Annie at Little Bird, featuring curbside pick-up meals and dry goods. For her first visit to Carysfort Kitchen, Copps will teach Members the ease of creating a Mediterranean mezze platter, shrimp with pistachio pesto, limoncello tiramisu, and more.
While Members have enjoyed cooking classes like Copps’ since the Carysfort Kitchen opened in Carysfort Hall in early 2016, the cooking school program at Ocean Reef has been around for much longer.
The concept for the Cooking School came from late-Member Sis Kelm, who for many years frequented classes at Miamibased Bobbi & Carole’s Cooking School. When the school sold in 1988, Kelm enlisted the help of co-owner Carole Kotkin to bring Jacques Pepin, a frequent guest chef at Bobbi & Carole’s, to teach classes at Ocean Reef. At the time, these classes were held in the kitchen of the former Carysfort Restaurant until the first official Cooking School was built in the Marina Inn in 1990.
Kelm relied on her own connections and those of Kotkin, who would become Ocean Reef’s Carysfort Kitchen Manager for 24 years. “In the beginning, I taught classes as did Jacques Pepin,” said Kotkin. “Then we drew on our resources to bring the best chefs in the US to the new Cooking School, eventually expanding to include cookbook authors as well.”
After more than a decade in the Marina Inn, it became clear that a new space would be needed to meet the growing popularity of the program’s offerings. Sr Director of Culinary Philippe Reynaud and then-ORC President Paul Astbury, put the plans in motion to build a larger cooking school in what would become the new Carysfort Hall.
“We wanted the new cooking school to bring with it many of the convivial elements of the ‘little school,’ but meet the demand of the Membership,” said Philippe. “The result was the state-of-the-art Carysfort Kitchen Members have enjoyed over the past five years.”
Having this remarkable culinary academy at Members’ disposal with the opportunity for private events and classes by legendary chefs and authors is something unique to Ocean Reef.
Vicki Goldstein, who attended the very first cooking class held in the former Carysfort Restaurant, agreed, “The contribution of the Cooking School at Ocean Reef has been immeasurable. Not just by offering a chance for the Members to meet and learn from inspiring chefs, but by also influencing and broadening the culinary offerings at Ocean Reef in general, simply through the contacts our chefs have with other chefs from outside our gate.”
This season, the guest chef lineup has been ever-changing due to challenges by the Coronavirus, but there are still plenty of classes to enjoy this year. Each class follows Covid protocols, with students seated six feet from each other and masks required at all times when not tasting foods.
To see what classes are currently on the lineup, check oceanreef.com/Events or call Dining Reservations at 305- 367-5931, and join Chef Annie Copps for Yankee Passion on Thursday, March 18 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.