After suffering a flood in July 2018, Whisked Away, a small local culinary school, was damaged completely. Fortunately, the business persevered and was able to reopen in January 2019.
The trouble for Whisked Away, which is run out of owner Maggie Norris’ home, began when she was out of town with her daughter. Maggie’s husband found over an inch of water in the kitchen, laundry room, and sitting room, discovering that the water line to the refrigerator had burst. The entire kitchen needed to be repaired. Norris returned home from her trip to concrete floors and studs.
Essentially everything was replaced, retextured and repainted including the flooring, cabinetry, counter tops and drywall. After months of repairs, there are a few final touches left on the restoration, but Whisked Away has reopened and is serving the Arcadia community again.
Before hosting cooking classes in her own kitchen, Norris grew up in her mom’s kitchen in Washington, D.C., helping her with catering projects. Cooking runs in her family, as both of her parents were cooks and she was exposed to many different types of foods early on. As a teen, her first jobs were in restaurants. She lived in Los Angeles and Nashville before moving to Phoenix and started Whisked Away out of her home a decade ago.
“After I graduated from college, I was given cooking classes as a gift. Within six months I was enrolled at Scottsdale Culinary Institute. I graduated at the top of my class there and went on to do my externship at the Food Network,” Norris said.
Following her time at Food Network, Norris went on to teach at a school for hobbyist cooks, became regional chef for Dacor Appliances, and then taught private cooking classes in people’s homes.
“Ten months after we moved into the neighborhood where we are now, some of my neighbors asked me to do a cooking class for them out of my kitchen. I said yes, and the rest is history,” Norris said.
Whisked Away will feature guest chef Justin Beckett in October. Arcadians can also look forward to public classes and workshops.
Once Norris introduces the recipes, each student [eight people max] chooses what they want to cook and will be in the kitchen for about 1.5 hours. At the end, guests sit down at the dining room table to enjoy their dishes.
Some examples of menus include Best of Brunch with asparagus fontina quiche, Baking Party with chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, or Winter Weather Cooking with a bacon and bleu cheese dip.
Norris is a regular on 3TV’s Your Life Arizona and even takes people on culinary adventures in the summer. Next year, she is leading a trip to South Africa from June 30 – July 11.
“I would like for people to know that Whisked Away is a place that people in the community, young and old, can gather and enjoy cooking a great meal together. Whether you’re new to cooking or a whiz in the kitchen, there are always tips to learn, recipes to take home and fun to be had,” Norris said.
For more: whiskedaway.net.