Toast creates custom classes, held in your home or in our dedicated teaching kitchen. We help with menu planning, shopping and cooking the meal. Learn to make pastry dough, cook a whole fish or make easy Asian dishes in 30 minutes. Toast also hosts a bi-monthly Supper Club in Brooklyn for general merriment and gustatory pleasure.
For more information or to organize your own private class, please contact us: nan [at] toasthomecooking [dot] com
About Nan Doyle, Chef-Instructor
I love food, cooking and conversation. After many years of squeezing in meal-making between jobs in media, I have found my calling as a chef-instructor. I teach people to cook good food at home. Weeknight family meals. Birthday cakes. Show-off dinner party menus. All of the above and more. Toast Home Cooking was founded by me, Nan Doyle, in 2010.
My first food venture, a whole-grain bakery in San Diego, CA called Rebel Bakers, was created in 1980 with Billy Nessen, my first true love and still a friend. After selling the bakery (which no longer exists, alas), I studied Semiotics at Brown University. There, I learned to make one-pot wonders on the cheap, in a scrappy kitchen with hungry post-structuralist chums and budding filmmakers. I enrolled in Gilles Deleuze’s last seminar in Paris, all about Michel Foucault (a Very Important Thinker and dear colleague to Deleuze), and lived in a former nun’s cell on the rue du Cardinal Lemoine. At this time, I also fell in love with France: the language, culture and food.
After graduation in 1986, I moved to Paris in hopes of making my life there. Jobs were scarce at first (no working papers). I taught video to psychoanalysts, giving them a new therapeutic tool to help the mentally ill. I sold stories to the National Enquirer, gleaned from scouring the French scandal sheets. And I honed my cooking skills at home, in a tiny kitchen. Fellow food lovers Andy & Bea had cook-a-thons with me, outdoing ourselves with fall-off-the-bone daubes, coddled baby vegetables and towering treats of chocolate lace. I trawled the flea markets buying dented, heavy pots and outdated cookware. Sugar-Daddies took me to fancy restaurants, respite from cheap meals of Soupe Pho in Belleville, where I lived. Shamelessly, I pursued pleasure and stirred pots.
In 1991, I got a job producing an interactive guide to French wine. Finally, the semiotics degree came in handy! The guide included step-by-step recipes of menus from top-rated chefs, with wine pairings (natch). This meant traveling all over France, staying in luxury hotels while doggedly tasting amazing food and wine. Hard work but oh, so fun. I fell even deeper in love with France.
Until meeting Gérard. I fell in love with this beautiful man from France and married him at a bacchanalian, week-long event in a dilapidated manoir on the sea. We had babies. Folly, family and a good job offer led us back to New York in 1997. Goodbye France, hello Brooklyn.
Several interesting jobs later, my friend Tom asked me to work with him, launching a bold new wine shop in downtown Manhattan. Merci, Tom! One professional step closer to food and wine, my favorite extra-curricular. After five wonderful years at Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit (sic), I listened to my heart. And followed it out the door – to create Toast. Voila.