Culinary classes – success!

One of the things that I wanted to introduce at Fresco was culinary classes!

We started our six week course in April with 9 students ranging from 18 years old to mid 60’s. Each had an objective to joining the class. Some were eager to learn, others nervous and tentative. The one thing we all decided was too learn at relatively the same pace and have fun – after all cooking is fun!

I am happy to report that no one has cut their hands or injured themselves!

The first week we have learned the basics of knife skills, vegetable cuts, safety and sanitation in the kitchen. Moving into the second week we learned natural thickening agents, food enhancers, differences between herbs and spices and the uses. So many good questions came from this class and I knew I had them hooked

The third week I challenged the group to stocks and sauces. The group took up the challenge and made a text book bechamel sauce and chicken veloute. I was so proud!

Week four we butchered and de-boned whole chickens. The group did well but the poor chickens. Actually they did very well considering I made them de-bone the legs as well. Many practiced at home and were very excited to tell me the results.

If I thought the chickens didn’t fair well, how about the whole rainbow trout? Some of the students had to get over their fears and handling the slimy little guys but dove right in and did their best. The results were quite good. We cooked the fillets three different ways to show how easily and quickly it can be done. Most people like fish or feel they should eat more, they just don’t know what to do with it! Now they know.

Well its week six and the group decided they wanted to do desserts….I can’t wait and of course we will be sampling.

Apart from meeting some amazing people and helping them find there love for culinary, its been amazing to hear each persons journey in life, listen to them get excited about practicing at home, sharing stories about having dinner parties and wowing their friends. Even the late night emails and texts asking for help have all been fun!

I can’t wait to have another class in the fall.

To my first students…..well done each of you. Keep practicing and always remember the basics.

Chef Paul