When it comes to food, I want to learn all there is to know. This is not how I feel about most things. When it comes to world issues, politics, sports, history…my eyes glaze over and my selective hearing kicks in. For this reason, a month ago I looked into cooking classes. I was interested in an after work program or a class once a week to master some basics. After researching community colleges, the Art Institute, and other commercial cooking classes, I settled on (with the financial help from my mother, thanks!) Sur La Table Cooking Classes.
The class was a three part series of “Kitchen Essentials” including knife skills, using a brûlée torch and a mandolin (essential?), and learning to make a rue. While the class was enjoyable and tasty, I didn’t love having to share so much of the responsibility (down to grading a block of cheese) and working with pre-prepared ingredients like butterflied chicken. I wanted to butterfly the chicken.
But all was not lost. I did learn a few interesting things like: not to add cold oil to a pan with food in it (the food will soak up the oil and get greasy); the many uses of a Silpat
especially when making a galette; and that people from all
walks of life take cooking classes.
The classes turned out to not be exactly what I was looking for. I wanted more hands-on, individual work with instruction on technique and maybe a few interesting facts to bring up at parties (I like flexing food knowledge). The logical place to find this kind of class is culinary school, but in order to justify culinary classes I’d have to strongly consider the food and bev industry as a career move. I’ve concluded i’m not at the place in life to make such a decision. My plan: test my skills in my little, almost-a-real-kitchen and blog about it, and make big decisions later.