Calphalon Culinary Center
Vegetarian 101 – Hands On
May 29, 2012 6 -9pm
I had never been to a cooking class before and was looking forward to the experience. Not knowing what to expect I was a little nervous. Once inside I was warmly greeted and whisked away to a beautiful ultramodern stainless steel kitchen complete with state of the art Calphalon cookware. Warm sunlight filters through the large windows and catches on the exposed brick giving the room a homey, casual feel. The class itself is nicely laid out – picture yourself cooking in your dream kitchen with little to no clean up. Closed circuit monitors and an overhanging mirror ensure everyone is close to the action.
Before the class even begins a fresh plum tomato stuffed with guacamole and sprinkled with a lovely lemon aioli is plated for me to enjoy.
Fitted with an apron and dish towel, I take a seat and begin to unwind. On the the cusp of their 9th anniversary Chef Ian Dowsett, our instructor, starts the class off with a rundown of the evening’s events, and instructs the class on how to properly hold, cut and clean the knives along with the other utensils. Brian Morton, the assistant, distributes the ingredients, which are presented and portioned before each recipe. Additionally, a small beverage list is available for purchase.
Today we created four fresh dishes:
a fragrant lightly spiced roasted black bean and corn chowder,
delightful silky rice paper wrapped around crunchy Quinoa with roasted peppers and feta,
an earthy marinara and crispy-fried eggplant goat cheese parmesan,
and grilled vegetables over fresh rice noodles in a spicy Sriracha based sauce.
Overall the class had a great flow, perfect for first timers or a first date. I can’t wait for the next one.