The Everyday Gourmet: Making Great Meals in Less Time

In partnership with
Chef Bill Briwa,
The Culinary Institute of America
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3.8 out of 5
43 Reviews
69% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 9211
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Course Overview

We’d all love to create the same wholesome, delicious meals that professional chefs make. But the one thing that often prevents us from doing so: lack of time.

While a lot of TV shows and cookbooks out there focus on quick and simple meals, what they tend to skip is teaching you the actual time-saving techniques themselves. It’s not the 5-minute breakfast or the 30-minute dinner that matters; it’s being able to use the same skills, strategies, and tricks that chefs use so you can make every meal you cook not just great tasting—but an efficient use of your personal time.

The secrets to making great meals in less time are simple and easy to learn. And once you’ve mastered them, you’ll be able to

  • use your time more effectively in the kitchen,
  • enhance your cooking skills with a range of everyday items,
  • avoid giving in to the temptation—and poor nutrition—of fast food, and
  • discover just how enriching and rewarding the experience of cooking can be.

And the best part: These techniques can be applied to every meal and almost every dish imaginable, whether you’re cooking for yourself or for that next big dinner party.

In The Everyday Gourmet: Making Great Meals in Less Time, award-winning Chef-Instructor Bill Briwa of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America gets you off the fast-food treadmill to learn tips, techniques, recipes, and simple ingredients to keep on hand for quick, healthy meals that will delight your family and friends. These six innovative and practical lessons, filmed on location at the CIA’s Greystone campus in Napa Valley, are your chance to learn the time-saving secrets of chefs so you can make tasty and rewarding dishes—from appetizers to main courses to desserts—whenever you’re strapped for time.

Time-Saving Insights to Cook Smarter

As Chef Briwa demonstrates throughout this course, the secret to making great meals in less time is learning how to cook and think about kitchen tools and ingredients as professional chefs do working in their own kitchens, where time is always of the essence. His goal is not just to teach you how to cook faster, but how to cook smarter. And by cooking smarter, you’ll turn out better-quality food and enjoy your efforts more, meal after meal.

Every lesson of Making Great Meals in Less Time is filled with insights you can return to again and again whenever you crave a home-cooked meal but are pressed for time.

  • Divide kitchen time into parts: Mentally separate your time into three parts to help make cooking more manageable. The first part should be for prepping ingredients and getting things started; the second for keeping up with different tasks; and the third for finishing your dishes—putting the focus on the details of seasoning and presentation, where it belongs.
  • Use what you already have: There is an untapped wealth of cooking ideas right in your pantry or fridge. Chef Briwa suggests getting creative (and economical) by using what’s already around you, such as leftovers and canned or jarred items. Then, all you need to do is incorporate a single fresh ingredient to elevate your meal into something spectacular.
  • It’s OK to buy dessert: Keep dinner parties simple by ending the meal with store-bought desserts such as small pastries or ice cream with a spectacular sauce and favorite cookies. That way, you can focus your time and effort on cooking a spectacular main course—while still giving guests something sweet afterward.

Delicious Recipes from an Expert Chef

Of course, a highlight of this course is the recipes themselves. In Making Great Meals in Less Time, Chef Briwa provides you with many recipes that you can add to your collection or enhance with your own personal touches.

Some of the dishes and meals you’ll learn how to make include

  • breakfast fried rice, complete with eggs and mushrooms;
  • hearty clam chowder, with variations featuring corn and fish; and
  • panzanella, an Italian bread salad tossed with tomatoes and fresh herbs.

Making Great Meals in Less Time allows you to follow Chef Briwa step by step as he prepares, cooks, and plates these and many other magnificent, good-for-you dishes and meals. And the course comes complete with a guidebook featuring recipes, techniques, and full-color photos.

As soon as you start the first lesson, you’ll immediately learn why so many lifelong learners have praised Chef Briwa’s ability to make cooking look engaging, exciting, and easy for any interested home cook. And he brings his more than 30 years of cooking and instruction experience into every minute of this series.

So whether you’re cooking for an everyday meal or a special occasion, take the stress out of your kitchen and discover just how rewarding it can be to make delicious home-cooked meals in less time.

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6 lectures
 |  Average 33 minutes each
  • 1
    Into the Mind of a Chef
    Discover that the secret to making great meals in less time lies in thinking like a chef. Here, you’ll learn several techniques for turning out restaurant-quality food without all the stress, including a braised osso buco that almost cooks itself and a risotto that requires only 20 minutes of your undivided attention. x
  • 2
    Launching the Day
    Take the hassle out of making what’s undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. Chef Briwa shows you different recipes and ideas for putting together a quick and well-rounded breakfast, including a basic muffin recipe, whole-grain cereal with fruit and nuts, and a traditional Chinese fried rice, just right for breakfast. x
  • 3
    One Fresh Thing
    Learn how to cook with what’s on hand in your house—and elevate it with a simple fresh ingredient or two. By cooking with canned beans, jarred pesto, leftover bread, “planned overs,” and more, you’ll be able to create dishes ranging from a hearty frittata to a fresh take on minestrone soup. x
  • 4
    Evolution of a Quick Dish
    Focus on making—and adding your own personal touches to—a basic chowder recipe, a classic quick and filling meal. As Chef Briwa takes you step by step through this dish, he demonstrates how to make your chowders special by using everything from chorizo to fish to corn. x
  • 5
    What Makes a Meal?
    Even simple dishes that don’t take much time can be well-rounded, unforgettable meals. Discover how to transform items as simple as cheese, grapes, tomatoes, a head of cauliflower, and a bunch of endives into multilayered, complete meals that will excite your palate and show off your kitchen skills. x
  • 6
    A Chef Entertains
    How can you make cooking for others more enjoyable? Break down the menu for a dinner party into more manageable tasks. Find out how to remove the stress from a multicourse meal for a group featuring several appetizers, a bread salad, steak with chimichurri sauce, plank-roasted salmon, and a surprisingly simple dessert. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 6 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 6 lectures on 1 DVD
  • 80-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 80-page printed course guidebook
  • Full-color photographs
  • Recipes
  • Glossary

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Your professor

Bill Briwa

About Your Professor

Bill Briwa
The Culinary Institute of America
A popular chef-instructor at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Bill Briwa has worked in the hospitality business as a professional chef and culinary instructor for experts and laypeople around the world for more than 30 years. He was the resident chef for The Hess Collection Winery in the Napa Valley, California; the executive chef for The Wine Spectator Restaurant at the CIA at Greystone; and an officer on the board...
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The Everyday Gourmet: Making Great Meals in Less Time is rated 3.8 out of 5 by 43.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun Course! I am a total cooking novice, and this course was my first exposure to the "how to's" of cooking. I found the lectures fascinating and a lot of fun. I really like Chef Briwa's personal style, and I found myself engrossed in these lectures such that I was always surprised and disappointed when each lecture was over. This course has inspired me to take a couple of the other cooking courses that feature Chef Briwa. High marks!
Date published: 2018-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from inspiring I've already got a couple of Chef Briwa's DVDs so I knew what I was getting into with this one. This is just like his other ones, so I found myself absorbed at the get-go. Absolutely love the hardback Guidebook, color pictures and all. List of important terms in each chapter is essential, especially if you don't don't exactly know your way around the kitchen. I feel really stupid admitting this, but the Menu-Planning Template is at least handy and nearly revolutionary. Tried a few recipes already. Not too difficult and taste great. A+ for the chowders, breakfast recipes, and cauliflower steaks. But yes, effort is needed. And it takes careful thought to prepare ahead of time. When I first started making meals at home, I was a bit slow with kitchen tools and appliances. With time and experience, you get faster. Glad I invested in a few better pots and pans, sharper knives, and cooking gadgets. The kitchen ain't so scary anymore, and I'm eating more and better homemade food. Honestly, I don't think I've saved any time yet. For me, no matter how you look at it, cooking is still a bit of an enjoyable chore that I'm learning. Indeed, a bowl of Cheerios is faster than these dishes. And so is a donut or muffin on the run. But the variety and quality is a nice change of pace for me. As always, the Everyday Gourmet series is an engaging experience in the kitchen.
Date published: 2017-11-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Was shipped on the back of a mule. Not viewed Saw the front cover and read the title. Pretty picture.
Date published: 2017-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Essential stuffs I am happy to have this because now I can quickly prepare a delicious meal for me
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It's kind of exactly like a cooking show The first episode is how to make a very specific (and honestly, not that appealing) meal. I thought it was going to be more generic suggestions for what makes a great meal, and how to save time. Instructions on making a specific meal are commonplace (and usually free) nowadays.
Date published: 2017-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Course and Instructor Bill Briwa is down to earth, he knows his subject well, and he does a great job presenting his ideas. This course shows how to prepare a good meal with minimal effort, mostly using ingredients that are likely to be on hand. Briwa shows examples of this, but the important thing for viewers is to learn Briwa's philosophy of how to prepare a good meal. The value on 6-lecture courses is not good, compared to other courses, because the cost per lecture for this format is so much higher, even when someone purchases the download only option. Aside from that, this is an excellent course.
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not what I expected Thought the course might be directed to the busy, perhaps working, individual who is pressed to present a decent meal in short order. Maybe, even, the person doesn't have time to shop everyday, so working out of the pantry, what could they make. Instead, exotic ingredients not found in what I think is the normal pantry. He initially tried to to stress the time to make the dish, but then totally forgot to think of the person who doesn't have cleaned and chopped vegetables at the ready.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not impressed Host is annoying and makes meals that are not really that healthy and don't even seem like they taste that great. This must have been made about 10 years ago
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not up to expctations. Does not teach how to make meals in less time than similar meals, thus it did not serve the purpose for which we purchased it. I was disappointed.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not so fast meals Bill is entertaining as ever but his choice of meals prepared was neither quick nor inspiring.
Date published: 2016-10-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Nothing quick about the recipes he teaches One of the main dishes from the fist video took 3 hours, and most of what he shows is not even a full meal, it is just the main dish. There is a total disregard for the fact that we would have to do all the prep work versus having a bunch of ingredients fully prepped as he does. For a quick breakfast, make batter and bake muffins? Or stove-made 7 grain cereal, where you have to toast sesame seeds first, grind spices in a spice grinder? For another meal, make beans after soaking them for 1.5 hours? The only things that were at all quick relied on us having things like leftover pesto, etc. on hand. I expected this to be about how to create a full meal in ~30 minutes or so, and though I've only watched the first 3, I've found nothing useful for that.
Date published: 2016-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great intro to the world of cooking I decided to investigate cooking after 70 years of taking the easy way out. This six lesson course was enough of an intro for me to purchase two additional courses. Chef Briwa presented the various meals in a manner that was easy to understand. He presented the course material in a way I could understand yet not be intimidated. The only suggestion I might make is recipes for the single person and not a family setting.
Date published: 2016-08-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from "Less time" does not live up to its billing. The grilled cheese, for example, takes much longer than a traditional one. Obtaining ingredients is also time consuming. Ten-grain cereals?! Get real.
Date published: 2016-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everyday Gourmet Chef Briwa very engaging to watch. I have been cooking for many years, but still got a lot of great tips and tricks. And so glad the recipes are included. Every cooking lesson is very well produced.
Date published: 2016-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Litorally good stuff I enjoy cooking, but my level of expertise is limited. Chef Briwa does an excellent job of presenting cooking techniques using recipes leaving no gaps in materials and qualities of food used, His presentation is clear and thoughtful. This course fills in numerous gaps in my cooking knowledge. I particularly like the idea of being able to review his lectures to clarify various points of instruction. This is an excellent course.
Date published: 2016-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Improvedent ability and enjoyment of cooking Wonderful course taking you back to basics so you can achieve much more. Practical tips on using a thermometer which has irradicated my anxiety about giving people food poisoning to broader areas such as using your time in the kitchen as an antidote to the pressures of life, to healthy eating. After this one I bought most of the other courses recorded by Chef Bill. My family are now fed up with me saying "Bill would say .........". In fact the thermometer's nickname is called Bil !! Go ahead and buy it. It's great value.
Date published: 2015-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from everyday gourmet I did quite enjoy the course and picked up a few tips, although mostly I think you could just read a recipe book, there were a few nougats of gold. The less you know about cooking the more you will gain from it. I did try the Osso Buco recipe, and I have to say it was delicious, and slightly beat the flavour of the original recipe that my father cooked form his book. There were some points of interest for me such as Arancini, and I did gain some extra knowledge about Spanish and Italian cooking. However I think what would be more useful to me would be an in depth course on knife skills, such as all the styles of chopping veg up to carving veg,fish and meat, and how to cook the various basic sauces used by the French chefs, as my knowledge of this is a bit scant. All in all the course was enjoyable if not to just think about cooking something new, and he is a good instructor.
Date published: 2015-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chef Briwa is a Fabulous Instructor I have purchased all of Chef Briwa's courses and have been very satisfied. I pick up useful tips and new recipes to try. Now that I am retired I have more time to pursue my interest in cooking and preparing tasteful meals for family and friends. This course, probably more valuable for someone pressed for time than am I, it gave me some techniques so I can get more done in less time, which allows me to produce more complex menus and more varied dishes. Highly recommend all of Chef Briwa's courses.
Date published: 2015-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from PerfectGradGiftAsWell I bought this presentation to give to my nephew, as a high school graduation gift. He has only experienced others cooking for him. Wonderfully presented and will allow him to experiment, make mistakes and ...keep eating healthy/well ! I have always been around great cooks....this series reminded me of several things and I learned new, as well.
Date published: 2015-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Course is outstanding and Bill Briwa is a master at technique and presentation!
Date published: 2015-03-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Way Less than I Expected This course did not provide much value to me and I am not exactly an expert cook.
Date published: 2015-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Six more lectures, if you want some more Briwa This course is the same format as Briwa's "Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking" course. There is little general discussion. Instead, we dive right into preparing recipes, and the content of the course is discussed while preparing the food. The value of this approach depends on the content being generalizable beyond the recipe being demonstrated. In this course, I could easily understand how to generalize the clam chowder recipe, but not so easily other recipes such as grilled cauliflower steak. The recipes seemed somewhat randomly selected, rather than covering the territory of "meals in less time". One of the main principles of this course is to share prepared components and leftovers across multiple meals. This is effectively demonstrated through the sequence of lectures. I picked up some useful tips, and it is inspirational to watch Briwa work fluidly and confidently. But I am happy I watched "Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking" first, and consider that to be the better value.
Date published: 2015-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative This was my second cooking DVD from The Great Courses and with Chef Bill Briwa. This was a shorter DVD with only 6 lectures but priced appropriately. The information was very helpful and Chef Briwa presents the material in an interesting manner that I never got bored with. He gives many helpful tips that may seem trivial or basic to people with more formal cooking experience, but I find them extremely helpful. I would certainly recommend this if you are interested in learning some new techniques of faster food preparation. I also love that these come with a hardcover book for quick reference.
Date published: 2015-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yummy Course Loved and learned from each chapter. Chef Bill makes gourmet cooking accessible. Having taken a few other courses from him, I was ready for this one. I am diabetic and finally decided that if food was going to take up so much of my attention in life, I was going to learn to do it justice, with love and attention to quality and taste. That change in direction from "dieting" to "delighting" has made all the difference. I can't go to culinary school, so bringing Chef Bill into my home was the answer to my need. The only problem I had was that the food planning template promised on the "Course Starter Materials" just wasn't there. That's not the problem with the course, but probably the website always changing things up. Keep the courses coming Chef Bill. My husband's name is Bill and he is loving you too!
Date published: 2014-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Resource for the right viewer I was excited to receive the course in the mail. However, when I began to view it I realized it was over my head. I am at the very beginning of cooking and this course was designed for those who have a background in food preparation. My wife will love it. But as for me, I have to look for something more basic.
Date published: 2014-12-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not practical Once again, chef Briwa does an excellent job of teaching many techniques, but I'm just a home cook and I found much of the content used techniques and ingredients to which I have no access. I would have appreciated it if he could present recipes modified to be useful to the average person.
Date published: 2014-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everyday Gourmet: Making Great Meals in Less Time I am only into the 4th Chapter of the Series, but enjoying and learning more than I expected. The Instructor is easy to follow, personable, and is teaching me a few tricks I hadn't learned over the 40+ years I've been preparing meals. I enjoy and value learning some of the "practical science" behind the techniques. The chapters are well organized. I appreciate the way Bill encourages cooking more than you need for the meal, and incorporating those leftovers into simple, but delicious meals the next day. As I Vegan, I'd like to see Bill or another CIA instructor come up with a short course "veganizing" some of the favorites that we grew up with -- understanding how to substitute the flavors, and richness, that meat and dairy give to meals.
Date published: 2014-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational! A wonderful course and a marvelous teacher. Chef Briwa is very personal and makes it all look easy and fun to prepare great meals with efficiency and flair.
Date published: 2014-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "You gotta be organized" This is my third cooking course with Chef Briwa, and just like in my previous reviews, I have to applaud him on an entertaining and well done presentation. I expected some recipes in this course that can be quickly turned into a meal, and to a certain extend that is taught. However, and I quote from the course book: “Our focus is not on five-ingredient dishes or meals that can be made in 10 minutes or less but on organizing your time in the kitchen and learning to think like a chef.” If you want to eat good food with good ingredients, cooking will take some time and effort, there is no way around it. What the course teaches is that you can organize yourself well, plan ahead, and prepare ingredients more efficiently partly ahead of time (planned left-overs) and in bigger batches, so that when it comes to times when you want a quick meal, all the necessary ingredients you need are readily available and the cooking time can be reduced to 10 - 15 minutes for that particular meal, instead of 45 minutes to an hour if you have to start from scratch. That is already the message of the course, and Briwa demonstrates how to apply it in different recipes. I admit that overall, I did not find this course as exciting as his basic cooking course (Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking) or “Making Healthy Food Taste Great”, because I did not get as much new information on cooking techniques and ingredients as in those courses. However, other than my subjective preference, I think that this course gives helpful information on how to organize yourself better, it shows appropriate examples, and it has the right length with only six lessons.
Date published: 2014-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun, Easy and Yummy Its hard to classify this series, because it is "a little of this and a little of that"; but it covers many ideas for good cooking. Briwa is a good teacher because he makes it easy. He looks for simple and accessible recipes. On the videos he just gives rough measures ("a little bit", "a little bit more", etc.) But his style is closer to cooking and flavoring ideas and tips rather than elaborate menus. On this series, he covers a full class on interesting breakfast dishes (fried rice, for example - which he reminds us is eggs and grains), using fresh and prepared foods, entertaining and party dishes, full meal ideas, etc. This is a great course if you just enjoy cooking for fun. It is not a "serious" cooking lesson, but since Briwa is a prof at Culinary Institute of America you know there is much more behind his easy going approach. So, give it a try, and have a party (at least for yourself!)
Date published: 2013-11-16
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