Art is in teachingPublished on February 6, 2012

  • Kevin Mathieson, from Art-Is-In Bakery.

One of Ottawa's favourite bakers has just created a tasty new offering - culinary classes at Art-Is-In! Rather than hoarding all his hard-earned knowledge, Kevin Mathieson is willingly sharing his secrets for better breads, cookies, croissants, scones and more.

"I've always wanted to show people how to make bread and now that we have enough space in our new facility, we thought it was time to start offering classes," explains Kevin. "Sunday afternoons are typically a quieter time at the bakery so I'm excited to welcome anyone eager to learn how to improve their home baking."

The classes' popularity is proof of the hunger for hands-on learning. "I like to tell people that I can help them develop a skill they will have for life," says the affable baker. "I also like to think that they'll gain more than they could from a cookbook by capitalizing on my professional-level tips and tricks and my years of baking experience."

While not specifically intended for advanced home cooks, Kevin's classes do go way beyond the basics, although so far they are proving equally appealing to bakers of all levels, he notes. "The classes are very hands-on; students get to make a generous-sized batch of buns, scones, cookies or whatever we are working on during the class. They get to take home what they make and in some cases will even have extra dough to take home and work with. Of course, detailed recipes are provided and I always make sure there is lots of time in class to ask questions."

So what does Kevin hope students will gain? "In the bread classes, for example, I share my knowledge of fermentation, the history of bread and how to shape loaves, so people can master the properties of good dough. Above all else, I hope people come away with a renewed appreciation for the craft of baking."

ART-IS-IN Bakery is at 250 City Centre Avenue, Unit 112.

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