Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rockin' the knife away

In November of 2012, a fabulous new store opened in Bloomington- etc for the home. I started hearing great things and "oh you've got to go in there!" It was on my way home. I would look at the store as I passed by and think someday.
A few weeks ago my friend Liz was my weekend guest. We wanted to shop, have coffee, experience the restaurants, all that Bloomington has to offer. I told Liz, "there is a fabulous new store in town and I've been wanting to go in there and we are going." Walking into this store is just, just, wow. I am a wordsmith and I have no words.
The store is huge- a warehouse.
Beautiful furniture and pictures and grills and deck chairs and baby items and kitchen items. The (state-of-the-art-fabulous) kitchen in near the center of the building.
On that Saturday morning when we walked in, we could smell something fabulous.
"Pizza in the kitchen," we were told.
We walked into the kitchen and Chef Dave greeted us with a smile. He welcomed us and then offered us some pizza. And, oh my, what pizza. To.Die.For.
 
Chef Dave proceeded to tell us bout upcoming cooking classes. I thought "I'm there!"
I went home and started following them on facebook .
Today  was le premier cooking class and I was there.
And, I am happy to say there were only three in the class,
and we received a lot of individual attention. When we walked in, to the kitchen, pots were bubbling on the stove and there was food everywhere.
This is the description of the class:
 
Cooking Class: Basics One (all hands on)
Recipes
1) Grilled Corn and Crab Soup
2) Tuscan Pork Tenderloin Salad
3) Grilled Tuna Salade Niçoise


- learn important basic knife handling and cutting skills –
- keeping a kitchen clean and hygienic – properly stock a gourmet kitchen,
 kitchen equipment maintenance  
Stuff to cut and chop


more stuff to cut and chop
We started out by learning how to hold knives, how to hold our fingers, how to hold what we were cutting and chopping. We learned how to Julienne- small sticks-think matchstick, Jardiniere -baton- larger sticks- for dipping, Paysanne - big dice and Brunoise - small dice. (I have not mastered Brunoise, I fear for my fingers.)(I am quite accident prone, easily burn myself on the stove and have cut myself, before.)We learned how to sharpen knives. I did master cutting with a large knife without lifting it - Chef Dave kept saying "rock it, rock that knife."
We started to cut up carrots and celery and onion.
Then we started to grill the corn for the soup.

grilling corn in the fab grill pan for the soup


grilling tenderloin in the fab grill pan for the salad

I learned tenderloin continues to cook after you remove it from the heat.
grilling quartered radicchio in the fab grill pan (look at all the goodies in the store)
I learned a little Marsala added to the soup enriches the flavor.


Blanching green beans, asparagus and white asparagus


more grilling and simmering of the soup
I learned to peel celery and asparagus to remove the chewy, stringy bits.
I learned how to bend and snap whit asparagus - what is considered good to eat and what isn't.


shredding parmigiano cheese

I learned how to grill Portobello mushrooms.
sprinkling pepper over the Grilled Tuna Salade Niçoise


 Grilled Corn and Crab Claw Soup


the fruits of our labor
 I am not a gourmet cook. I have my specialties which are requested often. I just learned to whip whipping cream at Christmas time. I enjoy cooking- when I have time. I took a half-day of vacation to attend this class today and I did indeed feel as if I was on vacation. Hours to cook and not having to worry about the clock or if it is all going to come together at once. Guidance and teaching by a Chef. I learned so much.
Thank you, Chef Dave.

pans hanging from pan rack


Chihuly glass sculpture


Ruth, Judy, me, Chef Dave
Just like going into etc for the home, taking a cooking class was a someday in my life.
I'm glad that day was today.

8 comments:

TARYTERRE said...

I can almost taste all that delicious food. I assume since you cooked it, you get to eat it too???

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Cool beans! I've always wanted to take a cooking class. How cool, that Bloomington has so much to offer you!

Holly said...

How fun!!! That's right up my alley. I'm sure I would spend way too much in that store though.

mamamonki said...

That looks like a lot of fun! I'd love to take a class someday - I just make it up as I go along usually. Last weekend I had to muddle through cutting up a whole chicken on my own. Made me wish I'd paid closer attention to my grandma and my dad growing up.

Sara1025 said...

Be still my heart!

Hmmm... Bloomington to Syracuse, wonder how far it is. I'm thinkin' it's just a short drive.

farmlady said...

This is one cool store. I love that glass chandelier.
What a class that was. I wish I had one to take around here.
Thanks for sharing it all with us.

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

Good for you . . you look like you had so much fun. I enjoy cooking now that I'm older and at home, but never really enjoyed it when I was younger, go figure. Its so easy to buy at shops like that, hope you did some fun shopping too! Blessings, xo

p.s. love you in pink, but you look good in red too :O)

Privet and Holly said...

Hi Cheryl!

Hope you are well. I was
answering an e-mail from
a friend in Indiana just now,
and thought of you.

I LOVE cooking classes and
reinvigorating my usual routine
with some new recipes. At this
time of year, especially, with all
the great stuff at the farmer's
markets....

Happy Summer,
xo Suzanne

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