COLORADO SPRINGS — Since dining rooms have closed for a second time, local restaurants are going beyond the traditional take out meal or delivery, and dishing up recipes in a unique way.
Staff who work at Four by Brother Luck are putting together meal kits that customers can buy. They take those meal kits home with them, and cook while sitting in an online cooking class with Brother Luck, the chef owner.
Chef Luck says it's "breaking bread virtually," and making the best of the challenging situation 2020 has presented.
"It's been extremely hard financially, emotionally, on our staff, on our business," said Chef Luck. "Every day is a struggle, and everyday is a fight."
Elizabeth Dapper, from Colorado Springs, has taken several of the classes Chef Luck has offered. She's learned a thing or two.
"It's diverse. There is a holiday bird cooking class, flat iron steak, buttermilk fried chicken," said Dapper. "Every single class, I've learned not just the recipe but the techniques that I can use all the time. It feels like going to culinary school."
Luck teaches the classes alongside his wife, who reads any comments or questions people may have. There is no limit to how many people can attend an online class. Luck says he's taught large classes, and some people have used the class as their Christmas party for work.
"I think it's great to be able to offer that to the community, because there's so much joy and memories created in the kitchen," said Luck. "We're seeing families and the kids cooking, and I get to see everyone interact with one another on Zoom."
Dapper says it's a great way to learn from a top chef, and make and enjoy a meal safely in the comfort of your own home.
"I really feel like during this time, it's become one of the most fun things that we've been able to do," said Dapper. "The classes become a date night for my husband and I."
During a time when it's all about survival, it's also about helping each other.
"This has been a great way to create hours for our staff, build kits, but also bring in some dollars which is the goal for everyone," said Luck. "I don't want to close my businesses. My staff depend on me."
"It is giving back to someone in our community that gives so much to our community," said Dapper. "It's just become a fun way to do something when we can't really go out right now, but also give back."
Luck also owns Lucky Dumpling. Between the two restaurant he employs about 50 people.
A meal kit and online class cost $45, and it comes with an appetizer and dessert. The entree is cooked with the help of Luck. If customers aren't able to make it to the restaurant to pick up the meal kit, Luck is also providing an ingredient list and recipe, along with the class, for $20.