Have you ever taken a cooking class? Do you already know how to cook or at least do you believe that you know how to cook good? Well recently I took a cooking class for the first time and for me it was confirmation of a few things. First, cooking is fun and not scary and second, I really do not know that much about food or the technique of cooking, but that’s ok because knowledge is power.
Cooking for me has always been a monkey see monkey do kind of ritual. I would see my mother and grandmother in the kitchen slaving away all day, especially during holiday times and on Sundays, and then surprise something delicious would be born. I grew to be a hungry woman with child at a young age and so the kitchen was always a favorite place of mine.
Even though everyone always loved the food that I made I was never taught the correct terminology of certain utensils or how to use them. I’ve also recently realized that although I can “throw down” in the kitchen, I still do not have an extensive knowledge when it comes to even the different types of foods there are in the world to cook or the technique behind the art of cooking.
I recently registered for the Vegetarian Holiday Favorites class at Sur La Table located at Somerset Mall in Troy, MI. I signed up online the very same day. I had no idea what to expect from the class to be quite honest. Partially because I am not a vegetarian and I don’t have many meals without some sort of meat, I love meat. The motivation behind my curiosity was the fact that my boyfriend also known as the love of my life was teaching the class. I signed up for the class mostly because I wanted to go and support him, I believe that support is priceless.
What I loved about attending this cooking class was the fact that we were a small intimate group (about 16 total), everyone was very social and friendly it seems like food just does that to you. The intimacy behind cooking with your bare hands and then sharing with others next to you to try a bite, cutting a piece of cheese, having an extra slice, and breaking it up in bits for your fellow chef partners to also try. The exchange from bare hand to mouth and the trust behind it is what I love about cooking and being intimate with perfect strangers. Also what I love is the act of eating the meal that you’ve prepared especially in a group setting.
For dinner we made Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries, Pecans, and Blue Cheese. Cauliflower and Melted Leek Gratin with Gruyere and Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushroom Ragu. My favorite was the Roasted Squash Bread Pudding with Spinach. We used a bench scraper, a vegetable peeler, a box grater, an apple corker, a garlic roller, a colander, a whisk, metal and silicone spatulas, and a slotted spoon among other things. All the food we cooked and ate greatly exceeded all of my expectations.
Roasted Squash Bread Pudding
I truly enjoyed being a student in this class. I even learned new terminology for cooking like “blanching” which is basically taking a food like french fries or green beans, and pre-cooking them so that when you actually do need them for a meal it doesn’t take long to prepare. You can even store these items in the freezer for later use. The process of blanching involves submerging the food in boiling water for a brief time interval and then shocking it by placing it in ice cold water. Chef K taught us that most restaurants use this technique to save their ticket times (time frame of order to food delivery).
Our ticket times in class were of course superb especially with the help of all three kitchen assistance. Each time I tried to clean up my own mess someone was there to do it for me. Someone was also always there to refill my water glass. The fruit diffuser water pitcher was simply amazing and I couldn’t describe the feeling I had when the very nice gentleman in the store brewed me a fresh cup of caramel coffee from the Nespresso machine during our break.
In the cooking class at Sur La Table I made new friends immediately and I hated to leave them all so soon. What began as a simple idea turned into the highlight of my day. Although I went solo, I highly recommend taking a cooking class at Sur La Table with a friend, relative, mate, or anyone special. It’s a bonding experience that leads to more than just cooking. Creating any meal is an art, one that can be taught and appreciated if the instructor is passionate and the student is ready..
Follow Chef K on Instagram @ChefKiluanji
Contact Chef K for private events and catering ChefKWatkins.KingsKitchen@gmail.com
Sign up for a cooking class at Sur La Table Somerset
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