Live in New York City? Learn to Cook with Asphalt Green Battery Park Culinary Center!

This post is image heavy and EVERYTHING shown was handmade by me and my 3 other classmates at Culinary Boot Camp!

I can bake, but I really can’t cook. Not at all.

You know rice burns, taco shells melt and ummm stuffed tomatoes are more like pure mush.

So when I got the opportunity to take a cooking boot camp class I was all about it.

Culinary Boot Camp at Asphalt Green in Battery Park City is a 3-week class for beginners and semi-experienced cooks alike who want to take their skills to the next level.

Taught by Chef Ashton Keefe, Culinary Boot Camp will cover many different culinary techniques such as knife skills, braising, roasting, poaching and so on, in a three course block, that will all tie together and will help to instill confidence in daily home cooking and beyond.

Ashton is one of the many skilled instructors that teaches the Boot Camp class and also teaches several other cooking classes, including Entertaining and their newly added Date Night classes.

Some basic information is below:

  • Average Class Price – $110
  • Address – 212 North End Ave. Between Murray and Warren Streets
  • General Culinary Phone Line – 212.298.2935
  • Registration – Members and Non-Members can register for classes on-line or by calling the general culinary phone line
  • Classes are held all throughout the week for adults, teens and families

Ashton, founder and owner of Culinary Lifestyle Services, which specializes in boutique catering, food styling and culinary instruction will be the next chef to instruct Asphalt Green Battery Park City’s popular Culinary Boot Camp Series.

Ashton also edits Today Show regular and wine expert Leslie Sbrocco’s Thirsty Girl, and writes and develops recipes for “O Magazine,” Whole Foods Market Cooking and “Everyday with Rachael Ray.”

Her work has been featured on “Style Me Pretty” in conjunction with Sarah Pease aka “The Proposal Planner” of Brilliant Event Planning. She has worked with acclaimed chefs such as Marc Forgione and Marcus Samuelsson and TV chefs Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri.

I (SM) chatted with the Culinary Education Director Carey Nava (CN) and well as Ashton (AK) about Culinary Boot Camp, so check out some of the things they said below:-

SM: What’s the most unique part of the program?

CN: Our facility! Since we are located in a well-established NYC community center we are able to create really great programs that set us apart from the norm.We have weekly cooking classes for teens and for families to enjoy together. We are also getting ready to launch a series of cooking classes based around nutritional eating. We have a large fitness and training facility here so these classes will go hand in hand with the fitness mission our organization stands by. These classes also go hand in hand with any individual who is looking to obtain a healthy lifestyle through food

SM: What do you like the most about teaching?

AK: What I love about teaching is watching people learn how to do something they didn’t think they could. It’s amazing to see someone who says they “can’t cook” learn basic skills that apply to so many dishes.

SM: Is there something universal you see with each student passes through?

CN: Our classes are very hands on so one thing we witness a lot is the reluctance people express when a knife or spoon is put into their hand by a chef. When people leave, they are excited and express how they can’t wait to go home and try what they learned. It is a cool thing to experience!

SM: What are the most popular dishes people ask to make? What’s more popular sweet or savory?

AK: People love comfort food, for both sweet and savory. Roast chicken, roasts, simple salads, brownies, cookies, pies, etc.

SM: What about you? What’s your favourite item to make?

AK: Favorite food to make is Italian. I’m very much a sauce and cheese girl. Carbs and sweets are, unfortunately, a favorite to eat and make as well.

CN: That is not a fair question! Ha ha I love to make a lot of food. A perfectly seared piece of fish to a hearty lasagna but I will say I love to make and teach people how to make gnocchi! It is a food that seems intimidating but with a couple of nifty tricks, it is easy and fun and you can really play with it.

SM: Any comments for young, aspiring chefs? Or people who lack confidence in the kitchen that you’d like to impart?

AK: You can’t mess up. There’s something about not apologizing [like Julia Child said] about what you make. Cooking is about creating an experience for people, and believe it or not, that experience is about many other things beside the food. Pour your guest another glass or wine and smile, you’d be surprised how many people don’t notice the little mistake you can’t stop agonizing over.

Thanks ladies,

I had an awesome time!

Happy Cooking,

Pink Blog family! 🙂

Some great images below:-


Sasha H. Muradali owns the Little Pink Blog (part of Little Pink Book PR, LLC.) Sasha holds a MA International Administration with a concentration in Intercultural Communication from the University of Miami and a BS Public Relations and Dance from the University of Florida. She has been featured in Forbes, CNN and Business Week. Sasha tweets fervidly (@SashaHalima), loves Harry Potter and the colour pink. Find her on LinkedIn, get a copy of the Little Pink Blog delivered to your Kindle and ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook.

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  1. What a great post. Thank you! It was such a pleasure having you in the class!