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Photos courtesy of CookSingleNYC

Dan Dolgin has opened the doors to his home kitchen in Long Island City to help people find the confidence and skills they need to prepare a home-cooked meal on their own.

The LIC resident is the founder and instructor for CookSingleNYC, a new cooking school that started in September and has since had 250 people sign up for classes.

Dolgin has spent 30 years as an avid home cook, and everything he teaches his students is self-taught from either cooking shows on television or through his travel abroad. However, cooking was not always the career path for Dolgin. He was actually in the women’s apparel business prior to starting his cooking school.

After being married for 25 years, Dolgin faced a divorce, and for the past seven years he has been single. This for him was the start of a new life, and he began to get more involved in social events. He would attend dining groups and he met new people at parties when he came up with the idea of sharing his love of cooking  with others.

“I’ve always enjoyed cooking and found that cooking was an important aspect of my life in all levels,” Dolgin said. “More and more it came to my attention that people were not learning how to cook as they were growing up.”

Dan Dolgin, founder and instructor at CookSingleNYC

Dan Dolgin, founder and instructor at CookSingleNYC

According to Dolgin, people he met would say that they found it really intimidating to go to cooking classes because there would be students who already had experience in the kitchen. He realized that there was a need for less intimidating cooking classes, and since he had a love of cooking, Dolgin began to work on the concept of his school. After months of preparation, he held some test classes. He finally began teaching in September from his home at 41-17 Crescent St.

“I had an epiphany that I wasn’t really happy in what I was doing,” Dolgin said. “I decided it was a great opportunity to chase something I was passionate about.”

The three-hour classes, which include six students, are aimed to help them learn how to cook and enable them to start cooking on a more regular basis. The name of the school, CookSingleNYC, does not really mean that the course is only for those who are single, said Dolgin. Instead, the concept of the classes are to help people cook on their own.

Students prepare two full meals, and although Dolgin is there to demonstrate, supervise and instruct, he says it’s important for the students to be involved hands-on and prepare everything as if they were at home cooking.

During the classes, he presents cooking techniques, such as roasting or stir-frying in a wok, and after each meal is completed, the students sit down and enjoy their creations. Dolgin also gives quick safety tips while working in the kitchen.

After each class, Dolgin emails his students a custom 25-page booklet with more in-depth information on recipes and what was done in class.

Dolgin wants his students to complete the class with a new desire to cook regularly with confidence and a sense of fearlessness in the kitchen that will motivate them to try new things.

“It is very important to me that people are not intimidated,” he said. “My goal is to continue to alter people’s ways to do things on a beginner level so they can continue to grow.”

To sign up for a class or for more information, visit www.cooksinglenyc.com or www.facebook.com/cooksinglenyc.

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