Nourishing Wisdom Bridal Cooking Parties

A Wedding in the Valley Hudson Valley Wedding Guide - Dutchess County Weddings

Holly Shelowitz teaches healthy eating at one of her on-site cooking parties.
Nour­ish­ing Wis­dom’s Hol­ly Shelowitz teach­es healthy eat­ing at one of her on-site cook­ing par­ties. (Pho­to by Due­tim­age Hud­son Val­ley Wed­ding Pho­tog­ra­phers).


Before your wed­ding, you might be look­ing for an activ­i­ty to bond with your brides­maids while hav­ing some fun.  If food is your thing and learn­ing how to cook healthy is too, then a Nour­sh­ing Wid­som bridal cook­ing par­ty with Hol­ly Shelowitz might be for you.


Nourishing Wisdom cooking class with Holly Shelowitz photographed by Duetimage Photography.
Hol­ly’s class­es are geared toward cre­at­ing dish­es that you can repro­duce eas­i­ly at home.


Hol­ly is a Rhinebeck-based nutri­tion coun­selor whose resume includes work­shops for cor­po­ra­tions like Whole Foods and Moth­er Earth­’s Stores, and you can also hear her talk about food as a reoc­cur­ring guest on Radio Wood­stock­’s Morn­ing Show. Her cook­ing class­es for brides is some­thing that she has been doing for a long time, since 1999 to be exact, when she was com­plet­ing her train­ing at the Insti­tute for Inte­gra­tive Nutri­tion and the Nation­al Gourmet Insti­tute in New York City.  “I was con­tact­ed around that time by a maid of hon­or who’d heard on the inter­net that I was giv­ing class­es for indi­vid­u­als.  She was plan­ning a trip upstate with the bride-to-be and some brides­maids, and want­ed to set up some­thing spe­cial for the week­end.  I was thrilled to do that,” recalls Hol­ly.  “After that, cook­ing class­es for brides took on a life of its own as it spread by word of mouth.”


Holly Shelowitz teaches healthy eating at one of her bridal cooking parties photographed by Duetimage Photography
Learn about tools like this veg­etable spi­ral­iz­er to make your hub­by a healthy meal.


Today Hol­ly gives sev­er­al bridal cook­ing class­es a month dur­ing the wed­ding sea­son, teach­ing future brides and their brides­maids (and some­times the groom and his grooms­men) about healthy eat­ing and prop­er cook­ing tech­niques.  Her 2 1/2 hour class­es are held all across the Hud­son Val­ley and in New York City in a vari­ety of venues.  “Some­times brides and their brides­maids will come up for a week­end in advance of their wed­ding and rent out a house with a real­ly nice kitchen.  Oth­er times, I rent out kitchens for brides who have lim­it­ed space for a cook­ing par­ty,” says Holly.


Nourishing Wisdom Zucchini zoodles close-up by Duetimage Photography.
Eat your Zoo­dles! Hol­ly is fond of healthy alter­na­tive foods, like this zuc­chi­ni squash pas­ta substitute.


Each cook­ing par­ty is cus­tomized to every bride and group with a vari­ety of menus.  “Nor­mal­ly I sug­gest a healthy Mediter­ranean cui­sine menu, but we can also do Thai, Moroc­can — what­ev­er fla­vors, spices, and dish­es appeal to a group,” Hol­ly explains.  “I also make sure that any dietary con­sid­er­a­tions are tak­en into account for veg­e­tar­i­ans or peo­ple who are dairy or gluten-free.”


Students at a Nourishing wisdom bridal cooking party learn proper knife handling photographed by Duetimage Photography
Chopped! Here Hol­ly’s class learns about prop­er knife handling.


A com­mon thread through­out all of Hol­ly’s cook­ing class­es, no mat­ter what the cui­sine, is learn­ing to make prac­ti­cal, healthy meals at home.  Hol­ly says, “The whole point is that every dish becomes part of the stu­dents’ reper­toire and they can make them all the time.  And this real­ly helps brides who maybe are career women and don’t have a lot of time to cook com­pli­cat­ed meals.”


Learning about produce like basil at Nourishing Wisdom bridal cooking parties photographed by Duetimage Photography
Tips for select­ing the best pro­duce and prep­ping it effi­cient­ly are part of the fun.


Some­times Hol­ly’s class­es are more than about savory din­ners.  Some­times they are all about choco­late mak­ing.  “In these class­es we make choco­late from scratch,” explains Hol­ly.  “I teach bridal par­ties about grind­ing their own cocoa and cre­at­ing choco­late tablets with nat­ur­al sweet­en­ers such as hon­ey, maple, or coconut sug­ar.  Then we dec­o­rate them with nuts, dried fruits, and rose petals.”  Oth­er treats cre­at­ed dur­ing choco­late cook­ing class­es are truf­fles, dip­ping sauces, and a healthy choco­late-hazel­nut spread.


Holly Shelowitz teaches healthy eating at one of her bridal cooking parties photographed by Duetimage Photography Hudson Valley wedding photographers.
Choos­ing the right pans and uten­sils is also on the menu at Hol­ly’s bridal cook­ing classes.


An inter­est­ing vari­ant of the choco­late cook­ing par­ty is the lin­gerie & choco­late par­ty.  Hol­ly laughs as she recalls how the first of these off­beat class­es came into being.  “I was work­ing with a wom­an’s group in New York City for about a year and around that time I went to Cos­ta Rica to learn about choco­late grow­ing.  I men­tioned to some­one that I want­ed to teach about choco­late mak­ing and one of the ladies in the group said, ‘Why don’t we have a class and wear lin­gerie?’  It was some­thing that was so hilar­i­ous and dar­ing that I decid­ed to do it, and every­one in the group said yes.  Every­one came to the class after work and every­one was gig­gling and hav­ing fun.  It fit because choco­late is real­ly a sen­su­al food.”


Holly Shelowitz teaches healthy eating at one of her bridal cooking parties photographed by Duetimage Photography.
Hol­ly demon­strates how to cook a soc­ca — a savory pan­cake from the south of France made from chick pea flour.


After each cook­ing class, Hol­ly and her stu­dents sit down to enjoy the fruits of their labor togeth­er.  “Nor­mal­ly we eat fam­i­ly style but if a par­tic­u­lar group wants to be served at a sit-down din­ner, I can arrange for a team of assis­tants to be servers for the evening,” Hol­ly points out.

Also, there is swag: each per­son who attends a class receives a print­ed deck of cards fea­tur­ing all the recipes made.  As an add-on, Hol­ly can also arrange for cus­tom aprons or wood­en spoons with the bride’s name print­ed on front, or any oth­er sentiment.


Holly Shelowitz enjoys a meal with her students at one of her bridal cooking parties photographed by Duetimage Photography
And now it’s time to eat. Stu­dents get to taste and dis­cuss the fruits of their labors.


When plan­ning a cook­ing par­ty with Hol­ly, she rec­om­mends a min­i­mum of 2–3 months in advance.  Ear­li­er if order­ing cus­tom aprons or spoons, or any oth­er per­son­al­ized items.  Dur­ing the wed­ding sea­son, Hol­ly says she can book up fast and might not be per­son­al­ly avail­able for all dates.  How­ev­er, she does have a num­ber of asso­ciates with whom she can arrange a great cook­ing par­ty even at the last minute.

It can be extreme­ly busy, but it’s a lifestyle that I love.  And the Hud­son Val­ley is for me the per­fect loca­tion to do this with all our farm-to-table foods, and the nat­ur­al beau­ty and boun­ty of this place,” says Hol­ly.  With that sen­ti­ment, we could­n’t agree more.


Learning about produce at Nourishing Wisdom bridal cooking parties photographed by Duetimage Photography


Does a bridal cooking party sound like fun?

Down­load images from this arti­cle on our Nour­ish­ing Wis­dom Web Album made espe­cial­ly for your smart­phone. Use it for ref­er­ence and share with those help­ing you plan your pre-wed­ding activities.

Additional Information:

Learn more about Hol­ly Shelow­itz’s bridal cook­ing class­es vis­it or call (845) 658‑7887.

To dis­cuss your wed­ding with Due­tim­age Hud­son Val­ley Wed­ding Pho­tog­ra­phers, call (845) 905‑6323 or vis­it:

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