Kitchen Social cooking school will open in Chesterfield by August

What’s better than learning how to make meals from a YouTube video or a Pinterest recipe? Learning how to make them with an experienced chef. That is the experience Charlie Ragle is bringing to 124 Chesterfield Commons East Road in Chesterfield this summer with his cooking school, Kitchen Social, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. 


Kitchen Social offers a hands-on concept that allows guests to make their own four-course meals based on different culinary themes with the guidance of an instructor. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own alcoholic beverages and are served appetizers upon arrival. 


The first Kitchen Social location in Fort Myers, Florida, opened in 2019. Ragle said it was a challenge during the height of the pandemic, but he’s seen a surge of customers come back. After taking multiple cooking classes over the years, he found that something was missing from the typical experience. “When I took a hands-on cooking class in the past, it would be certain members of the class would be assigned one of the courses, and that was it,” Ragle said. “I once went to a prime rib class, and I got assigned mashed potatoes. I already know how to do that! So, we set it up so every person gets to work on every part of the meal.” 


Ragle said he sees St. Louis as a foodie area that likes variety, and Kitchen Social will offer that in a fun atmosphere. He hopes to host everything from pasta, pizza, steak and sushi classes to French, Spanish and Italian, as well as date-night classes and private events like birthday parties or team-building events, along with more holiday-oriented nights, like the Luck of the Irish class he just completed at Kitchen Social in Fort Myers. “I like giving people what they want – if they want another pasta class, we’ll give them another pasta class,” Ragle said. “But if they want to feel like they’re spending the night in Paris, we can do that too.” 


The 1,400-square-foot space will feature a horseshoe-shaped counter with multiple cooking stations so guests can easily interact with one another. “It’s called Kitchen Social for a reason – we want people to socialize and be comfortable,” he said.  


Classes are about two-and-a-half to three hours long and can accommodate up to 16 people. “Generally, we have students work in teams of two, but you can work by yourself if you want,” Ragle explained. “Most people come in twos or fours and we sit them together.” A schedule is available at kitchensocial.com and allows you to see how many seats are left and sign up. Classes are typically about $69 per person but will vary depending on the ingredients required for the menu. Ragle is hiring full-time chefs, but also plans to welcome special guest chefs.