Join Chef Ray & D'Arcy Arpke on an exquisite Danube River cruise June 23-July 3, 2017 Read More

Attend Our Cooking Classes At Euphemia Haye | Best of “Things To Do” In Sarasota, Venice & Bradenton

If you are looking for “things to do” in Sarasota, Venice or Bradenton, Chef Ray’s Cooking Classes at Euphemia Haye should be on the top of your list. We call the cooking classes “Lesson Luncheons” because they are taught in a demonstration style; so what that means is, Chef Ray does all of the cooking and you do the eating and drinking! Each class begins with our freshly-baked banana bread and a bottomless cup of our insanely good imported coffee. There’s no skimping here – each guest will get to enjoy a luxurious lunch that includes three courses and each course includes a paired glass of wine. Guests will watch and interact with Chef Ray as he prepares each of three courses in our main dining room. The food Chef Ray prepares is always amazing but his quick wit and lively personality steal the show. The classes are for anyone who wants to learn something about cooking – whether you’re already a “foodie” or just a kitchen novice, Chef Ray says that everyone will learn some useful tips.

Fall 2016 Class Schedule

D’Arcy and I, along with Tom & Beverly Porter of Porter Family Vineyards, are hosting a Crystal River Cruise on the Danube next June (for more information, click here!). In preparation and celebration, I am going to focus the fall classes on food from that area. For me, being of German decent, it is possibly the best food in the world.

– Chef Ray

Wednesday,  October 19 • Oh My! Chicken Thigh 


  • Euphemia Haye’s House Pâté with Crudite & Homemade Melba
  • Spicy Chicken Thigh Paprikash with Pizokel
  • Lemon Silk Tart with an Almond Crust
I’ve done these recipes before, but they are sooooo good! Our house pâté is always a hit, so we will start today’s class with it.
Chicken thigh is the new chicken breast. They are so much more tender and juicy than breast and have always been my favorite part of the chicken. Today we will make a spicy paprikash by using a hot paprika. Served with pizokel (vegetable infused dumplings) it is sure to make everyone’s tummy very happy!
What’s the perfect way to cool off the spice? Lemon and sugar should do the trick! This divine lemon silk tart with a delicious almond crust will soon become a favorite of all your family and friends.
Price: $65.00 SOLD OUT


The classes listed below are sold out:

Wednesday,  October 5 • R.U. Hungry? – SOLD OUT

Of course you are. We are all hungry, so Let’s Eat.


  • Bohemian Cucumber Salad
  • Hungarian Goulash with buttered noodles & cabbage
  • Dobos Torte

I am starting the Fall series with some real comfort food. Lunch will be a bit rich, so we will start with a light salad of cucumbers before moving on to the main course: Hungarian Goulash. There are probably as many recipes for goulash as there are families in Budapest! I am going to teach you one from my time spent at Stemmellers White Coach Inn. It is loaded with Hungarian Paprika (a powdered chili pepper common to Hungary), a touch of caraway, and, of all things, a good strong beer. This hearty beef stew was one of America’s favorite dishes in the 60’s. If you’ve not had buttered doodles with kraut, you are in for a surprise and a real treat. Not only is it delicious, but it makes the perfect accompaniment to goulash.

Dobos Torte is our dessert and it is wonderful. If 9 layers of Genoise (thin sponge cake) is not enough, let’s stack some mocha butter cream between each layer, then let’s top it with caramel. Das ist sehr gut. Ya.

Wednesday,  November 2 • Austria or Bust – SOLD OUT


  • Duck Liver Dumpling Soup
  • Wienerschnitzel and Red Cabbage
  • Linzer Torte

In class today we are taking Austria by storm starting with liver dumpling soup. This is a classic Austrian soup, with a little twist of my own. We will make it with Duck Livers and Duck Consomme. It is a great starter for an Austrian meal.

The main course is the classic Austrian dish, Wienerschnitzel. Wienerschnitzel really means Viennese Cutlet. We’ll take a thinly sliced large scallop of veal, bread it, and sauté it in browned butter. Served with lemon capers and accompanied by some wonderful braised red cabbage, it would make any Wiener (person from Vienna) proud.

But wait! There’s more! A torte from the town of Linz. To me this is really more of a tart than a torte, but who would argue with a delicious slice of Linzer Torte. Ground almonds, lemon zest, and aromatic spices make up the crust of this wonderful raspberry preserve filled dessert. Served with fresh whipped cream, you’ll think you are on the Danube.

Wednesday,  November 16 • Follow the River – SOLD OUT


  • Smoked Oyster Spread with Crudite and Crostini
  • Kulebyaka of Salmon with Braised Cabbage and Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Russian Chocolate Raspberry Torte

I have been a fan of smoked oysters since I was a kid when my mother and I would eat them right out of the can. Because Eastern Europe is so far from the ocean they have relied on some great canned seafood as a staple of their diet. For a starter today, I have created a smoked oyster spread that we will serve with fresh crisp vegetables and crunchy toast. This is a great appetizer that you can serve all year long.

For lunch today, we are having Kulebyaka or Salmon En Croute by any other name. Technically, it is a Russian dish, but almost every country in Europe has their version. I have made it in class a few times and a few different ways. Today you will make individual portions with a brand new recipe. Served up with some mashed root vegetables and braised cabbage, it will be a great meal!

Dessert? Let them eat cake, I say. Delicious chocolate cake with raspberries and cream. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Tues, Dec 6 OR Wed, Dec 7 • What’s an Esterhazy? – SOLD OUT


  • Macédoine Salad
  • Beef steak Esterhazy with dumplings
  • Torta Esterhazy

Evidently, Prince Paul III Esterhazy of Hungary liked to eat because a number of great chefs created some delicious food in his name. We’ll start with a salad that I have done before. But, unless you took that class, many years agon, it is not likely you’ve eaten it. Macédoine Salad is loaded with wonderful steamed root vegetables, onions, & celery. I first made it in my 2nd year of culinary school, a mere 4 years ago. It is mayonnaise based (but can be made with vinaigrette) and has always been a favorite of mine.

Main course today is a braised round steak in a savory sauce finished with sour cream and topped with blanched vegetables. This will be served with vegetable infused dumplings sautéed in butter with onions, so you are sure to get enough vegetables today!

Torta Esterhazy is an almond meringue cake layered with buttercream. Topped with fondant and chocolate swirls, it is not only beautiful but amazingly good.