Madison-based lifestyle brand Intellectual Ratchet will host the “IR Cooking Series” at FEED Kitchens on Saturday, Feb. 20 and Sunday, Feb. 21. Chef Ben Altschul and Chef Sami Fgaier will inspire class participants with their masterful instruction as they prepare healthy, budget-conscious dishes with a focus on locally grown foods and French-Mediterranean style techniques.

Intellectual Ratchet (IR) is a lifestyle group with a mission to connect young, urban, professionals who seek an alternative to Madison’s typical nightlife experience. Madison is a college town and there are a lot of bars, a lot of bros, and a lot of bubbles. It is difficult for people who are new to Madison, or detached from the established networks, to carve out a thriving social space. IR promotes the subculture that exists in Madison, and provides an enclave for the folks who identify with it to explore the city on their terms.

“Intellectual Ratchet membership has been growing at a steady pace since we launched its new platform in late December,” says Intellectual Ratchet founder and CEO Ja’Mel Ware. “IR is now membership based so our members pay a monthly subscription fee to receive exclusive IR episodes and free entry to our monthly events. Members also learn about events in advance.”

The public is still welcome at all IR events for a greater fee, Ware adds.

The IR family is quite familiar with the culinary expertise of Madison’s own Chef Ben Altschul, his restaurant, The Tip Top Tavern, hosted the December event “A Holiday Brunch.” Altschul prioritizes local flavors in his cooking, and works to reflect the spirit of the region on his menu. Altschul will lead the Saturday class.

Chef Sami Fgaier
Chef Sami Fgaier
Chef Sam Fgaier comes from a long line of master cooks, and brings a lifetime of experience and a cosmopolitan perspective to every hand-crafted dish. Fgaier refined his culinary skills at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and delights palates around the globe with his Mediterranean-inspired French cuisine. Fgaier started his catering service, Le Personal Chef, in 2009. He will lead the Sunday class.

“Both chefs are really excited to share their expertise on how to eat well on a budget,” Ware says. “They are planning some unique and simple meals that are easy to recreate at home. FEED Kitchens manager Adam Haen looks forward to experiencing the lifestyle of intellectual ratchets!”

Intellectual Ratchet memberships and individual event tickets for non-members are available here. Expert chef instruction, meal prep materials and ingredients, and wine tasting is included with purchase. FEED Kitchens is a B.Y.O.B. venue, so class participants are welcome to bring whichever libations move their spirits. There will also be a special gift for IR members as a thank you for being a part of the IR family.

Madison-based lifestyle brand Intellectual Ratchet (IR) will host the “IR Cooking Series” at FEED Kitchens, 1219 N. Sherman Ave, on Saturday, Feb. 20, and Sunday Feb. 21, 1:30-4:30 p.m. If needed, Intellectual Ratchet will add a supplementary class on Saturday, Febr. 20, 6-8 p.m., at Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St.