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Orland Park, IL 60467

Now You’re Cooking

Hi, my name is Julie Kelly and I'm a self-taught home cook; I have been cooking for more than 25 years. From making supper for my family to hosting dinner parties with friends and neighbors to preparing food for a cocktail party with more than 100 guests, I have a wide range of cooking experience. I believe my lack of formal training is an asset to my teaching style since I can relate to the inexperienced home cook and understand the common fears we all face in the kitchen.

My culinary style is creating simple yet flavorful dishes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. I believe food should speak for itself without too much fuss or over-preparation. Properly seasoned ingredients – paired with complementary flavors – make the perfect dish.

Uncomplicated ingredients like garlic, ginger, fresh herbs, lemon and other clean flavors are included in many of my recipes. I teach important techniques such as roasting, sauteeing and pan-searing in order to fully extract the natural flavors from meats, fish and vegetables.

The most frequent response I hear is, “I can’t believe how easy this is!” Delicious meals don’t need to be difficult or overcomplicated – all of the recipes in the Now You're Cooking classes have fewer than 10 ingredients and many have just 5-6 ingredients.

Since 2013, I've taught classes ranging from simple weeknight dinners to summer/holiday appetizers to special meals for Valentine's Day. From quick stuffed shells for kids to eat on the run for my "sports" moms to whole roasted chicken for Sunday supper to lobster bisque and beef wellington for Valentine's Day, my classes offer something for everyone. By focusing on the basics, my students can not only execute my original recipes but they can tackle any recipe on their own with confidence and success.

My main focus is helping busy moms cook a healthy, simple and flavorful dinner a few times a week. There is no guilt or "food shaming" in my classes. We talk about what we can do within the constraints of our hectic daily lives. I also talk about meal preparation, shopping tips, weekly menu planning, nutrition and balance.

I've lived in Orland Park with my husband, John, and two daughters, Victoria and Josie, since 2004.  I'm a 1990 graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a B.A. in Communications and minor degrees in Political Science and Journalism (my dream was to be White House Press Secretary, but here I am!) Before becoming a stay-at-home mom in 2000, I was a communications and political consultant to several Chicago-area elected officials.

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"Julie, I really enjoyed your class and took way more away than I ever thought I would. I never in a million years thought a cooking class would make me excited to try new things!! So my hat's off to you. You are a great teacher and the recipes are so good!" 


Susie C., Orland Park