Gilbert is known for its vast array of dining options and the pandemic has generated a new passion for recreating these favorite cooking styles from home.
For kitchen novices and even experts, a Gilbert school is offering an industry expert who can teach people the ins and outs of gourmet cuisine.
L’Academie Baking and Cooking School, 3244 E Guadalupe Road, offers classes that range from child-friendly to professional quality – with results that are mouthwatering.
Chef Dan Boman is at the helm of this innovative, hands-on approach to cooking lessons, after spending more than 30 years in the food industry and studying at Cordon Bleu and Art Institute of Phoenix.
A resident of Gilbert, Boman feels his community appreciates the art of creating beautiful and wholesome dishes for their families and friends.
“L’Academie was always in the back of my mind, and I think Gilbert is the right choice for showcasing my culinary skills,” said Boman, whose school is on the northeast corner of Higley and Guadalupe roads in the Gilbert Tuscany Village.
While Boman primarily leads the pastry and baking workshops, Chef Martinez and Chef Therese lead a variety of cooking classes.
“At L’Academie we provide kids camps, birthday parties, team building group events, one-on-one classes, French Macaron class, croissant baking, empanada making, tapa making, mommy and me classes and even a Tagliatelle Bolognaise Class. Special orders are also part of our offerings,” Boman said.
There also are Date Night workshops once a month where couples not only enjoy a meal together, but can prepare it step-by-step and learn how to bring that knowledge home.
There is also a chance to attend comprehensive eight-week pastry and artisan bread programs.
“We particularly enjoy getting feedback from parents who have told us how much their kids enjoy the camps we host,” Boman said. “They have sent us emails as well as personal stories about their kids making breakfast or dinner for them using the recipes and the experiences they had during their time at L’Academie.
“Naturally it makes us smile with pride when we hear such stories and it motivates us even more to provide the best experiences we can to impact the Gilbert community, which is home to us.”
The support of the community became even more apparent to Boman and his staff in the wake of COVID-19.
Faced with the difficulty of making their business work within the confines of a pandemic, Gilbert neighbors stepped up.
The weekly curbside offerings that Boman created to thrive in the new normal were often sold out.
“Our clients have been very loyal to us during this difficult time and we were extremely grateful for their support and generosity,” he said.
L’Academie is open for business again, and making efforts to safeguard the well-being of their customers.
From sanitizing work spaces and frequent high-touch surfaces to offering sanitizer sprays at work stations and enforcing strict social distancing practices, mask usage and staff temperature checks, Boman is confident everyone who enters can safely whip up a fun time.