More than six years after opening The Curious Kitchen in Murfreesboro, Helena Spensatelli and daughter, Rachel Spensatelli, have moved operations.
Now located at 327 E. State St. in downtown Murfreesboro, The Curious Kitchen is now at least four times the size of the previous space. Once a warehouse, the building they purchased on East State provided a blank slate for them to dream big.
“Everything is big enough to where we can grow,” Rachel said. “Mom and I will make magic happen.”
Helena and Rachel expected to have The Curious Kitchen open in the spring. But between COVID-19 and renovating an old building, the cafe opening won’t happening until early 2021.
Although you won’t be able to enjoy The Curious Kitchen Cafe, reservations for cooking classes are underway for group, individual and kids camps in December and into January. Most have openings and some classes have waiting lists.
“We get some of our best joy out of teaching the kids. Some of them come in we had one kid who didn’t know what a potato was,” Helena said.
To incorporate fresh produce to use in cooking classes — and be able to introduce children, especially, to how things are grown — the pair built a raised garden patch at the side of the building.
There are a variety of cooking classes to suit everyone’s taste palate, from A Night in Tuscany featuring gourmet Italian dishes, Exploring Indian Food, and baking classes for a wide range of ages.
All ages learn to cook
Family classes have become popular as well, from pasta making to cooking an entire dinner together.
“We do another cool class called ‘They Cook for You,’ where the kid comes in and he or she cooks a whole meal for the first two hours of the class and whoever they invite they come in and the kid does everything: cook, plating it, serving it,” Helena said.
The kids-prepared meal is a soup or salad, main course and dessert.
“It’s actually something they can go home and repeat,” Helena said. “They really love to show out.”
The instructional table and kitchen prep area are both large enough to allow for social distancing.
In addition to teaching space, there’s a large dining table where students can enjoy the meals they’ve prepared and a buffet area for serving.
The Spensatellis plan to eventually offer family-style grab-and-go meals that can be heated up at home.
“We’ve been talking about making health dinners to go for families with a set menu,” Rachel explained.
The Curious Kitchen will also be available for rental for anyone needing a certified commercial kitchen space.
“We can also do private luncheon events,” Helena said. “And we’re going to put some couches.”
Although The Curious Kitchen has been open in Murfreesboro a handful of years, Helena has honed her culinary skills since a young age.
Helena’s Italian grandfather was a chef in an exclusive hotel in Baltimore in the 1950s and she grew up at the feet of her grandparents, who always had a pot of bubbling pasta sauce on the stove.
At one time Helena was director of the largest recreational cooking school in Los Angeles, later moving to Murfreesboro with husband Billy Pittard, a Murfreesboro native and chair of MTSU’s Department of Media Arts.
Rachel followed in her mother’s footsteps, learning alongside her mother.
To learn more about The Curious Kitchen, visit thecuriouskitchen.net/ or call 615-956-6077. You can purchase gift certificates and book classes online.