|Jordan shows us how to plate our crudo|
As usual, I turned to the wisdom of the Internet and found a few local chefs that had one-time classes within our budget. And after weighing a plethora of reviews, menu choices, and schedule, I decided on Jordan Schachter's class through Jordan's Kitchen. Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen someone with so many 5-star ratings on Yelp. Plus, his 4-course menus looked amazing, like something we'd be fairly likely to cook again, and the reviews talked about how down-to-earth and practical his teaching methods were. Sounded perfect.
The hubby was thrilled when I told him about his present, and even though I felt a little like I was gifting myself at the same time, I had decided to go along. This way we could enjoy an evening together, as well as being able to both learn from the class and cull our experiences when back in our own kitchen. See, I may not cook very often, but it doesn't mean I can't. My more common role these days is chief taster and feedback-giver for the hubby's creations. But I'm also good for helping him pair flavors, seasonings, and leading him away from less edible experiments.
We (impatiently) waited the few weeks until the class, re-reading the menu and trying not to drool in anticipation. We would be making four courses over four hours:
- King Salmon crudo, quick pickled cucumbers, radishes and black sesame
- Sweet chilled corn soup with wild shrimp and chive flowers
- Chicken thighs with housemade BBQ sauce, summer squash and goat cheese gratin
- Baked peaches in Riesling with mint, blueberries and whipped crème fraiche
|Hubby pulls off chive flowers for the corn soup|
I'm not going to walk you through the 4 hours of class because it's really something that has to be experienced. But let me say that the reviews did not exaggerate - the class was fantastic, and definitely something we'd love to do again. I will point out a few things I loved.
|Freshly cooked blueberries|
Jordan told us from the get-go that we could participate as little or as much as we wanted. For the duration of the class each of us was armed with an apron, tasting spoon, chef's knife and paring knife, and towel tucked into our apron strings. We each had a spot along the gorgeous wood-block island, which was perfect for when he would walk us through various knife skills, which we then tried our best to duplicate. What I loved about this part was that he walked around and gave each person helpful feedback on their knife skills, and had us continue to practice them throughout the class. Even the hubby learned a few things, even though he was pretty much the star student of knife skills (he practices a lot on his own, and loves it).
|Adding the panko crumbs to the baked squash gratin|
The class moved along at a good pace, but I never felt like I didn't know what was going on, or that there were steps I had missed. We ate after we had completed each dish, but we were juggling all four of the recipes throughout the class, which was great for thinking about real-life time management in your own kitchen. And we were encouraged to use our tasting spoons quite frequently. The four hours went by incredibly quickly, and we had more food than we could eat. The hubby and I would both love to go back for more classes from Jordan, and we weren't alone in that thought. There were even a few students in our class that had been to his classes before.
So are you ready for our food pics? Here's each course, my plate on the left (closer to the camera) and the hubby's on the right.
|Appetizer of fresh salmon crudo with quick-pickled Persian cucumbers, radishes, fresh basil, and pea shoots (no, we didn't actually eat with our chef's knives!)|
|Chilled corn soup with wild shrimp and chive flowers|
|Main course of house-made BBQ sauce on chicken thighs, squash gratin with local goat cheese and panko crumbs, and lime chili fresh corn|
|Baked peaches in riesling sauce with blueberries, creme fraiche, and fresh mint|