Passion For Food

Passion For Wood

Cooking and Woodworking Combo Courses

Hendrik Varju

Hendrik Varju

hot tamaleshot tamales

ratatouille ratatouille

Mexican fried cheese with tomato broth and epazote Mexican fried cheese with
tomato broth and epazote

Hungarian pork pörkölt Hungarian pork pörkölt

As Hendrik's cooking instruction business, Passion for Food, continues to grow, he is meeting more and more customers who are interested in both cooking and woodworking.  Many of his long time woodworking customers are now asking Hendrik to cook for a dinner party while at their home for a stint of woodworking instruction.  So Hendrik will spend several days in your workshop teaching you woodworking skills and fine tuning your equipment, but then also spend a couple of afternoons and evenings teaching you about Mexican food, Hungarian food, or other dishes that you will enjoy.  If your spouse or partner is not interested in the woodworking part of the course but is really into food and cooking, it can be a great way to enjoy at least part of the course as a couple.  In fact, it might encourage one spouse to join you in the workshop while you join him or her in the kitchen as well, making for a very rich learning opportunity for both of you.

Since this sort of cooking and woodworking combination is becoming more popular, Hendrik is formalizing it by now offering specifically designed cooking and woodworking combination courses.  These can be done in your own home or here in Hendrik's own kitchen and workshop.  Here is how it works.  Each morning, you spend four hours in the kitchen cooking several dishes with Hendrik, learning about new ingredients and how to use them and increasing your knife skills along the way.  This is generally done from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  At the end of this time, you will sit down with Hendrik and enjoy the prepared food over the lunch break.  Then, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m., you will join Hendrik in his workshop where you will work on a woodworking project or hone your skills learning techniques such as sharpening hand planes and chisels, handcut dovetails, mortise and tenon joinery and more.  What could be better?  A combination of woodworking instruction and cooking instruction, along with a delicious lunch you prepared yourself, all rolled into one incredible learning experience.

This cooking and woodworking combination course can be done one-on-one, as Hendrik often does when teaching either woodworking or cooking separately.  However, it really excels as a couples course as well.  If you and your significant other spend a week or two cooking all morning and woodworking all afternoon you won't believe just how incredible the experience is.  It's not just about the learning, but it's also about the bonding opportunity that only comes by sharing each other's interests.  So perhaps your partner is more interested than you in woodworking and you are more interested in cooking.  If you can convince each other to embark on this learning journey together, you'll gain an understanding of each other unlike anything else you've experienced before.  Sharing one's hobbies sets you up for a life with shared meaning.

And this is not just for couples.  This course would also be a wonderful bonding opportunity for mother/son, mother/daughter, father/son, father/daughter or simply best friends -- any pairing that has meaning to you.

While there are unlimited options for customized woodworking instruction based on Hendrik's "buffet-style customized intensive courses", Hendrik has now formalized two project-based intensive woodworking courses that can be combined with cooking instruction in the morning.  One course runs for 5 days while the other runs for 10 days.  Courses generally run from Monday to Friday, so if you take a 10 day course you'll have a Saturday and Sunday in the middle of the course to explore Toronto, Niagara Falls or other nearby attractions.

Here is a brief description of each course length:


5 Day Cooking/Woodworking Combination Course

In this course, you'll spend your mornings cooking some incredible Mexican, Hungarian or other foods, including desserts.  In the afternoon, you'll work on Hendrik's "Arc Supported Shelves" project.  At the end of this 5 day course, you'll have over a dozen incredible recipes to take home with you, as well as this fine woodworking project to hang on your wall at home.  Your family and friends will not believe that you built this sleek, modern project with your own hands.  This woodworking project will teach you about:


10 Day Cooking/Woodworking Combination Course

In the 10 day course, you'll master between two and three dozen recipes during your morning cooking sessions.  And in the afternoons you'll build Hendrik's "Cherry Side Table with Tapered, Fluted Legs" project.  You'll learn the following skills:

For the cooking sessions, Hendrik will give you suggestions on how to structure the daily menu.  There are too many dishes to list here, but you can see photos of his repertoire on the various pages of the "Passion for Food" website:  see .  Hendrik suggests that the menu each day consist of one appetizer, one main dish and one dessert.  There might be two appetizers from time to time, if one of them is a salsa or some other dish that is easy to make.  Some salsas are quick and easy, while others can be quite complex.  Also, some dishes such as cabbage rolls or pierogies take a long time to prepare, so you will not have time for three dishes for some menu selections.

Mexican shrimp ceviche with cucumber, avocado and hot sauceMexican shrimp ceviche with
cucumber, avocado and hot sauce

Mexican salmon a la Veracruzana Mexican salmon a la Veracruzana

Mexican chocolate flan with caramel sauce Mexican chocolate flan
with caramel sauce

potato pancakes with spicy stewed tomato salsa potato pancakes with spicy
stewed tomato salsa

chicken paprikash with nokedli chicken paprikash with nokedli

Hungarian poppyseed roll (makosh) Hungarian poppyseed roll (makosh)

hickory smoked pork ribs hickory smoked pork ribs

apple cheese salad with walnuts apple cheese salad with walnuts

Here are just a few menu items for you to choose from involving Mexican cuisine:


Appetizers/Side Dishes:
Salsa Mexicana with Freshly Fried Tortilla Chips
Salsa Verde Cruda with Freshly Fried Tortilla Chips
Salsa Roja with Guajillos, Chiles de Arbol and Tomatillos
4-Pepper Salsa Roja
Fried Cheese with Tomato and Poblano Chile Sauce
Pico de Gallo
The Best Guacamole You've Ever Had
Shrimp Ceviche
Frijoles Borrachos (pinto beans with cilantro, bacon and tequila)
Frijoles Refritos (Fried Beans)
Mexican Red Rice
Fresh Wheat Flour and Corn Flour Tortillas
Mole Poblano (extra time required)

Main Courses
Mango Avocado Salad with Bacon, Cheese and Pepitas
Shredded Flank Steak Salad with Potatoes and Avocado
Shrimp Ball Soup
Bean and Tortilla Soup
Posole Rojo
Enchiladas Rojas
Salmon a la Veracruzana
Battered Fish Tacos with Cabbage and Chipotle Crema
Chicken Pibil Wrapped in Banana Leaves
Huevos Rancheros
Chilaquiles Rojos
Pork Shoulder Tamales (extra time required)

Vanilla Flan (crème caramel) with Caramel Sauce
Chocolate Flan with Caramel Sauce
Chocoflan with Cajeta ("The Impossible Cake")
Rice Pudding
Rum Custard Ice Cream
Pineapple Skillet Upside Down Cake
Super Light Cheese Pie with Mexican Chocolate Sauce
Gelatina de Tres Leches
Coconut Custard with Almonds
Plantain with Rum Butter Sauce


Here are just a few menu items for you to choose from involving Hungarian cuisine:


Appetizers/Side Dishes:
Shaved Cucumber Salad
Sweet & Sour Coleslaw
Dill Potato Salad
Warm Bacon Potato Salad
Parsley Potatoes
Nokedli (Hungarian dumplings)
Liver Dumplings
Potato Pancakes
Potato Cakes (Krumplislangos)
Hungarian Mashed Potatoes
Lesco (sautéed peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic with kolbassa and spices)
Braised Red Cabbage

Main Courses
Bean and Smoked Ham Hock Soup
White Bean Soup
Chicken Soup with Fine Noodles
Potato Soup
Pot Roast
Chicken Paprikash
Wiener Schnitzel
Cabbage Rolls (extra time required)
Stuffed Peppers
Chicken and Rice
Cabbage and Noodles
Cheese & Potato Pierogies (extra time required)

Sweet Pierogies (stuffed with homemade prune jam) (extra time required)
Walnut Roll (dios)
Poppyseed Roll (makosh)
Apple Cake
Kalachki (jam filled cookies)
Crepes (palacsinta)
Apple Cinnamon Strudel (made with phyllo pastry)
Kalacs (sweet Easter bread)
Roasted Pears with Pistachios
Dobos Torte (with chocolate buttercream) (extra time required)
Sacher Torte (extra time required)


Here are just a few menu items for you to choose from involving other types of cuisine:


Appetizers/Side Dishes:
Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce
Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Pine Nuts
Sautéed Bruschetta on French Baguette
Grandma's Stuffing
Smashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup with Maple Cream
Apple, Cheese and Toasted Walnut Salad
Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad with Walnut Gorgonzola Dressing
Perfect Boiled and Deviled Eggs
The Perfect Omelette

Main Courses
Chopped Thai Chicken Salad
Salmon and Chickpea Salad
Tender Slow-Cooked Pork Ribs
Grilled Flank Steak with Paprika Dry Rub
Grilled Saucy Chicken Wings
Thin Crust Pizza with Homemade Dough and Sauce
Potato Gnocchi
Perfect Ravioli (extra time required)

Perfect Pumpkin Pie
Maple Pecan Pie with Bourbon
Pumpkin Cheese Cake
Crème Brûlée
Lemon Soufflés with Chocolate Sauce
Chocolate Soufflés with Blood Orange or Pomegranate Sauce
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Mint Chocolate Swirl Fudge
Lemon Brûlée Pie
Plum Almond Frangipane Tart

5 day Cooking/Woodworking Combo Course Project
5 day Cooking/Woodworking
Combo Course Project

10 day Cooking/Woodworking Combo Course Project
10 day Cooking/Woodworking
Combo Course Project

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