Last weekend I surprised my beau with a cooking class. No, this was not a slight to his talent in the kitchen... he's already an amazing cook. It's just something I thought he'd really enjoy. As for me, I was scared out of my wits. I'm domestically challenged. OK, more like domestically disabled, but from what little I knew of Chef Todd Fisher, I figured we were at least going to have a good time.
It wasn't just a good time, it was a BLAST! The food was delicious, we both picked up a few tricks, and we laughed a ton. For the non-believers... there is just as much alcohol involved as there is food, so inhibitions are out the window.
We started off with prosecco (and then champagne, when the prosecco was gone) up on the sand dune to see the sunset. Next came basil gimlets, strawberry/goat cheese hors d'oeuvres, SPANKED hamachi, homemade gnocchi, chocolate martinis, salmon on a beet galette, and wine and chocolate tasting! Here's what I learned:
1. Muddling- Don't have a mortar and pestle to muddle mint for your mojito (or basil for your gimlet)? Smack it! Take the leaf between your hands and clap several times, hard. It breaks down the leaf and releases the juices. Not to mention it leaves your hands smelling awesome.
2. Goat cheese, honey, strawberries and cracked black pepper is an AMAZING combination. Don't take my word for it. TRY IT.
3. Salt rocks. Well, technically, salt blocks. I'm not a seafood girl, but we took thinly sliced raw hamachi (yellowtail fish) and placed it on a salt block, covered it in parchment paper and SPANKED it (anything will do- a cleaver, a book, whatever). Next we added grapefruit, faux caviar (no actual fish! it was some gellatin trick he'd done before we arrived), grapefruit juice, radish, olive oil, sunflower sprouts, and cracked pepper. Considering the only ingredients I actually like out of those are the olive oil and cracked pepper, the taste was MIND-BLOWING.
4. It's all about the drink pairing.
5. I can hand-roll gnocchi like a champ. It looks amazing, and tastes amazing, but is probably something I'll never do again. (There's a reason I use a microwave for nearly all of my meals... impatience.)
6. You must meet Chef Todd. He's amazing, hilarious, and it will be the best money you've spent in a long time! Check out his site, here.