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Stephen D

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Cooking Class Feedback Solicitation

by Stephen D » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:18 pm

I'll be holding my first cooking class next Saturday and I'd like to get opinions from the forumites. I donated my time to a church fundraiser. The hostess is Phillipino, so I decided to do a 'West Meets East' menu emphasizing Western Techniques using Asian ingredients. I'll also be pairing wines with each course. I know it may seem like a lot, but I move pretty fast.

Szechuan Chicken Salad with Fresh Lavash: A riff on Red Pepper's 'smelly chicken' dish... Szechuan peppercorn infused sesame oil, chicken, finely sliced stoplight peppers and Lavash make a sort of 'taco.'
Pairing: Sweet to off- sweet white like Viogner, Semillon, Rias Biaxes or Trebbiano

Aloe Vera Summer Soup: Aloe Vera, Korean Pear, Mango and Green Papaya. With scent of orange.
Pairing: Kabinett level Reisling or Tavel Rose'

Miso Marinated Tilapia en Papillote: This one is a riff on Nobu Matsushita's sig dish. It is untried. Chineese Vegetables, Sake and Miso Marinated Tilapia. I am debating on whether to use a dry or sweet sake here.

Asian Steak Chimichurri: Thai Basil, Ngog, Cilantro, Ginger, Lime, Sesame Oil Marinated and Grilled. Served with Chimichurri Acompaniment

Baked Potatoes with Sriracha Sour cream and Asian Herb Compound butter

Chineese Vegetable Stir Fry

Pairing:Light bodied(and perhaps semichilled) red such as Dolcetto, Burgundy or Cotes du Rhone

Asian Fruit/ Chrysanthemum Triffle:Lets hear it for the chef dessert, hehe. Mango, Papaya, Korean Pear and Lychee nut over spongecake drizzled with chrysanthemum simple syrup and some of the simple syrup from the lychee can.
Pairing: The Royal Tokaji, 4 Puttonyos

Balsamic Reduction Soda Palate Cleanser
Dourian/ Bacon Nougat Challenge: From another thread... I'm just not sure it will last that long.

I have talking points laid out, but what do you think about the menu? Too exotic for a cooking class?
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Bob B

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Re: Cooking Class Feedback Solicitation

by Bob B » Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:02 am

Your menu sounds fantastic to me but might be a little to aggresive for your students. Is this a cooking class or cooking demonstration? What type of people will be attending? Will they want to attempt these recipes at home? I've taught many a cooking class and you really have to focus on your students.
I hope it turns out great and you have fun with it!
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Deb Hall

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Re: Cooking Class Feedback Solicitation

by Deb Hall » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:59 am

Stephen,

I've hosted over 40 cooking classes, so here's my two cents:

The menu sounds great! I don't know your crowd, but my experience is that people really enjoy complicated/different/exotic foods in these kind of classes. They don't need to all be something they will make home. but including 1 or 2 that fit this description is great.

With that said, I think you'll want to reduce the number of items in the menu. Our classes were 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, and my experience is that even those best students lose interest after that point. Even if you are moving really fast, with talking, & interacting with the attendees students. this menu will take a lot longer.

You could bring one pre-prepared dish as a starter to reduce time, but make sure it doesn't include a technique you need to demonstrate, and be sure to provide the recipe.

Be prepared with typed recipes , and (non-chef) sources for your ingredients. Particularly for ethnic foods, your students are going to want to know where they can buy the ingredients and referring them to Blue Fin for fish isn't helpful (though Creation Garden of course does sell retail)

Hope this helps,
Deb
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Robin Garr

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Re: Cooking Class Feedback Solicitation

by Robin Garr » Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:59 am

Stephen D wrote: what do you think about the menu? Too exotic for a cooking class?

Looks tasty and exciting, but despite your disclaimer about being a fast cook, I think Deb is on target: Time goes by quicker than you think, when you're doing a demonstration, and a crowd's attention will wander quickly.

I do suggest a run by a copy editor (or at least careful use of a good spell checker). I spotted a number of typos ... won't embarrass you with a public list, but PM me if you want it. Ditto for a couple of wine comments, particularly your list of "sweet or off-dry" whites, where I would quibble a bit.
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Stephen D

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Re: Cooking Class Feedback Solicitation

by Stephen D » Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:22 pm

It would seem I have painted myself into a corner on this one...

I have already presented my menu to the hostess! :roll: I should have posted here first and then refined the menu before presentation.

I was planning a 3- 4 hour class and that obviously won't do...

So, I'm gonna refine the talking points some, take some chaffers, and do more of a buffet- style presentation.

All of the sources are retail, so we're cool there. I want to have an area where I place business cards from the 'vendors.' (The Wine Rack, my chineese market, my butcher, etc...)

The more I think about it, the more I can see where this thing can turn into a very long experience... espescially with the wines.

On the positive side, I still have a week to work on this!

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