We currently have two Chefs in residence!

Please scroll down to learn about classes taught by both Chef Phillis Carey and Chef Edie Dourleijn
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Cooking with Chef Nikki 

Hearty Vegetarian Italian Meal
Can vegetarian meals be hearty? Absolutely!

Enjoy these Italian recipes made with fresh and delicious ingredients.
Shaved Fennel and Pear Salad
Roasted Broccolini with Lemon and Parmesan
Ricotta Dumplings (Gnudi) with Brown Butter and Sage Sauce


Tuesday, January 26, 5-7 PM
$20/Member, $25/Non-Member WITHOUT ingredients delivery*
$50/Member, $55/Non-Member WITH ingredients delivery *


*Delivery only available in 92037. To request, email deborah@ljcommunitycenter.org.

Each participant will receive an access link to the live class, ingredient list, and recipes.
Ingredients can be picked up at LJCC on Tuesday, January 26. 10 AM-4 PM.


Reservation required by Sunday, January 24th, 10 AM

Chef Nikki Schaeffer Bio

Since 1990, Chef Nikki Schaeffer has explored the culinary spectrum from working at Wolfgang Puck's ObaChine in Seattle, to the four-star luxurious Silks at Stonehedge Inn in Massachusetts. She holds a degree in Baking and Pastry Science from Johnson & Wales University and has worked alongside internationally renowned Executive Chefs. It was under those mentors that she learned the important elements of fine dining, the science of taste, and cooking techniques that have earned her accolades for over two decades.

In 2001, Nikki was hired by an upscale restaurant group for a temporary, yet unique, position. She was to relocate to Southern California for several months to plan and execute wine-paired dinners along the West Coast in order to promote the company and increase brand recognition. When the job ended, and it was time to return to the East Coast, she decided she would rather stay in Southern California!


She quickly found a job in the area and spent the next 13 years as a corporate Pastry Chef while running her own catering company. In 2014, she semi-retired from the production side of the restaurant business and became a private consultant for restauranteurs. In 2015, Nikki found her true (second) calling: teaching. Hired for her boisterous personality, as well as her willingness and desire to pass on everything she has learned as a Savory and Pastry Chef, Sur La Table hired her to be an Instructor. In a short time, she was promoted to Resident Chef, directing the Culinary program at SLT’s La Jolla location until its recent closure.


Nikki resides in Encinitas with her turtle, Puck (no relation to Wolfgang).

The Casual Gourmet

Taught by Phillis Carey

Phillis Carey’s cooking classes cover a wide range of topics from basic techniques to entrees and feasts.  She features quick ways to cook chicken, vegetarian cooking, international and regional cuisines, soups, appetizers and offer special classes with a seasonal focus, and more.

Reservations are always required. Please, no drop-ins.


To register for classes email Phillis philliscarey@aol.com or call (760) 942-1756.

$50/M, $55/NM per class.




Tuesday, February 25, 11:30am 

Creamy Reuben Soup with Corned Beef, Sauerkraut and Rye Crisps; Spinach, Cream Cheese and Herb Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with a Bacon Weave Crust; Chicken Chile Verde with Poblanos, Tomatillos and Avocado Garnish; Quick Chili Cheesesteak Stew with Beans and Pepper Jack Cheese; Carrot Cake Pie with a Buttery Crust and Cream Cheese Frosting.



Tuesday, March 3, 11:30am

Salmon Burgers with Red Pepper and Caper Sauce;

Thai Salmon with Coconut Milk, Ginger, Lime and Basil and Coconut Rice: Bruschetta Salmon Sauté with Tomatoes, Basil, Parmesan and Balsamic Glaze;

Roasted Tandoori-Spiced Salmon with Pickled Onions;

Glazed Lemon Lime Cookies.



Tuesday, March 10, 11:30am

Fattoush—Middle Eastern Bread Salad with Pickled Grapes, Toasted Pita and Yogurt, Dill and Sumac Dressing;

Pesto Chicken Lasagna Rolls with Spinach and White Sauce; InstaPot Pork Ragu Over Creamy Parmesan Polenta; Sicilian Shrimp and Couscous with Saffron and Toasted Almonds; Apple Pecan Phyllo Twist with Maple Syrup.



Tuesday, March 17, 11:30am

French Onion and Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese with Crispy Onion Topping; Louisiana Shrimp in Creole Sauce with Fresh Herbs; Mongolian Beef and Broccoli with Hoisin-Ginger Sauce and Sticky Rice; Beef and Bacon Meatballs stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese in Amatriciana Sauce; Blueberry Vanilla Bean Cobbler with Ice Cream.



Tuesday, March 31, 11:30am

Fresh Citrus Margaritas; Coconut Milk Lime Shrimp with Fresh Basil; Glazed Honey Orange Salmon with Citrus Basmati Rice Salad; Chicken Breast Sauté with Mushrooms and Asparagus with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce; Coconut Lime Macaroons; Triple Citrus Cheesecake with Lemon Pastry Crust and Orange Marmalade Glaze.



Tuesday, April 7, 11:30am

Cilantro Ginger Macadamia Pesto Shrimp Bruschetta with Crème Fraiche; Fennel and Orange Arugula Salad with Lemon Ginger Vinaigrette; Salmon or Chicken with Fresh Blackberry Ginger Sauce; Five-Spice and Garlic Roasted New Potatoes; Orange Asparagus Toss; Cannoli Cake Roll with Brandied Apricot Filling and Pistachio Nut Crust.



Tuesday, April 14, 11:30am

Tuscan Tortellini Soup with Chicken Sausage, Tomatoes and White Beans; Scampi Linguine with Lemony Breadcrumb Topping; Chicken Fusilli with Saffron Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Sauce; Sausage, Portobello Mushroom, Red Wine and Tomato Ragu with Pappardelle;

White Chocolate Strawberry Tiramisu.



Tuesday, April 21, 11:30am

Maple Bacon Jam with Brie; Potato-Leek Soup with Bacon;

Buttermilk Bacon Cheddar Chive Biscuits; Bacon-Weave Wrapped Southwest Burger Roll with Chili and Cheese Filling; Bacon Wrapped Blackberry Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Red Onions; Maple Bacon Magic Squares.



Tuesday, April 28, 11:30am

Cheesy Chipotle Corn Dip with Chips and Cucumber Slices; Baked Chicken and Bean Chimichangas with Salsa Verde, Tomato and Olive Topping; Grilled Ancho-Rubbed Skirt Steak with Three-Chili Sauce and Cotija Cheese Sprinkle; Cabbage Slaw with Creamy Chili Vinaigrette;

Caramel Filled Churro Cookies with Hot Chocolate Dip.

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Creative Cook CO

Taught by Edie Dourleijn

Become a creative cook!

Edie Dourleijn is a former picky eater that now teaches people how to cook good food. Edie gets her inspiration from all over the world, and mixes and matches styles, techniques and flavors. She loves the way they use vegetables in the Mediterranean countries, herbs and spices in the Middle East, beans in the Americas, potatoes in her home country The Netherlands, and she's still learning to master cooking on her brand new smoker. You could say, she feels pretty at home here in California!


Edie loves to bring you on a journey to different culinary regions, learn great kitchen skills and show what's possible with the amazing produce grown in California. Classes are fully hands-on, so bring your apron and boxes for leftovers.


Register via: www.creativecookco.com/classes or email Edie at classes@creativecookco.com  

Reservations are always required. Please, no drop-ins.


Flavors of 1001-nights – Morocco 

Monday, March 9, 2020

6-8:30pm. $65/M, $70/NM.


Ah Morocco, country of stunning, beautiful flavors! From exiting seaside towns to the mysterious medina of Marrakesh and the smallest rural villages in the deserts, Morocco is full of wonderful flavors. From cone shaped tajines (stews) and couscous to vegetable salads and the sweetest desserts, this class brings you instantly across the ocean.


2.5 hour hands-on class.


Menu: Briouats with spinach and mint - Shrimp chermoula - Chicken tajine with potatoes and olives - Spicy couscous - Orange salad with red onion and olives - Onion raisin chutney - Ghriba bahla (almond cookies) - Moroccan mint tea served



Knife Skills 

Monday, March 16, 2020

6-8:30pm. $65/M, $70/NM.

A student favorite and the most essential kitchen skill of all: knife skills. In this 2-hour class, we will talk knives, show you what they’re for, but mostly you will chop. And chop. Chop. Mince. Supreme. Cut. Dice. And chop some more.


2-hour hands-on class.


Bring your knife, an apron and boxes for leftovers.



Cooking with the Seasons: Beets

Monday, March 23, 2020

6-8:30pm. $65/M, $70/NM.

Cooking with seasonal vegetables can be both challenging and fun. Cheaper too. In the first of class of the series Cooking with the seasons series, Edie will show you what you can do with beets. And its leaves!


2.5 hour hands-on class


Menu: Beet muhammara - Beet shots with vodka - Beet leaf frittata - Sensational beet salad with red onion and prosciutto - Beet risotto with goat cheese and walnuts - Beef, beet and polenta - Beet chocolate cake