URBAN SPICE JOURNEYS: 4 Class series
January 12, 19, 26 & February 9 2020

Join us for four Urban Spice Journeys to explore Japan, Greece, Ethiopia, and Sri Lanka through their spices and cuisines. You’ll enjoy four memorable afternoons around a convivial table and learn new dishes and techniques to replicate in your home kitchen.

Each class focuses on one country where Curio sources spices. Each includes dinner and will be team-taught by Curio founder Claire Cheney and Urban Hearth chef-owner Erin Miller.

These two passionate teachers will be your culinary travel guides here in North Cambridge where you’ll have an immersive experience of each country via the food, stories, recipes, and techniques that Claire and Erin will share during class.

Each dinner includes an appetizer, a welcome cocktail or zero-proof beverage, a three-course meal, and a culinary memento to bring home. Beer and wine available à la carte. 

Class is available only as a 4 part series, no single class purchases accepted. Seats are limited.
Come explore with us!


Edible Gifts: Sweet & Savory  ***SOLD OUT***
Monday, November 4, 2019 with Susan Turner, 6:00–8:30 pm (2.5HRS)

Want a head start on ideas for your holiday gift list? Come behind the scenes at Curio and join us for this flavor-
filled “how-to” class where we’ll show you how we make and package some favorite treats that are perfect for gifting or entertaining!

In this combo demonstration/hands-on class, Susan will show you how to make Da Lat Sugared Almonds and Honey-Spiced Liqueur. She’ll share some of Curio’s packaging tips, then guide you through making a unique and giftable spiced pancake mix, which you’ll take home.

To sustain you through the class, we’ll serve samples of everything that Susan demonstrates as well as our delicious mulled cider.

Susan develops and tests many of Curio’s recipes. She grew up in a family of amateur gardeners, cooks, and makers. She’s been an avid home cook since childhood, loves encouraging others to get into the kitchen, and believes that sharing food is one of life's best joys. Susan has also tested and developed recipes for Siena Farms and Bisousweet Confections.




Read what folks are saying about our classes:

”Just wanted to let you know we all had a wonderful evening with you at Curio. The history, smellings, and tastings were all fantastic. Can’t wait to come back and do blending class.”

- E.M.

“I loved the intimate nature of the class, the warmth of the aromas in the shop, and the array of dishes we were able to learn about and experience. The instructor walked us through her various techniques and impressive repertoire of spices. I walked away inspired by the flavors, with spices and recipes to help me create my own festival of flavors at home. Several of the recipes, which are all accessible, healthy, and delicious, are now family favorites. I cannot wait to attend another!”

- Antigoni

“I have taken several classes at Curio and enjoyed all of them. My favorite was the class featuring cocktails. All of the classes - from learning about spices, the Indian spice class and the cocktail spice class were informative and fun. There were always plenty of examples of the spiced dishes to eat which I appreciated! There was a nice atmosphere and friendly hosts which engendered easy conversation.”

- Mary

 

Past events

Spice 101 ~ Savoring the Harvest
with Claire Cheney

The crisp air, bluer-than-blue skies, and foliage changing from green to gold seem to urge us toward the kitchen and back to cooking. Ahh, autumn in New England!

Join us for this fall edition of our Spice 101 class where we’ll focus on using spices in the harvest kitchen, with a special emphasis on batch cooking to help you make the most of the season’s bounty and simplify meal prep while you’re at it.

Every home cook should learn to use spices — they can make even the simplest dish taste extraordinary. In this class, you'll learn how to toast and grind spices, why to temper some in oil but bloom others in water, and how to layer spices for maximum flavor.

We’ll serve a four-course tasting menu, so come hungry! You'll take home our signature Spice Flavor Wheel.

Spiced Jam Sessions
with Afton Cyrus, Test Cook at America’s Test Kitchen & owner of Jam Sessions

Afton will demonstrate making a spiced-jam, start to finish, demystifying water-bath canning and answering your questions along the way. We’ll explore spice pairings that will take your fruit and vegetable preserves and pickles to next-level delicious.

We’ll be serving light bites to illustrate creative ways to use jams and preserves in both savory and sweet dishes as well as in beverages. You’ll go home with recipes, a jar of jam, and lots of inspiration! You’ll also have a chance to pick up a copy of the cookbook Foolproof Preserving, which Afton contributed to.

The Curious Cocktail
with Patrick Orlovsky, Beverage Director, Baldwin Bar

Want to step up your cocktail game for summer entertaining? Join us at this class to learn from a master mixologist!

Patrick is the beverage director of James Beard Nominated Baldwin Bar, one of Esquire’s picks for Best Bar in America (2017); and he’s also a regular Curio customer! Spices have been used throughout history to add depth and interest to alcohol, and contemporary bartenders are using them to create craft cocktails with hand-made syrups, bitters, and infusions that will delight the senses.

Patrick will give a you an insider’s look at the creation of unique craft cocktails, and you’ll learn (and enjoy) some in class. We’ll serve thoughtfully-paired snacks to accompany the beverages.

Check out @thebaldwinbar on Instagram.

Chocolate & Vanilla ~ Far From Plain Vanilla Night
February 11, 2019 with Matt Amato
The perfect date night or Valentine’s Day gift!

Spend the evening at Curio Spice and take a virtual trip to Madagascar. We’ll take a dive into the world of vanilla and chocolate — exploring the complex history of vanilla, one of the world’s most valuable spices, tasting Malagasy chocolate, and sampling other Malagasy spices such as wild pepper and baies roses. You’ll learn why vanilla and chocolate share a tangled past; how to use vanilla in surprising new ways (such as in tomato sauce!); and, how you can play a part in improving farmers’ livelihoods at origin. 

Our friend Matt Amato will lead the evening — he lived in Madagascar for five years following a Peace Corps stint and before working as an industry professional. Curio founder Claire Cheney will guide our olfactory spice tour and share tips for using these exquisite ingredients.

Ticket includes a signature spiced cocktail and light tasting menu, plus you’ll take home a gourmet vanilla bean and recipes for using it. 

A percentage of ticket sales will benefit Macolline, a non-profit working to protect forests in Madagascar and generate jobs in the region we where source vanilla.

Spice 101 ~ Winter Refresh
January 28, 2019 with Claire Cheney

As happy as they are, the holidays can leave us weary and unexcited about stepping back into the kitchen. Spice 101 ~ Winter Refresh is sure to reinvigorate your mojo in the kitchen.

Learning how to cook with spices is something every home cook should master, and we're thrilled to show you how! Just when you thought winter was feeling rather bland and uninspiring, join us for Spice 101: Winter Refresh, where you'll learn how to toast and grind spices, why to temper spices in oil, bloom others in water, layer them in recipes, make simple condiments and even use them in drinks. You'll take home our signature Spice Flavor Wheel, along with recipes and a jar of a spice.

Menu: orange hot chocolate (with or without bourbon), Bazaar Baharat hummus; spiced leafy greens, chicken (or vegetarian option) with coriander, fennel & roasted clementines; Greek lemon & herb cake & cardamom coffee.

Beyond Curries!
February 4, 2019 with Suman Shah

Do you love curries, but want to know more about the vibrant and diverse cuisines of India? Join us and Suman Shah for a class that goes deeper into the regional dishes and unique cuisines of India. We will explore recipes beyond classic curries—you will learn how to use ingredients like fenugreek, fennel and farina in a vibrant stuffed vegetable recipe called undhiyu, from the Gujarat region, then travel to the Eastern regions for a smoky and mustardy eggplant chokka, India’s version of baba ghanouj, and much more.

Suman draws inspiration from her Indian roots (Calcutta to Mumbai) and a life of almost twenty years in New England. When not hosting cooking demos or classes around Boston and at farmer’s markets, she’s writing about food, life and photography. Her Market Day and Vegetarian Voyager recipes on her blog Fork on a Road show us her instinctive style of cooking from different corners of the world. She makes familiar foods in unexpected ways, making them healthy, versatile and easily adaptable for a busy life. Find her on Instagram @forkonaroad.

Spice 101 ~ The Harvest Kitchen   

October 29, 2018 with Claire Cheney

Let spices be your awe and splendor in the kitchen this season, transforming bland, "black and white" food into full Technicolor flavor. Learning how to cook with spices is something EVERY home cook should master, and we're thrilled to show you how! Just in time to learn some new skills for Thanksgiving and Holiday cooking and baking, join us for Spice 101: The Harvest Kitchen — you'll learn how to toast and grind spices, why to temper spices in oil, bloom others in water, layer them in recipes, make simple condiments and even use them in drinks. You'll take home our signature Spice Flavor Wheel, along with recipes and a jar of our not-yet-released Harissa spice!

Menu: Cranberry Fleur Shrub, Harissa winter squashed hummus, Baharat + Roasted Apple Chicken, Kozani Brussels with feta, Sichuan Five Spice beets & Da Lat Banana Bread with Smoky Vanilla cream. Come hungry and leave inspired!

Comforting Curries ~ Welcoming the Warmth
November 6, 2018 with Suman Shah

Join Suman Shah for a vegetarian exploration of comforting curries using warming spices and seasonal produce. You will enjoy learning how to make a special Punjab bean curry as well as a Kashmiri Cashew curry along with unique appetizers, sides and a dessert. Let the spice blends wrap around you like a warm hug ushering in the change of seasons and share in some delicious stories with us in Cambridge. Allergen note: there will be several types of nuts used in this class.

The Curious Cocktail Class  

July 23, 2018  with Meredith Powell

Looking for ways to add unique flavor and dimension to your bar this summer? Join our friend Meredith Powell for the inaugural Curious Cocktail Class.

Spices have been used throughout history to add depth and interest to alcohol, but recently bartenders have started using spices to create "craft cocktails" — libations that delight the senses with hand-made syrups, bitters, and infusions. You can sample such cocktails at a bar, but why not hone your entertainment skills and learn to make them yourself?

Meredith will demonstrate three different spice infused cocktails (one shaken, one stirred, and one punch) to arm you with new techniques and delightful flavors. We’ll be serving thoughtfully paired snacks, prepared by Orange Door Kitchen, to accompany the drinks.

Orange Door Kitchen is a new and exciting event space and commercial kitchen that’s located in West Acton, MA and is the collaborative venture of husband and wife team, Chris and Meredith Powell. ODK grew out of their life-long love of food, cooking, and bringing people together to celebrate life through food. Chris and Meredith are also active in several local and national food-access and food-justice non-profits. Find them on Instagram @OrangeDoorKitchn and learn more about ODK at their website.

Indian Street Food ~ A Festival of Flavor   
July 16, 2018 with Suman Shah

Sometimes the best food is found in the most unlikely places — which in India might be at a tiny, roadside cart. Street food is quintessential to Indian cuisine, as a snack to tide you over until dinner or sometimes as a full meal in itself. In this demonstration class, Suman Shah will lead us on an imaginary trek from Boston to Bombay and introduce us to some of her favorite street foods, as diverse as Indian cuisine itself.

Street food recipes are an easy way to try Indian cooking at home and are more flavorful than any take-out! Join us for this tangy, crunchy, spicy, and delicious journey right here at Curio Spice in Cambridge.

Suman draws inspiration from her Indian roots (Caluctta to Mumbai) and a life of almost twenty years in New England. When not hosting cooking demos or classes around Boston or at farmer’s markets, she’s writing about food, life and photography. Her Market Day and Vegetarian Voyager recipes on her blog Fork on a Road show us her instinctive style of cooking from different corners of the world. She makes familiar foods in unexpected ways, making them healthy, versatile and easily adaptable for a busy life. Find her on Instagram @forkonaroad.

Hands-on Spice Blending   
June 18, 2018 with Claire Cheney

Learn all about the beauty of spice blending! You will make your own spice blends in class and learn about how we approach creating a new blend - from idea to execution. You will get an in-depth look at our flavor theory and how we use it to build balance and originality into our blends. You will also learn about the traditions inherent to spice blending and how spices give us an incredible lens through which to learn about history and culture.

You will  smell and taste lots of spices and also you'll be fed a few special treats (savory and sweet) made with our blends so you can understand the impact of quality spices on food. 

Each student will take home 4 spice blends made in class ~ 3 traditional blends that we'll create together and 1 blend of your very own creation.

Spice 101 ~ Spring into Summer 
June 4, 2018 with Claire Cheney  

Ready to take your spring & summer cooking to the next level? Our Spice 101 ~ Spring Into Summer class will give you confidence to launch into your summer recipes with new knowledge and flavors!

Menu: Mastic lemon spritz, Kozani spiced gougères; early-summer salad with baie roses dressing; Chili Today tacos (vegetarian or carnitas), Fleur spiced rhubarb friands & flower tea.

In this class, you’ll learn how to use spices in unexpected ways, gain some olfactory training (like sniffing wine), and master some technical skills, such as knowing when to toast and grind spices or not. We’ll explore a bit of spice history and introduce you to the science of aroma — and you’ll enjoy a tasting menu of memorable drinks, appetizers, mains, and desserts. You’ll return home armed with recipes and new culinary excitement. 

Indian Spices & Cooking ~ Vegetarian Delights
April 9, 2018 with Suman Shah

Join us for a demonstration class with local chef and vegetarian recipe developer, Suman Shah to learn how to layer flavors, use spices, and balance flavors like an Indian home cook.

You’ll enjoy a tasting menu including delightful drinks, appetizers, a main dish, and a
dessert — and head home with recipes and tips for successfully making them at home. 

Suman draws inspiration from her Indian roots (Caluctta to Mumbai) and a life of almost twenty years in New England. When not hosting cooking demos or classes around Boston or at farmer’s markets, she’s writing about food, life and photography. Her Market Day and Vegetarian Voyager recipes on her blog Fork on a Road show us her instinctive style of cooking from different corners of the world. She makes familiar foods in unexpected ways, making them healthy, versatile and easily adaptable for a busy life. Find her on Instagram @forkonaroad.

Fat fennel seeds waiting to be toasted for garam masala.

Fat fennel seeds waiting to be toasted for garam masala.

Spice Identity ~ An International Tour  
February 26, 2018 with Claire Cheney

Together, we’ll “trek” to three countries during the evening, making a virtual visit to Japan, Greece and Sri Lanka, each an important source for Curio’s spices. We’ll regale you with a few origin stories and learn about the key spices of these three ancient cuisines. You’ll learn how to make a dish or two that are typical of each country. We’ll discuss why spices play an important role in defining the identity of place and the terroir of spices and how honoring this tradition will make your cooking more vivid.

You’ll enjoy a tasting menu of memorable drinks, appetizers, mains, and desserts and head home armed with recipes and new culinary knowhow. 

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Thai Cooking
October 19, 2017 with Renu Kaewdulduk

Join us at Curio with Chiang Mai native & wonderful chef Renu to learn about the spices and flavors that are signature to Thai food. You may have tasted her cooking at one of her pop-ups at Urban Hearth, next door, but now you can learn how to re-create those flavors at home. Curio founder Claire spent 4 months in Thailand before launching her business, and will share some of her knowledge of Thai spices. Learn how to make som tum (green papaya salad), Thai cocktails, and even your own authentic Thai curry paste. $65 per person includes drinks, tasting and recipes to take home. 

Renu.jpg

 

Spice 101 Class ~ Summer Cooking
June 29, 2017 with Claire Cheney

In Spice 101 Summer Cooking you'll learn new techniques on how to make the most of your spices for your summer recipes, from grilling to picnics to simple dinners. With both sensory training like how to tell the difference between black, pink and sichuan peppers as well as why to use certain salts with certain foods you'll leave feeling both energized and inspired to cook. We'll cover a bit of history and science while also arming you with recipes for cool drinks, appetizers, mains and desserts with flavors you won't forget.



Rose & Flowers Spice Class
June 7, 2017 with Eva Sommaripa & Chef Didi Emmons

Learn about using beautiful edible flowers in your cooking. From fresh flowers like Rosa rugosa petals to dried flowers like culinary lavender, your heart and palate will be truly lifted. Eva will bring gorgeous edibles from her garden and Didi will teach you about how to prepare some simple & heavenly dishes. 


Sweet Sugar Sultry Spice: Exotic Flavors to Wake up Your Baking ~  Book Signing
May 13, 2017 with the author, Malika Ameen

Come meet Malika and pick up some wonderful spices to pair with her beautiful new baking book. The book is brimming with gorgeous photos and original recipes.

"Malika has a deep understanding and love for spice with a style that is uniquely her own. She writes with a Chicago heart, French respect, and a Pakistani soul, sharing sweet memories and recipes that change the way we experience flavors in dessert."
- Ana Sortun & Maura Kilpatrick, authors of Spice and Soframiz

 

Earth Day Party! 
APRIL 22, 2017

How will climate change affect FOOD in the future? How can you be a part of positive change? Join us for a tasting of delicious global snacks and activities to deepen your knowledge of climate change and food security with the new United Nation's Cookbook "Adaptive Farms, Resilient Tables" (check out the Globe article here) now available at Curio for a suggested donation to the United Nations Development Programme. 

Andrea Egan from the UNDP will be here from 1-3pm to show a slide show of photos from her work with the UN Development Programme around the world. 

"[The Cookbook] features traditional recipes from six countries – Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Haiti, Mali, Niger and Sudan – and tells the personal stories of how people have coped when their traditional sources of food have begun to change." - Jennifer Baumwoll & Andrea Egan United Nations Development Programme

 

Spring Spice Dinner
April 6-8, 2017 at Urban Hearth Restaurant, Cambridge

On April 6th, 7th and 8th neighbors Urban Hearth and Curio Spice Co. pair up to celebrate the new season with a menu highlighting Curio's directly sourced spices and Urban Hearth's seasonal, creative cuisine. Urban Hearth is a lovely café during the daytime (Tues-Sun) and for three nights each week they offer dinner service featuring seasonal, global cuisine in a warm, convivial environment. 

The spring spice dinner (prix fixe for either 3 or 5 courses, including a complimentary cocktail!) will delight your senses with dishes such as: burrata with lavender oil, orange and fennel, Peketoe crab with rose and coriander, locally fished Skate with morels, saffron and vanilla, and goat cheese Tortelli with peas, young garlic broth and Curio's signature Herbes de Romance. Chef-owner Erin Miller and Curio founder Claire will be there to join the conversation and share their shared passion for flavor.

To reserve your spot at the Spring Spice Dinner, head over to Urban Hearth
Hope to see you there!

 

Introduction to Ayurveda & Spices
March 21, 2017 with Tobin Hack

Join us Tuesday evening, at Curio Spice, for a taste of Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth -- the five great building blocks at the foundation of this 5,000 year-old medical art. Which of the elements make up your unique constitution, and how can you harness their power – through diet, lifestyle, and judicious use of culinary spices – to bring yourself into balance?  You’ll leave with an understanding of the three constitution types – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – as well as plenty of Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle tips, and a recipe for a delicious bedtime tonic called Ojas Milk.  Tobin Hack is a Boston-based writer. She holds an MFA in fiction from NYU and a BA in English from Princeton University, and is working towards a 650-hour Ayurvedic Health Counselor certification from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.

Join us Tuesday evening, at Curio Spice, for a taste of Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth -- the five great building blocks at the foundation of this 5,000 year-old medical art. Which of the elements make up your unique constitution, and how can you harness their power – through diet, lifestyle, and judicious use of culinary spices – to bring yourself into balance?

You’ll leave with an understanding of the three constitution types – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – as well as plenty of Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle tips, and a recipe for a delicious bedtime tonic called Ojas Milk.

Tobin Hack is a Boston-based writer. She holds an MFA in fiction from NYU and a BA in English from Princeton University, and is working towards a 650-hour Ayurvedic Health Counselor certification from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.


From the Field ~ Madagascar Spice Class
March 23, 2017  with Claire Cheney & Matt Amato

An evening to learn all about Madagascar spices and how to cook with them. Our friend and former Peace Corps volunteer Matt Amato will join us to share his experiences working with vanilla farmers, and you'll take home recipes and your own vial of vanilla beans. 25% of your ticket purchase (as well as any Malagasy souvenirs you choose to buy) will benefit Macolline, a non-profit working to protect the Madagascar forest and generate jobs in the region we source vanilla. *UPDATE: Macolline is now working to help with recovery efforts related to the terrible destruction of cyclone Enawo and your help is greatly appreciated.