Your Recipe for Culinary Success
Providing cooking classes and home chef services for private dinner parties.
Welcome to the world of Kitchen Made, a unique culinary concept in the Niagara Region.
Kitchen Made is under the guidance of Greg Willis: culinary coach, professional chef, and sommelier.
For over 20 years, Chef Willis has graced Niagara with his culinary skills and sensible approach to food and wine. Chef Willis is presently the Chef in Residence at the Real Canadian Superstore in St. Catharines, Ontario. As a culinary coach, Chef Willis offers a variety of educational opportunities for adults and teens. For a little relief in the kitchen, allow us to cater your next dinner party or special event.
Chef Willis has aligned himself with many dieticians and public health officials throughout the region and promotes healthy eating guidelines, nutrition, and economics - both physical and budgetary - in the kitchen. His personal, in-home dinner parties and cooking lessons have helped hundreds of people enjoy their kitchens more.
Chef Willis was the co-founder, Chef, and Sommelier of Cellar Bench Restaurant and Winebar in St. Catharines (1991 – 1999). In addition, he was one of the first professional Sommeliers in Niagara, having graduated from Humber College with his Master Sommelier Certificate in 1986. Chef Willis also worked as a freelance Wine Writer for the St. Catharines Standard (1998-2000). He worked as an instructor for Niagara College, Maid of the Mist Center (1997-1999) and at the Niagara Culinary Institute in the Continuing Education Department, Niagara-on-the-Lake (2007).
In 1999, while acting as primary caregiver for his two young children, Chef Willis chose to go on an extended sabbatical to research nutritional and ergonomic concerns in the domestic kitchen. Based on his research, he recognized that the use of the domestic kitchen as a workstation, and the skill set of those who worked there, could use some fine-tuning. There was a need in the home for basic culinary instruction, as well as for the life skills that competent kitchen work promoted. As a result, he now has an understanding of the challenges faced by the domestic kitchen to complement his professional skills.
Let Chef Willis provide the ingredients for your recipe to culinary success.
As an independent contractor for Loblaws and Chef in Residence at the Real Canadian Superstore since 2007, Chef Willis' cooking classes can be classified nothing short of live action gastro-tainment. Where you can taste, smell and feel the gastronomical experience in real time. . Greg's cooking philosophy, the breadth of historical references and the verve in his delivery makes his classes informative and entertaining. He can be found on most weekends creating floor demonstrations with a twist. Chef Willis will tantalize your taste buds with expertly prepared morsels, made from the highest quality ingredients.
As a culinary coach, Chef Willis will come into your home bearing all the food he will need to instruct you and your friends with the Eat and Teach Dinner Party. His guided wine, beer, and liquor tastings are as educational, as they are entertaining.
If you would like to improve your knife technique, invite Chef Willis into your home for a Knife Skills Seminar, where he will sharpen your knives while instructing you in the benefits of garnishing your plate.
Invite your friends and make it a party! Chef Willis also stages corporate demonstrations, seminars, and team building workshops.
Catering to the individual, Chef Greg Willis and Kitchen Made are able to satisfy all of your food service needs. All equipment and tools are supplied, ensuring safe food handling and a quality product. You can do the shopping, thus closing the circle on the final outcome, or let Chef Willis shop for you freeing up your valuable time.
Home-based Dinner Parties are a specialty. Nothing guarantees success like quality food prepared right in your kitchen by a qualified chef.
A romantic dinner for two, or more social events like Lunch with the Ladies, will come off seamlessly under the skilled hands and discerning eye of Chef Willis.
Gather the clan and enjoy their company with a Family Buffet, where all of the serving platters, bowls and utensils are supplied. This service is also a good option as a corporate service for staff and clients.
For the busy family, Chef Willis will produce Meals at the Ready.He will come into your kitchen and stock your fridge and pantry with all of the convenient ingredients needed to make assembling your meals effortless.
Eat & Teach Dinner Parties
Our "Eat & Teach" Dinner Parties are a hosted event where the menu has the variations for all the cooking methods and knife techniques -- for all the right reasons. It will feature three courses; a starter, main, and desert. Why not have each guest supply their favourite bottle of wine – or try something new – and make good use of Chef Willis’ Sommelier skills for a comparative tasting.
Each party will last for four hours, where two hours will be devoted to food preparation and instructions, and the remainder will be for dining and (optional) wine tasting. Have your guests bring their favourite knife, which Chef Willis will sharpen and then instruct you in its proper use. You and your guests will also work on the culinary skills necessary to produce a vinaigrette, pan sauce, stock, and roast.
We have had Greg Willis do a dinner party for us and we were more than happy with the exceptional service he provided from beginning to end. Greg was extremely helpful during the planning stages of the dinner and I trusted him with all his recommendations regarding the menu and presentation. All our guests felt the dinner was a truly unique experience, and expressed their enjoyment of all the wonderfully prepared and presented courses. We would highly recommend Greg for any type of culinary experience that you might have in mind. We will most definitely be using his services in the future and would be happy to give a verbal recommendation.
Knife Skills Seminars
Invite your friends in for knife skills lessons and have your knives sharpened while you learn about the fine art of garnishing your plate. Chef Willis will come to your house, sharpen your knives, and instruct you in the proper hand positions and cutting techniques for your knives. Are you thinking of purchasing some knives or other kitchen equipment? If so, Chef Willis will advise you as to the best items to invest in and show you some examples. You will practice your freshly honed skills on the art of garnishing and learn about the benefits of an attractive plate. A freshly sharpened knife benefits not only you, but everything it is used on. You will no longer be using a hammer to slice a fresh tomato.
Wine, Beer and Liquor Tastings
As the old axiom states, "Food is King, Wine the Consort." Therefore, it is unthinkable to have a dinner party without wine. When was the last time you were at a dinner party without wine? There are may references and questions about wine in addition to personal taste. Let Chef Willis, a trained and certified Sommelier, guide you through the many subtle differences between the drinks that add enjoyment to our meals. This feature can be an add-on to your dinner party, or as a stand alone product.
Be a guest at your own sit-down dinner party. Enjoy your friends while Chef Willis cares for your kitchen. He will help plan your menu, do the shopping (if you wish), and execute a flawless meal to remember.
Here is a recent fall menu....
Pheasant Consommé with Hazelnut Quenelles
Rack of Lavender Lamb with Ratatouille and Mushroom Risotto
Ginger and Cinnamon Scented Port Poached Pear, Skirted in Chocolate, Served on a Puddle of Creme Anglaise
Lunch with the Ladies
Get together with your girlfriends and be a guest at your own sit-down luncheon party in your own home. Chef Willis will assist you on building the menu,do the shopping (if you wish), and execute a flawless meal to remember.
I believe that meals are social events that should be free from stress and enjoyed by all. Ideally, meals should feature natural, quality ingredients that have had time and attention put into their preparation, where time and attention has been taken to honour their origins. These ingredients should be used efficiently in an environmentally friendly manner, minimizing wastage. My personal style of cooking is to make simple, yet satisfying meals that feature ingredients that contrast and compliment each other to produce complex flavour combinations. I believe that food should be respected from the lowest grain of rice to the finest grade of caviar.
When we cook, everything should be in its place. Having what you need, when you need it, relieves stress and makes the process more efficient and seamless. To make the process more efficient, you need to maximize the time you have. This can mean making similar things at the same time, or using your appliances and tools to capacity. Knowing your ingredients forms the platform for an educated palette and the basis for more intuitive cooking. You need to continually taste your food – constantly correcting it until the moment it is plated. When you’re consuming good food, you are consuming greatness – it’s like standing on the shoulders of giants.
I am firmly committed to educating teens and adults about food and its preparation. Good cooking skills have to become a reflex, which can be accomplished through practice. I feel that teens should learn how to cook because these are the skills they need to become more independent and self-sufficient.
In order for the cooking process to become more intuitive, we must become more intimate with our ingredients and how they can compliment each other. For both teens and adults, it’s crucial to develop a trained educated palette.