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Explore & More Launches Virtual ‘Chef du Jour’ Cooking Classes

We’ve got some great news for all you foodies who dream about taking a cooking class from one of the chefs at your favorite local establishments. Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum is offering a special virtual event series for adults that will be just that.

The Chef du Jour series is an interactive cooking class featuring teaching chefs from several local restaurants sharing their favorite recipes (and how to make them) via livestream. Guests will be able to cook along with the chef from the comfort of their own kitchen, as well as ask questions and socialize with other guests taking the class.

“We had to go back to the drawing board since we aren’t able to host our usual events due to COVID-19,” said Jess Basil, Senior Marketing Manager at Explore & More. “The idea to have a virtual cooking class with various local chefs very quickly rose to the top of the list.”

The series kicks off on Tuesday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. with Chef Steve Gedra of The Black Sheep. Chefs on deck for future classes include Chef Mansi Demla of Tulsi and Pastry Chef Lauren Baynes of Bread by Baynes, Chef Darian Bryan of The Plating Society, Chef Ross Warhol of Oliver’s, and Chef Adam Goetz from Craving. The series will continue through early December 2020.

Tickets cost $120 and include the 1.5 hour class, a box of ingredients to prepare an entree and side dishes, and a dessert for two. Desserts are provided by revolving list of providers, like Rich Products and Fairy Cakes Cupcakery & Bake Shop, check the website for individual vendors and details for each event.

For $150, you can also get a bottle of wine of your choosing to go with your meal. Vegetarian options for the meals are available as well. Items for the class can be picked up at the Explore & More Museum on the day of the event between 1:00 and 6:00 p.m.

In order to ensure an intimate and worthwhile experience for their guests, Explore & More is offering a limited number of tickets for each Chef du Jour event. It is recommended that those interested purchase their tickets as far in advance as possible. A full schedule of the upcoming events in the Chef du Jour series – plus a bio on the teaching chef of each class – can be found at

All proceeds from Chef du Jour ticket sales will benefit the museum. This series takes the place of a large fundraiser for us, so their money goes to a great cause,” Basil said.

Those who purchase tickets to the Chef du Jour event with Steve Gedra on October 13 will have twice the impact, as the event coincides with Dining Out for Life, which Gedra co-chairs with his wife, Ellen. Dining Out For Life seeks to raise awareness and support for local organizations working with those affected by HIV/AIDS. Explore & More will donate $10 for every Chef du Jour ticket sold to the cause.

The menu for the Chef du Jour event with Steve Gedra will include an appetizer of potato pancakes with stewed apples, onions and sour cream; an entree of pork and beef stuffed cabbage rolls with sweet and sour sauce OR a vegetarian version of king oyster mushroom stuffed cabbage rolls with kasha and sweet and sour tomato sauce.

For more information on Explore & More’s upcoming events and the Chef du Jour series, visit

Written by Sarah Maurer

Sarah Maurer

I moved to Buffalo to attend Canisius College in 2007 and began writing for Buffalo Rising as a journalism intern in 2010. Working with Newell and meeting numerous entrepreneurs, activists and everyday folks who were working to make their city better made a huge impact on my decision to stay here. After witnessing all the positive development and grassroots initiatives happening in neighborhoods throughout the city, I was inspired to pursue a term of service in AmeriCorps and a career in Buffalo's non-profit sector. I currently work in the housing department at the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY and am excited to be a part of their ongoing efforts to revitalize the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood. I also volunteer as the project coordinator for Artfarms Buffalo. I continue to write for Buffalo Rising because I love having the opportunity to stay connected to those working toward positive changes for the Queen City.

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