The Brooklyn Kitchen is calling a new part of the borough home.
The Williamsburg cooking school and retailer has just popped up in Industry City, with a space dedicated to its classes.
Co-owner Taylor Erkkinen said they started looking at other locations after learning their landlord was selling the building.
“We just weren’t sure what that would mean for our timeline and continued success of being able to operate in that space,” Erkkinen said.
The impending L train shutdown was also “a significant factor,” Erkkinen said, with the MTA slated to suspend service on the nearby line beginning in April 2019.
The Brooklyn Kitchen is still hosting classes indefinitely at its Williamsburg location, but now also offers them in Industry City, a giant Sunset Park warehouse complex that’s home to a variety of businesses, from Time Inc. to the Nets.
Unlike the Williamsburg spot, which had a significant retail component, the new space is primarily a school.
“We wanted to do something that would enable us to be class-focused,” Erkkinen said. “We wanted to be focused more on the experience of cooking and learning to cook, not necessarily having real estate being given over to product and grocery.”
There is a small retail component in Industry City, with products used in class, like olive oil from Especially Puglia, available for purchase. But the location is primarily a destination for learning cooking skills, with offerings ranging from fresh pasta and homemade pizza to Japanese street food and “Not Sad Desk Lunch” to the school’s staple, knife-work.
“The knife skills is probably the class I recommend everyone take once in their life,” Erkkinen said.
The class, which covers essentials like cutting carrots, onions and peppers, has been offered since the start of Brooklyn Kitchen, though was recently updated to include avocados.
“People don’t know how to take the pit out of the avocado and they damage themselves very seriously,” said Erkkinen, who heard anecdotally from a doctor that one of the most common injuries in the kitchen is “avocado hand.”
“After talking to him we decided to demo an avocado pit removal in the knife skills class, so we can do a public service.”
For the first time, the Brooklyn Kitchen is also offering grilling classes, thanks to access to a courtyard patio. They plan to schedule collaborations with guest chefs throughout the summer.
The school also wants to work with other food ventures in Industry City, such as butcher Ends Meat and picklemakers Brooklyn Brine.
The Brooklyn Kitchen is calling the Industry City location a pop-up, “though the work we’re putting into it feels like it should stick around for awhile,” Erkkinen said.