Dishing Up Award Winning Classes Since 1995
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5440 Dixie Highway
Fairfield, OH 45014

The Cooking School has gone Virtual!

Welcome to the Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s International Market. Recreational cooks of every skill level will find our hands-on and demonstration classes to be fun, informative, and delicious. If you are traveling in Ohio or live in the Cincinnati area, we invite you to register for a cooking class and improve your culinary skills. The Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s International Market was voted the Best Of Cincinnati 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. We are now offering Virtual Classes to enjoy in your own home! Click the button below to learn more about our current class listings.

View Our Class Listing

Message from the Director

Dear Friends of the Cooking School,

We hope you are all healthy and safe. The Cooking School remains closed for in-person classes. We are excited to welcome you to our new Virtual Classes and hope you will consider joining us for a fun and interactive class from the comfort of your home. For more information visit our Class Listings.

Thanks for your ongoing support!
Leigh Barnhart Ochs – Cooking School Director

Featured by:

Cooking School Gift Certificates

Give the gift of a cooking class to your favorite foodie!
Can be purchased for $55, $75 or $100. Does not expire and can be purchased online or in-store.

Cooking School Cookbook

Give them a copy of the 15th Anniversary Cooking School Cookbook. A compilation of recipes from the school’s past and current instructors.

Virtual Classes are now available!

The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's is now offering Virtual Classes! Enjoy the excitement and knowledge of The Cooking School from the comfort of your home! You can choose to relax and watch the demonstration, or roll up your sleeves and join the fun. You can even purchase the class, plus a pre-portioned ingredients kit, to make everything easy! The only items you'll need to provide are the required utensils and equipment.

View Our Class Listing

What to Expect at Class

How long are the classes?
Our classes are 2 – 2 ½ hours in length (4-person workshops are an exception)

What kind of class format do you offer?
We offer both hands-on and demonstration classes.

Hands-On + Ingredients Kit
If you want full participation, look for the “Hands-On” option in the online store. This option also includes an ingredients kit to make everything easy! Hands-on class size is limited, so register early.

The chef will explain and prepare all menu items, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty. This option also allows you to purchase your ingredients! You will receive the recipes after you purchase the class.

What should I wear to class?
You can wear whatever you’d like! After all, you’re in your own home! However, we do recommend wearing comfortable clothing and shoes.

How to Attend a Virtual Class:
• After purchasing your class, you will receive an email one day before your class, containing a link and access code to your Virtual Classroom. The link leads to a program that is essential for viewing our course. Our Virtual Classes utilize Zoom Video Conferencing. No additional purchase necessary.
• When you receive your email, download the installer package and continue through the installation dialogue.
• Once installed, a window will automatically appear, asking you to either login or join a meeting. Click “Join a Meeting.” (Creating an account is optional, but not required.)
• The next few windows that appear will ask for the Meeting ID, and the Meeting Password, provided in the email. Please type the Meeting ID and Password as it appears in the email.
• Already downloaded Zoom? No problem! Input the Meeting ID and Password, and you’re ready!
• Congratulations! You can now watch our Virtual Class brought to you by The Cooking School in Jungle Jim’s Fairfield!

What is your cancellation policy?
Due to our Virtual Classes’ nature, we will not be able to issue refunds or credits to students who cancel their registration. The Cooking School reserves the right to cancel a class should it be necessary due to weather, other emergencies, or insufficient enrollment; students will then receive refunds.

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Beer & Food

Wine & Food

Wine Tasting

Virtual Classes

Culinary Trips Abroad

Take an international journey with the Cooking School's Culinary Trips Abroad! On each of our trips, you'll travel with Leigh and a group of like-minded curious travelers to discover foods from around the world. Each trip includes grand feasts where you'll dine on authentic international foods at local restaurants, time spent exploring famous cities or regions, and tours or educational classes where you'll learn about the region's local delicacies. When you travel with us, you'll have plenty of free time to explore on your own plus you'll gain access to expert epicurean knowledge through Leigh and our local guides! It's the best way to experience international food and culture!

For more information or to register call 513-674-6059

Emilia-Romagna, Italy – Off the Beaten Path

Friday, May 22 – Sunday, May 31, 2020
Benvenuti in Italia! Travel to Cento, Italy to meet Leigh and our host, Don Govoni, for our eighth unique culinary tour “off the beaten path” in the Emilia-Romagna region. Enjoy nine nights in beautiful Cento at the Hotel Europa and take leisurely day trips to the mountains, the plains and the Adriatic coast, all the while sampling the region’s splendid cuisine. Indulge in local specialties including handmade tortellini, cappellacci, and artisanal cured meats and cheeses. Eat, drink and be merry alongside the locals at a sagra as they celebrate and share their local specialty. Taste regional delicacies like borlenghi and tigelle – foods that even most Italians have never heard of, accompanied by local wines including the real Lambrusco. Savor the bounty of the sea where local fish and shellfish unique to the Adriatic are expertly prepared. We have added a day again to our trip this year to visit Fico Eataly World, the largest food park in the world. These are just a few of the epicurean delights that await those who join us on this tour. Don spends months each year in his ancestral home and is excited to again showcase this region that is seldom explored by tourists.

Highlights include:
• Lunch and afternoon at an agriturismo
• Attending a local sagra (festival)
• Visit the Republic of San Marino
• Enjoying fresh seafood on the Adriatic coast
• View Parmigiano Reggiano production
• Experience borlenghi and tigelle in the foothills of Modena
• Tours of a balsamic vinegar acetaia, the Cento Market, and a
cured meats facility
• Indulge in mushrooms and truffles in the Appenine Mountains
• Pasta Making class in Cento
• Gelato Master Class Gelato University in Bologna, Italy
• Fico Eataly World, Bologna

• $3000.00 per person, double occupancy (airfare on your own)
• $275.00 Single Supplement
• Space is limited
• A $1000.00 per person non-refundable deposit will secure your reservation
• Balance of $2000.00 due no later than February 29, 2020
• Includes breakfast daily, 7 group lunches with wine, 4 group dinners with wine, group airport transfers (one designated time), ground transportation for group activities throughout the week.
• For more information or to register call 513-674-6059

For more information or to register call 513-674-6059

The Wine and Food of Tuscany

Sunday, May 31 – Sunday, June 7, 2020
Travel to Greve in Chianti, Italy to meet Leigh for our third wine and food tour in the beautiful region of Tuscany. Enjoy seven nights in quaint Greve, located between Florence and Siena. Our hotel (Albergo Del Chianti) is on the charming main piazza and within walking distance to many restaurants and shops.

From our base in Greve, we will visit the historical villages of San Gimignano, Montalcino and Siena. Our winery visits with tour, tasting and lunch include Felsina, Casato Prime Donna (winemaker and vintners are all women), Fattoria Poggio Alloro (family owned) and Sant’Agnese Farm (boutique winery). We have lunches and dinners planned to showcase the beauty and cuisine of the region. There will be a full free day in Florence and open afternoons in San Gimignano, Montalcino and Siena.

Highlights include:
• Welcome dinner at a highly regarded restaurant in tiny Lamole
• Agriturismo visit with tour, wine tasting and lunch
• Market day in Greve in Chianti
• Winery tour, Brunello tasting and lunch in Montalcino
• Dinner with the famous “Butcher of Panzano” (Officina della Bistecca)
• Boutique winery and farm, tour/tasting and lunch
• Farewell dinner on the piazza in Greve

• $2900.00 per person, double occupancy (airfare on your own)
• $375.00 single supplement
• $1000.00 per person non-refundable deposit will secure your reservation
• Balance of $1900.00 due no later than February 29, 2020
• Includes breakfast daily, 8 group meals with wine, group airport transfers (one designated time) and ground transportation for group activities
• Space is Limited. For more information or to register call 513-674-6059

For more information or to register call 513-674-6059

Leigh Barnhart Ochs (Director)

Leigh is the director of The Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s International Market. She was a guest instructor at The Cooking School from 2005- 2010 when she assumed directorship. Her training includes ten years of cooking school sessions at LaVarenne at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, cooking and studying with Julia Child, Anne Willan, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Todd English and other top chefs in the industry. Leigh has worked as both a personal and private chef and owned a cafe in Cincinnati. She has made appearances in the cooking segments for “The List”, WCPO Channel 9, WKRC, Channel 12, WDTN, and Fox’s 19 Morning Extra Show along with radio and newspaper features. Leigh has served in recipe development as well as recipe testing for a James Beard Award winning author. Be Your Guest (2005), Leigh’s first cookbook, teaches busy people how to prepare simple, make-ahead recipes for maximum flavor with minimum work. She compiled and edited The Cooking School’s 15 Years of Cooking School Recipes (2010). Currently she is working on another cookbook. Her professional membership includes the United States Personal Chef Association (USPA). Leigh holds a Bachelor’s degree from Miami University and a Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Instructional Team

Local, regional, national and international chefs make up our instructional team each session. In-house wine and beer experts along with distillery representatives provide current information that enhances the exciting menus and delectable recipes our chefs cook up for class. It has never been easier or more convenient to experience a culinary adventure right here in Cincinnati!

Susan Diehl
Born in Cincinnati, Susan spent a few years and many summers in England. While abroad she attended a private school and majored in culinary skills, receiving her training from chefs from the Cordon Bleu in Paris. Susan opened ‘Epicuriosity,’ Cincinnati’s first gourmet carryout and catering business in 1985. She is currently a chef at Garnish Catering.

Don Govoni
Don Govoni is a professional chemist and chemistry professor with a passion for Italian cooking, in particular the regional cuisine of Emilia-Romagna. Over the past 25 years, Don has been refining his skills at making homemade pasta that he learned from his grandmother and relatives who live in the fertile plain outside of Bologna. He lives part of the year in the town of Cento, which is situated between the cities of Bologna, Modena and Ferrara, and may be the gastronomic epicenter of Italy. Don combines his passion for Italian cooking with his passion for teaching and is also an experienced winemaker, sausage maker and makes the cured meats of his region.

Rita Heikenfeld
Rita is a certified herbalist and a featured national speaker. She’s a member of IACP, a certified Professional Level II instructor, an award winning syndicated food columnist in the Community Press Newspapers and author of several cookbooks. The founding editor of her website “” and her blog “Cooking with Rita” on, Rita also has an international weekly cooking segment on Sacred Heart Radio, and is a resident herbalist for Granny’s Garden School, Natorp’s Garden stores and Fox 19’s Morning Extra show.

Renee Levy
Renee was born in Panama and is truly bicultural having lived in several Latin American countries including Colombia and Mexico as well the United States. She taught elementary school Spanish for five years. She is a graduate of the Cordon Bleu Mexico City. Renee’s passion is healthy, clean cooking that doesn’t compromise taste. She currently works at Garnish Catering.

Catrina Mills
Catrina was born and raised in two great food cities: Chicago and New Orleans. After serving in the Air Force, she spent 21 years working for the VA. She is a trained chef having graduated from the Midwest Culinary Institute and the University of Cincinnati, a cooking instructor, mother, culinologist, published author and creator of her own line of spices. She owns her own catering business in Cincinnati.

Bryn Mooth
Bryn is the editor of Edible Ohio Valley magazine and author of “The Findlay Market Cookbook.” She also writes the Midwest-based food blog, which share recipes, kitchen wisdom and explores regional foods and producers. While she doesn’t hold a formal cooking degree, she trained in the kitchens of her mother and grandmothers. She and her husband, Rob, are avid cooks, wine lovers and advocates for the Cincinnati food community.

Ellen Mueller
Ellen loves to cook and entertain family and friends. Since Ellen is Greek, food is the cornerstone of many family functions and traditions. She has been a sous chef at Jungle’s Jim’s for six years and teaches Mediterranean classes. Her love of cooking continues to be inspired by the many chefs she assists at the school.

Laura Rinsky
Laura, although born in Cincinnati, has taken her passion for cooking around the globe. Combining her culinary talents and love of travel she has engineered her career to include cooking classes from many parts of the world. After volunteering for many years at the Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s she extended her passion into teaching others. Family and friends know that dining at Laura’s for special occasions is always a great treat. Laura is owner of Wayfarer Travel in Madeira, Cincinnati’s oldest independent agency.

David Schmerr
Dave started making wine when he was a teenager and that started a lifetime of being in the wine business. Dave worked at Shillito’s for 3 years until he began working in the wholesale business with the 7th largest wholesaler in the United States, Allied Wine and Spirits. After a 9 year stint as a wine buyer/manager he came to Jungle Jim’s in 1987 as the wine buyer/director. Dave does wine tastings at Jungle Jim’s and travels extensively throughout the wine world.

Rob Seideman
As the founder of Salt Traders, Rob is credited with popularizing gourmet salts as we know them today. He’s also the founder of the Cooking School of Aspen, served as the food columnist for the Aspen Daily News, and now assists food companies around the globe with strategy and innovation. He has also led culinary adventures throughout Italy, Morocco and South Africa.

Madhu Sinha
Born and raised in India, Madhu Sinha came to Cincinnati 13 years ago. Cooking is a passion with her. She loves to encourage her students to bring in the warm, nutty, and fragrant Indian spices into their kitchens and into their hearts. She holds a doctoral degree in Victorian Literature and teaches at the Miami University Hamilton campus.

Calvin Tam
Born in China, Calvin moved to Cincinnati during his teen years. In high school he learned to make sushi and now is an accomplished expert. Calvin likes to experiment using different ingredients in his sushi. He is the owner of Sushi Monk, a restaurant specializing in sushi and Japanese cuisine. He offers custom catering and specialized sushi instruction. He is also the owner of Monk Express, his new food truck.

Our StaffJenny Rupp (Office Manager)
Most of the time you’ll hear her voice over the phone, she will also assist at classes.

Ellen Mueller, Debbie LaVoie, and Catrina Mills (Sous Chefs)
They are instrumental in preparing for classes and keeping the school in good running condition.

Lora Allen, Anne Burkhart, Doris Delaney, Susan Diehl, Linda Jamison, Sheryl Jones, Marilyn McKnight, Debbie Menninger, Lyn Plummer, Marian Riestenberg, Laura Rinsky, and Mike Sprinkel (Classroom Assistants)
As the backbone of the school, their efforts before and during class enable our program to run smoothly and efficiently. All of our instructors are most grateful for the help they provide during their classes.

Add flavor and fun to your next event!

Need a new place for get-togethers with co-workers, family and friends? Schedule a Private Cooking Class designed just for you and your group! Our cooking classes are always fun and informative, and you can select from two different formats: demonstration or hands-on. Menu options are endless.

Demonstration classes are great if you have a group of 40 or less who want to eat a great meal and learn how it is prepared, but want us to do the cooking. You and your guests can sit back, enjoy the show and eat some great food. Or maybe your group is a bit more adventurous. If so, schedule a hands-on class for up to 16 people. You and your guests will roll up your sleeves and learn to cook. Select from many great classes for a fun-filled event!

Contact us for more information and to make reservations.


Located Inside Jungle Jim’s Fairfield Location!
Entrance for The Cooking School is located in the first aisle of the Beer & Wine Department.

The Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s International Market
5440 Dixie Highway
Fairfield, OH 45014

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