Anyone who’s read my blogs should know that along with writing, I have a growing passion for cooking. So much so, that I will be going back to school to be a chef. I want to learn all that I can and with that in mind, my generous aunt has signed me up for some classes at Flavour Cooking School in Forest Park. Last night I attended the Hands On Surf and Turf night.
Green tomatillo Salsa
Grilled balsamic beef and cucumber salad
Lobster mac and cheese
Lemon rosemary olive oil cake.
The class started out great. The teacher, a personal chef, was very energetic and full of knowledge. With some slight introduction and instructions we jumped right into preparing the cake so it would be done on time. We were split into two groups of five. All the measurements had been made ready for us to just dump in the bowl to save on time. We zested and juiced the lemon, chopped up the rosemary, mixed it all together and popped it in the oven. We prepped the tomatillos and onion for roasting. Then we grated cheese and boiled noodles for the mac and cheese. The Mac and cheese was completed first (a little out of order, but that was okay by us) and we got to eat our creation. It was some of the best Mac and Cheese I had ever tasted, sounds so complicated but was almost easier than the boxed variety. Our tomatillos were done roasting and I got to put it all into the food processor, once blended I did a taste test. Our group may have put too much of the green chile in, but it was fantastic as I said with a red face and tears streaming. Then we got to work on the grilled balsamic beef. Our chef taught us proper technique for grilling our flank steak, we sliced the cucumber and shredded carrots and made a dressing for the salad. We ate and talked, I got to know my group a little better as we bonded over our dishes. Then it was time for cake. There was a perfect balance of lemon and rosemary and the lemon glaze was perfectly sweet.
The experience was awesome. I had taken a class before, but it was just a demonstration. There’s something about hands on learning that is so gratifying. As for the menu, the Mac and Cheese I will probably make again and again. The salsa would be a good treat for my co-workers who love hot and spicy. The salad however good, was lacking something for me. It was oddly sweet, I think there were too many carrots. I also didn’t get much of the balsamic flavor from the flank steak. I’ll have to make it at home or tinker with the recipe and see if I like it. The cake was good, but I’m not big on lemon flavor. I’ll still keep the recipe around, maybe impress some friends down the road.
The class got done about half hour before the allotted time so we all finished our slices of cake and wine if we had it and talked more. A really interesting question was brought up to our teacher. After learning that he was a personal chef for a family in the city someone asked what his favorite places to eat where. You might expect some fancy restaurant but his answer was simple. “Dirty mom and pop type places.” He said. This class was very inspiring and I can’t wait for the one I’m going to next weekend.
What’s great about Flavour is that you don’t need to be a chef or know anything about cooking to attend one of their classes. Anyone can be a chef and they show that in their lessons. They have a full list of classes to take including demonstrations and hands on, even date nights so you can take a significant other. I would recommend classes to anyone, check them out if you’re in the Chicago area!