Cooking Class with Will Gilson + Giveaway!

Will Gilson
It’s been almost half a year since that fateful day when Will Gilson announced he was leaving Garden at the Cellar. I remember the shock, the sadness, and hopelessness I felt when I found out the terrifying news.

What to do now? Garden at the Cellar was our go-to place, our neighborhood restaurant less than a 3-minute walk from our home. Where would Will go?

Well, for those of you who have been following Will’s whereabouts, you know that he spent the summer at a pop-up restaurant inside of Adrian’s Restaurant in Truro, MA (near Provincetown at the Cape). But summer was far from over.

Where has Will been since then?

Just a few weeks ago, I got an email inviting me to attend a cooking class with Will Gilson. It didn’t take me long to reply “yes please!”
Muir Glen Tomato Cans
Muir Glen, one of the largest producers of organic canned tomatoes, sponsored this class. You may remember a Muir Glen event I went to last year, where Will cooked up a bunch of different dishes using Muir Glen’s Reserve canned tomatoes.Will Gilson
This year they decided to vary it up a bit, and instead hold an intimate cooking class at the Boston School of Adult Education.
BCAE Cooking Class
Along with a small bunch of folks (many bloggers like myself), I got my hands dirty and started chopping, chopping, and chopping!
Chopping Vegetables
I prepped the herbs, while others diced cucumbers, summer squash, and eggplant. Can you guess what we are making? BCAE Cooking Class
As we stood around the gorgeous kitchen at BCAE, Will talked to us about the key elements to making a good ratatouille (and no, this version is way easier than the Thomas Keller-like version you see in the movie!).
One is to add ingredients in the reverse order of how long each takes to cook. First saute the onions in olive oil, then add the eggplant and peppers. Finally, after about 10 minutes, add the canned tomatoes and zucchini.  Will Gilson
Will also showed us how to make his classic tomato soup, which was super popular (and probably still is!) at Garden at the Cellar. The version incorporated smoked paprika as well as tarragon. For an even smokier depth, use fire roasted tomatoes instead.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Served together with grilled cheese sandwiches, it was the perfect combo.BCAE Cooking Class
After the cooking lesson, we sat down to enjoy the fruits of our hard work! Muir Glen Tomatoes Reserved
First, we tried the Reserve tomatoes right out of the can! This year’s reserve tomatoes are really pretty because they are a mixture of yellow and red tomatoes. They were actually quite flavorful by themselves. It was a tad saltier than I liked, but would work perfectly mixed with pasta or rice.
We then sampled the ratatouille, which was rustic, healthy, and quite tasty. I still personally prefer the Thomas Keller version. However, if you don’t have three hours to kill, this one comes together nicely in less than 20 minutes!
Tomato Soup Grilled Cheese
We also tasted his classic tomato soup as well as some grilled cheese sandwiches. This soup is always good, and easy to make at home (post coming soon!)

What else is Will up to?
He’s teaching a class for culinary students at Newbury College. In fact, he will be setting up a pop-up restaurant at the school in December with his students helping as part of their final project. They are doing an upscale take on “dorm food.” Rumor has it that O Ya’s chef will be helping out by teaching them how to make his interpretation of ramen!

Will has also been working weekends at various places. He still cooks at the Herb Lyceum, his parent’s restaurant in Groton, on most weekends. He’s also cooked at Menton one weekend, and talked about maybe stopping by Clio for a weekend to work as well.

He was mum about any new brick & mortar plans, unfortunately, although he promised he would let us know as soon as he could.

Of course, I tried to convince him to open up a restaurant in my new hood. We’ll see if he takes my suggestions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ratatouille with Muir Glen Tomatoes
Will Gilson
Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Start to Finish: 25 Minutes
Serves 4   

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 small eggplant, cubed 2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) Muir Glenยฎ diced tomatoes
3 to 4 small zucchini or summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In 4-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add eggplant; stir until coated with oil. Add peppers; stir to combine.

2. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep vegetables from sticking.

3. Add tomatoes, zucchini and herbs; mix well.

4. Cover and cook over low heat about 15 minutes or until eggplant is tender but not too soft.


 Muir Glen was generously enough to give me THREE special baskets full of this summer’s harvest of tomatoes! In each basket you get 2 cans of organic reserve tomatoes, 1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies, and 1 can of no salt diced tomatoes. You also get a fun little recipe book that includes dishes designed by various chefs around the US, including Will.

To enter, please comment below letting me know what kind of posts you enjoy or would love to see on Tiny Urban Kitchen. You can suggest a particular restaurant write-up, a dish for me to make, or just any food (or even travel) topic.  Of course I can’t promise to write about them all, but perhaps you’ll inspire me to try something I never would have thought of otherwise.

1 entry per person. US addresses only. Giveaway ends this Thursday, November 3rd at midnight, Eastern Standard Time. I reserve the right to pick a new winner if I cannot contact a winner after 3 days.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: Muir Glen sponsored the cooking class, the food, and the Giveaway prizes
ยฉ2009-2014 Tiny Urban Kitchen
All Rights Reserved

Latest Chinese recipes!



  1. Shani Gentry Cincotti says

    I think it’s time for you to update your review of Little Q Hot Pot now that they are all settled in Arlington. 

  2. Meister @ The Nervous Cook says

    What a great post this is: I love reading about your cooking adventures, but I also love all of your restaurant round ups and reviews. (And that’s really saying something, because I normally hate reviewy blog posts.)

    Your voice is one of my favorites, and I love your blog. Makes me miss Boston something terrible! Keep up the great work.

  3. Lydia says

    I love your blog on restaurants and the recipes! I find that the recipes that you posted are simple and yet very flavorful. I really like food and love to cook new dishes or experiencing different ingredients! The best part is you have photos to show what the ingredients are for the recipes so I know what to pick up/look for in the grocery stores. Also, I really like to see more Asian recipes and pastry recipes. =)

  4. Linda Madura says

    I love Boston, but I don’t live there, so the restaurant reviews are nice, but not too useful.  The recipes, on the other hand, ARE!  No matter what you choose to show us, I am always able to take something away to try for myself.  Thanks for the good work!

  5. says

    I enjoy the “local” (Cambridge/Somerville) reviews since they’re places I could actually go to!  And simple/quick recipes are always a winner  :]

  6. Jessica W. says

    I definitely look forward to the recipe posts. I love finding new recipes to
    try! Thank you for the giveaway!


  7. Ben Roberts says

    I love all of your posts. Mostly I enjoy reading your local Boston area reviews but recipes are a close second. I suggest you try out Sugar and Spice in Porter Square, or The Red Lentil in Watertown – perhaps two of my favorite spots!
    Oh, and I’d love to win too.

  8. FunandFearlessinBeantown says

    What a great giveaway!  I love it when you are creative in the kitchen so I’d love to see some molecular gastronomy posts!

  9. Fred K says

    I love the local, boston centric posts as well as the quick and easy recipes that are great for people with a busy schedule!
    Thanks for the blog and this great contest!

  10. Laura says

    I enjoy your restaurant reviews.  Have you been to Blue Ribbon BBQ in Newton or Arlington or Sichuan Gourmet in Framingham?  I’d love to know your opinion of those two restaurants.  Thanks!

  11. YenaH says

    I would love to see a post about Seattle (if you’ve ever visited)! I live in Seattle and I absolutely love the food here :) 

  12. Singing Chef says

    I was lead to your blog by your former piano teacher, my daughter’s current teacher, who saw me perusing 2 new cookbooks. As a professional singer who loves to eat everywhere I perform, I especially love your restaurant reviews. I enjoyed your pics and description of your French Laundry experience. A dear friend of mine had a 15-course meal there several months back, and I am very jealous! Thanks for your insight and gorgeous pictures!

  13. Dee says

    I love Muir Glen! Could you please write a restaurant review of a place you’ve discovered in your new neighborhood?

  14. Janstar says

    I would love to see your own version on some of the dishes you have had while traveling! Photos too please. So appetizing. :-)

  15. Teresa Peterson says

    I recently was turned onto your blog by a friend and I have to say it’s really made going out in Boston a blast! 

    Garden at the Cellar was probably the first place I had lunch in Boston and I was so upset when I heard about Will’s departure (that soup is heavenly).  I love your stories about exclusive foodie events like this and would love to hear more and more of them! 

    I’m also a big fan of your restaurant reviews so keep em coming!  Have you ever been to Carlo’s Cucina Italiana in Allston?  It honestly has to be one of my favorite Italian places in the Boston area – it’s a tiny hole in the wall in Allston that doesn’t look that interesting from the outside but has the most amazing food and a really nice waitstaff (Carlo’s various family members).  If you’ve never been I highly recommend it and I’d love to see a write-up someday!

    And, as a former Seattlite myself I have to agree with YenaH – if you haven’t been yet, Seattle should be on your to-do list ^_^.

  16. Kari G. says

    I enjoyed the Autumn recipes post.  I’d like to see a few more posts with seasonally inspired recipes (I’ve got a lot of CSA squash, root veggies, etc just waiting to be used!).  

  17. says

    Great giveaway!  And I’m so jealous that you got to cook with Will Gilson.  I’d be interested in seeing reviews of some of the new stuff happening in Kendall Square (Abigail’s, Catalyst, maybe Meadhall).  There seems to be an upsurge of new places in that neck of the woods.

  18. Nancy says

    As winter approaches I’d love to see more comfort food recipes with a healthy spin. Your’re the best! Also more ‘reviews’ of local neighborhood joints — thanks!

  19. Jenni Li says

    I love seeing some of your easier recipes -as well as the Asian ones! And your reviews are stunning. I wouldn’t mind seeing some mixed-cuisine foods, however, as I eat Peruvian-Chinese foods and am interested in other cultures, and know I’m missing out on some really great medleys. Thanks for such an awesome blog! :)

  20. Kim Y says

    Hi!  I first found your blog while looking for a nian gao recipe, then doodled around and saw your hand-pulled noodles (wow) and numerous other recipes.  Could you do a post on seitan/vegetable proteins?  It seems like a great topic for your sciency food descriptions.  Thanks

  21. scrapper al says

    I especially enjoy your family recipe posts. I think the history behind the dishes is almost as important as the flavors.

  22. ltcookies says

    I know the giveaway is over, but I would love to see you do a version of David Chang’s Bo Ssam. I’ve been curious about trying to make a homemade version for some time now.

  23. mengli321 says

    Nikeのハイエンドのヴィトン バッグサッカーシューズのシリーズELITEある去年派手な1時、adidasは品質はNIKEに負けませんますが、しかし位置付けの上で風下に降りました。近日、1組のサッカーシューズのスパイはによってadidasの重いサッカーシューズのシューズ 通販王の席に帰る遠大な抱負を暴露しました。adidasはadiPOWER PREDATORが発表すアディダス スニーカーることをきっかけにするを、SLシリーズのトップクラスのサッカーシューズの製品を出して、その中はPREDATOR SLとadiPURE SLを含みました。2足の靴はニューバランス 993すべてF50を採用しました adiZEROの軽量で大きい底、靴の表面の材質も普通な版と違い、大いに重さを軽減しました。さらに加えて再びサッカーシューズの軽量の王冠のF50を奪います adiZERO PRIME,adidasのトップクラスのサッカーのシリーズはすでに準備し出発を待ちました。NIKEとadidasの双雄moncler ベスト間もなく引き離す大きい幕。

  24. says

    To clean grease and leftover food from your disposal and sharpen the blades at the same time, sprinkle liberally with baking soda and pour white vinegar over until it bubbles. Let set ten minutes. Rinse with hot water. 

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