“I need to smell clean air and hear the birds when I cook,” says Peter Berley, former executive chef at Angelica Kitchen, as well as culinary educator and award-winning cookbook author. He’s fulfilled his need for birdsong and then some with his new culinary education facility, My Kitchen, in South Jamesport, Long Island, which offers cooking classes in a beautiful setting just 90 minutes from midtown Manhattan.
My Kitchen, which hosted its first classes in November, is surrounded by farms and gardens — no surprise, since Berley has an “insatiable itch to pick things out of the ground and cook them.” In addition to local produce, students at My Kitchen cook with eggs from Berley’s neighbor’s hens; milk and cheese from a farm two miles up the road; and fish pulled daily from local waters.
Passionate about bread, Berley has a wood-fired French oven; students grind fresh wheat and rye and use natural wild yeast. Pasta is made from scratch, and pizzas feature local tomatoes and cheeses.
A maximum of eight students are allowed in each hands-on class.
“At every class I help students develop confidence through doing,” Berley explains. “Proper knife skills, how to handle dough, what to look for when shopping, how to control heat for maximum nutrition, flavor and enjoyment, learning how and when to season — (these) are all fundamental to the craft of cooking and baking.”
At the end of each class, participants share a meal paired with local wines.
“Nothing is rushed. The flavors are pure and wholesome, where fresh bread is broken and friendships are forged. My Kitchen is a healing kitchen.”
Sign up for classes at My Kitchen by emailing Peter (at) PeterBerley.com (he also offers classes in Manhattan).
How to Get There:
Public transportation is available via the Hampton Jitney or Long Island Railroad. The Kitchen is a 15-minute walk from the Jamesport Jitney stop. If traveling by car, consult Google Maps for directions. Parking is available.
127 Green Street
Jamesport, NY, 11970
While You’re There:
- Visit one of many farms and/or farmstands beyond the farms that Berley works with. Check out the Garden of Eve farm, which supplies to CSAs in Brooklyn, and Briermere, a traditional century-old farm stand.
- Berley recommends checking out the antiques shops in Greenport, a beautiful town about 30 miles from Jamesport. Closer to My Kitchen, visit shops like Tantalizing Treasures and Hampton Briggs Antiques, or stop by the Hallockville Museum Farm, a National Register of Historic Places property and a Riverhead Town Landmark (the Farm will be hosting its holiday gift shop through December 23).
- Enjoy tastings at the plethora of wineries in the area.
Amy Sung is a Brooklyn-based food, travel and wellness writer and editor whose ultimate passion is writing about the amazing things that people are doing with food. Her work has appeared in Every Day With Rachael Ray, New York Press, iVillage.com and SpaFinder.com, among other publications and websites. Follow her on Twitter at @amy_sung.
Photo courtesy of Peter Berley
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this post erroneously listed the zip code for My Kitchen as 11901.