Happy Tuesday all!
Yesterday, I shared a bit about my wonderful vacation away with my family in Lake Geneva. Today, I wanted to tell you a little more about the cooking class we attended, because it was such a great experience!
Saturday evening, we (my mom, Aunt Rose, Auntie, Oma, cousin Nicole, and Ashley) headed over to the Lake Geneva School of Cooking for a four hour (!!) cooking class. We were a little skeptical about the four hours, but immediately eased up as we were greeted by the energetic Chef John and bellini’s! Bottoms up!
My mom immediately took control of the kitchen!
After some socializing, exploring, and drinking, we got down to business! The class of 20 was to be split up and each group would be responsible for creating one aspect of our dinner. My family was responsible for creating the Fall Harvest Risotto. I immediately freaked out a bit; risotto?! Does anyone else watch Hell’s Kitchen or Master Chef? The chefs always mess up the risotto! The pressure was on!
Luckily, Chef John had very clear instructions laid out for us and we jumped right in! We started off by chopping garlic, onions, assorted bell peppers and mushrooms! This was the easy part.
My Auntie and Ashley chopping away!
Then came the risotto. We first combined the sautéed veggies with the risotto and slowly added chicken stock to the mixture. The key – you have to keep mixing so that the risotto wouldn’t burn. No stopping. Luckily, there were seven of us, so no one’s arms got too tired!
Me, taking a break from picture taking! Like my hat?
After stirring for what seemed like FOREVER, Chef John told us to turn off the burner because we were stopping the cooking process until it was time to plate and serve. This led to some anxiety, because our risotto was still hard and looked kind of nasty. Luckily, there was wine around to keep our nerves settled!
Now this is how we do cooking class!
After the other teams finished their courses, our team was called back in to the kitchen to finish, plate and serve our dish! This is where things got pretty awesome! We added butter, fontanel, and parmesan cheese, which immediately added a creaminess and thickness to our risotto! As a special treat, we stirred in some freshly roasted beets; this added a redness to our risotto. After this, we were ready to plate!
Plating went like this: risotto, roasted beets, and two pieces of lightly sautéed asparagus, finished off with a bit of truffle oil and 18 year aged balsamic vinegar. The plates looked amazing!
Our risotto got lots of “yums” and big round of applause! Phew, we were done. Now we could enjoy the rest of the meal!
(Sorry for the dark pictures — it was dark in the dining room!)
Our Fall Harvest Risotto:
Chicken Medallions with Prosciutto:
Kahlua Espresso Brownies:
The entire meal was phenomenal. I went in not knowing what to expect but was completely impressed with the entire process! I know how to cook, but would not consider myself an expert at all. Chef John and his staff definitely set up the class so that everyone was involved and got to cook, but also made sure that each group would be successful in their preparation and execution of the dish. I would definitely go back and try another one of the classes! We’re already talking about maybe doing a bigger family trip and possibly doing a private class!
- Have you ever participated in a cooking class? What did you think?