You won’t have to sing for your supper at Kitchen Social, but you’ll definitely have to slice, dice, chop, and prep. Charlie Ragle, an entrepreneur and former television producer, launched the Fort Myers culinary experience in May. “I had been taking cooking classes for the past 10 years and was mostly disappointed,” he says. “So I kept notes on what I would have done differently.”
The St. Louis native came up with a large, horseshoe-shaped counter with a capacity of 16, where each guest gets a burner, cutting board, and chef’s knife. They participate in creating every detail of a four-course meal, and then sit down to dinner with their new friends when they’re done. Classes begin at $24.99 per person, and while pasta making is the most popular, Kitchen Social also offers tutorials on sushi, grilling, tacos, curry, and sous vide cooking. The facility may also be rented out for birthdays, anniversaries, children’s parties, and corporate events.
“People don’t come here for a culinary degree but for a fun night out,” says Ragle, who lives in Fort Myers. “Our chefs are happy to work with customers at all skill levels. They’re entertainers who can convey their passion for food and cooking.”