We had SO MUCH FUN in Nikki's cooking class! Nikki made the atmosphere fun and friendly. We learned about new techniques, new utensils, and tips on selecting good produce. This was entirely hands on; we were not just watching a demonstration. At the end, we students pushed the tables together and shared the meal. It was delicious and we got to take leftovers home. I plan to return and make this a girl's night out, maybe a birthday party...
- Becky Goodman, Santa Barbara
I truly can't say enough good things about Chef Nikki and her team at Heat!
We first met Nikki and her wonderful mom when my husband and I purchased a private cooking class at our home and we had so much fun with them on top of the amazing food we cooked together.
We loved them so much that we hoped we could afford them to cater our wedding. Chef Nikki worked with our budget to create a fantastic menu including wedding cupcakes. We also had them cater the rehearsal dinner. The food was spectacular (BBQ menu for the wedding and "Santa Barbara" style menu for the rehearsal dinner) and our guests raved about it. We decided on buffet style for both events but her team provided great service setting things up and cleaning up after. They also provided bartending service for the wedding.
Their food truck is of course awesome as well and I can't wait to attend one of the cooking classes at their place in Carpinteria.
The best part of Heat Culinary is really the people and their passion for what they do. I HIGHLY recommend them for any event and if you see their truck around town make sure you try it!
- Christina R., Goleta - CA.
I have gifted Chef Nikki's classes to my daughter, wife, mom, sister, and sister-in-law. Nikki is warm, fun, funny, a talented chef and teacher and the food that comes home from the classes is WONDERFUL! If there was 6th star on this app, Heat and Chef Nikki would get it from me
- Michael E., Chicago - IL.
So what can I say? Another fantastic night at the greatest cooking school! We haven't been back for a little while, but the minute we walk in it's like we're family and no time has passed. Nikki and her mom Jan go above and beyond to make you feel at home. Nikki transforms what could be very boring, technical cooking into an exciting adventure. You taste every part of the recipe as you're cooking so you can really understand what you are making. We end the night in a family feast that brings everyone together at the table to enjoy each other's company - something that is often lost these days. Last night's class was "Mother Sauces" and we loved the food! My favorite was the rigatoni with prosciutto and béchamel sauce and the asparagus with hollandaise. The Espagnole sauce was new to me and so scrumptious and who doesn't love fresh from the farm butter lettuce with all the fixings and homemade mustard vinaigrette?! Whenever possible, Nikki's uses only fresh ingredients from farmers market and always the highest quality products for all her recipes. As I've said before if you want to have a truly fantastic evening check out her website and the MANY classes available - sign up for one and I promise you will be signing up for them all!! Thanks Nikki and Jan.
- Laurie M., Carpinteria - CA.
My daughter hosted her birthday party here and all the kids raved about how much fun it was...and the food was delicious! Nikki and Jan were great with the kids and even my husband and I learned some cooking techniques. Can't wait to return for an adult class!
- Jen L., Santa Barbara - CA.
We hired HEAT Culinary to cater our wedding at Rockwood Women's Club in Santa Barbara in April 2017 and were beyond pleased we did! Nikki and Jan did an amazing job from the time we signed the contract to cleaning up post-reception.
They offered amazing food options (check out all the photos on Instagram) and we had such a fun time at the tasting with our families. In addition to providing delicious food, Nikki and Jan have great personalities and kept us smiling and laughing the whole time.
Nikki and her team went above and beyond for our wedding by offering to let us use some equipment they had stored, like a wooden easel at our ceremony! They came a day early to help set all the tables, fold napkins beautifully (and evenly!), etc. Along the way they worked easily with our wedding coordinator to come up with a precise and reasonable agenda, which they definitely stuck to.
The wedding day was perfect, and many guests commented on the great food and service by the catering staff! I recommend HEAT Culinary to cater any wedding!
- Leah & Doug Abate, Santa Barbara - CA.
We booked a private class with Chef Nikki for a bachelorette party and we were so impressed! They are so organized and the food was incredible. Chef Nikki was able to work around quite a few food sensitivities graciously and wrangled our crazy group impressively. Everyone in the group had such a great experience. The class was perfect for total novices as well as seasoned home cooks, so many good tips and tricks! We had TONS of left overs so take them seriously when they say to bring tupperware.
- Tricia W., Denver - CO.
Nikki (and fabulous team!),
Thank you so much for helping to make Leah & Doug’s wedding day flawless. They were so happy with the way everything turned out. I really appreciate all of you!
- Katie Schuette, KB Events SB
My mouth is watering thinking about the food Heat Culinary so artfully prepared for my wedding. I can't even say how many people said best wedding food ever and I KNOW they meant it. Nikki is so sweet and wonderful to work with, they really make you feel like family! From our initial contact, she was the first caterer that I had spoken with that finally understood that I wanted a tastefully crafted menu of our favorite foods and she NAILED it. Her food truck was a unique addition to our venue and her set up for serving our guests was so beautiful. Our tasting was amazing - I was in a food coma up until the wedding. Her entire team was professional and so fun to have at our wedding. I'm so excited to continue to see Nikki and her team at their cooking classes! Thank you SO much from the bottom of our hearts HEAT CULINARY TEAM! We can't thank you enough for making our wedding day a dream. I'm still dreaming about our truffle mashed potatoes.
- Alyssa & Eric
Best food. Best classes. Best chef!
- Lisa O.
Chef Nikki & her amazing team did a cooking competition for us at our annual company retreat. It was a lot of fun, everyone had a blast & I would recommend HEAT to anyone!! Thank you Nikki!
- Brandy B.
HEAT Culinary in the Press
National Award - Top 60 Culinary Blogs & Websites, 2017' https://blog.feedspot.com/culinary_blogs/
Carpinteria Small Business Excellence Award - Food Truck, 2017' http://www.smallbusinessexcellence.org/about-your-award/
Editorial in Santa Barbara Magazine, On a Roll, Spring 2015
Featured on WEV- Women's Economic Ventures, April 6th, 2015
Featured in Sentinel- Food File, April 4th, 2015 (pg. 24)
Featured in Coastal View News, January 2015 (pg. 21)
Featured in Noozhawk, January 2015
Featured in SantaBarbaraSkinny.com, February 2014
Editorial Seasons Magazine, Winter 2013
Editorial in 805 Magazine, Food & Wine Sept. 13' Issue
Featured in Santa Barbara Seasons, Summer 2013
"Cooking with Books" blogpost by Marnely Rodriguez-Murray
- Chef Nikki is an excellent instructor and helps you feel right at home in the kitchen. She makes the experience great fun and even complicated procedures seem easier to understand and execute! It is more like cooking with a friend than a professional chef! Nikki is full of energy and has a wonderful attitude toward cooking; you can tell she really loves to cook and teach you to be a better cook too. The skills I have learned from her can be put to use in my kitchen right away. I am sure that I will take more classes from her in the future. - Mark Davis
"As a Mother’s Day gift, I decided to take my Mom to one of Nikki's cooking classes....best idea ever! My Mom and I had a blast!! Nikki has a way of teaching the culinary arts in a casual, fun, and friendly environment that allows everyone to feel like they're cooking at home. The atmosphere was comfortable which made it easy to ask questions. I couldn't recommend Nikki's cooking classes enough. Fantastic time with a fantastic chef! - Justin Richardson
- Terrific Experience! Amazing food with a talented, friendly, and energetic teacher! Chef Nikki brings everything needed (and I mean everything, from the food and kitchen wares to cleaning supplies and trash bins!) - All you need to provide is a kitchen and a desire to learn. You can tell she is talented enough to work in any traditional restaurant environment, but that this is truly her passion. At the end of the evening, we were left with an enormous amount of delicious food, and Chef Nikki and her sous chef cleaned up and left our place spotless, much cleaner than when they arrived! The combination of food, service, attention to detail, and excitement was impeccable - can't wait to do dinner with her again soon! - Zachary Dominguez
- Chef Nikki and her Sous Chef extraordinaire are both AMAZING! This was the best class I have ever purchased! Chef Nikki is so talented and has studied with world-renowned chefs all over the world. She is the sweetest, most delightful person and her love for cooking shows in her infectious energy and her yummy dishes! I cannot believe how much we learned during this cooking lesson. - Jennifer Kinsella