Cooking Teacher’s Recipe for Retirement

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Above: After a 45-year career, cooking coach Deb Cazavilan is scheduling her final season of classes.

By Wini Moranville

Deb Cazavilan has been teaching Des Moines-area residents to cook since 2003, but here’s a head’s up: Your window of opportunity to learn from this culinary pro—who began her 45-year career in the food business as a soda jerk at the age of 15—will soon close. She’s winding down her Wooden Spoons Workshops and retiring at the end of the year.

Cazavilan says that while business is strong and classes continue to fill, a life-threatening health scare within her immediate family this past spring made her and her husband re-evaluate what’s important. Now, she plans to re-focus on family and do more traveling. In the future, she may consider doing private events and an occasional pop-up class—but only, she says, “when the feeling hits or just to keep me out of trouble.”

Topics for her final series of classes include spring rolls (starting Aug. 5), artisan pizza (starting Sept. 9), artisanal bread baking (starting Oct. 14) and the 15th annual Pie-Baking Workshop (starting Nov. 8). Starting on Dec. 2, she’ll conclude her workshops with classes on the Original Ankeny Mudslide Pie, one of her most-loved recipes (and once one of her best-kept secrets). See the full schedule here

More information on Wooden Spoons Workshops can be found at

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