By Katy Savage
Ted Fondulas has been teaching cooking classes locally for the past 30 years. Now he’s teaching around the globe—through Skype.
Fondulas, the former owner of Hemingway’s Restaurant in Killington, recently became part of The Chef & The Dish, joining about 10 top chefs around the world who teach online cooking classes, specializing in dishes native to where they live.
Fondulas is teaching classic New England dishes, like Boston creme pie, shepherd’s pie and New England clam chowder. For him, teaching is part education, part entertainment.
“The idea that you’re having fun is much more important than you think it is when you approach the subject,” said Fondulas.
The Chef & The Dish was started in 2016 by Jenn Nicken, who formerly worked at Apple, where she took part in launching iPod, iTunes and Mac.
“I’m a huge food lover myself,” said Nicken, who lives in Canada. “I’ve traveled the world learning to cook with people.”
She said Fondulas reached out to her about the possibility of cooking for The Chef & The Dish. Fondulas went through a “rigorous” testing process, which involved teaching Nicken how to cook in her own kitchen through Skype.
“He has a great reputation as somebody who was an originator in farm to table cuisine,” said Nicken. “That’s a really important part of what The Chef & The Dish is.”
Fondulas has been cooking since he was 5 years old. He owned Hemingway’s for about 30 years until it closed in 2012, following the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm Irene. Hemingway’s, which served classic food, was one of the nation’s top rated restaurants. Fondulas has also been featured on the Discovery Channel television series, Great Chefs of the East.
Fondulas said he’s always liked teaching people how to cook.
Anyone in the world can book a class through The Chef & The Dish’s website. All classes are taught live through Skype. Italian chefs teach how to make pasta and pizza, while chefs in Japan teach how to make sushi, for example.
Those who sign up are given a list of ingredients and a list utensils to have before the class begins.
Fondulas’ classes went live May 15. His “Everything Lobster” class is currently featured on the website. The class takes about two hours and costs $379 for up to three participants.
Fondulas’ classes come with a historical narrative of the food dish he teaches, he said. He also includes some humor.
“You have to inject humor and you have to do things to make them comfortable,” he said.