Cooking Classes at River House

Chef Bill Klein began his training at age 21 working at River House. Given his dedication, his skills and his extraordinary palate, Gayle encouraged him to broaden his culinary horizons. So he left River House and embarked on a journey of discovery that has led him full circle.

First stop: the New England Culinary School in Vermont, where he earned his culinary arts degree and spent time cooking with Madeleine Kamman. A world-renowned chef, restauranteur and author of The Making of a Cook, she sparked Bill’s interest in methods of traditional French cooking.. To become expert in French cooking, of course, demands training in France, so Bill went abroad to work with some of the best.

His teachers read like a Who’s Who of French Cuisine, owners of two and three star Michelin rated establishments: Chefs Jaques and Laurent Pourcel, twins who had just been named the best new chefs in France at Le Jardin des Sens in Montpelier; Chef Antoine Westermann, who has held the highest Michelin rating for more than 25 years at Restaurant Buerehiesel in Strasbourg; and Chef Didier Clement, at Le Grand Hotel de Lion d’Or in Ramantin.

Bill returned to the United States after a year, but his training was far from finished. Gary Danko recruited him for the opening of Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco, which the James Beard Foundation named the best new restaurant in America that year, 1999. Bill was a part of the team that prepared the James Beard Foundation Dinner in New York.. Bill then went to work for Ron Siegel, the first American to win the Iron Chef competition. They revamped a struggling San Francisco restaurant called Masa’s, which, within months, won the coveted four-star designation by San Francisco restaurant critic Michael Bauer.

With this amazing tutelage, Bill became the Executive Chef of Fig Bistro in Asheville, a restaurant that was a true reflection of his style and talent. After 6 years, he left the Fig to work a short stint at The Biltmore and has now returned once again to take the reins of the wonderful kitchen at River House. The classes offered here are intended to give the students a “taste” of the knowledge, techiques, and skills needed tp make food amazing. We are pleased to be able to offer this special opportunity for you to peer into the mind and spirit of an incredibly talented chef to share in the culinary delights that are part of the magic of River House.

River House and Restaurant, Le Grand Hotel de Lion d’Or, Le Jardin des Sens, Restaurant Buerehiesel, , Gary Danko, Masa’s, Fig Bistro, Biltmore Estate Bistro, and full circle, River House and Restaurant.


For more information about culinary classes, please contact us by email:

We look forward to hearing from you.
Gayle Winston, Inn-keeper



River House Country Inn & Restaurant
More than a Bed and Breakfast.
In the Blue Ridge Mountains on the New River near Boone & West Jefferson.
1896 Old Field Creek Road, Grassy Creek, NC 28631
336-982-2109 |