Last Sunday Mike and I woke up, yawned, threw the kids in the car, dumped them off at a friend’s house and proceeded to head into downtown Edmonton to Zinc restaurant at the Alberta Art Gallery for our cooking class with Chef Dave Omar. This one of a kind lesson – he mainly teaches at the City Arts Centre- had been won by a group of lucky bidders at last year’s Culinary Arts Cook Off.
We arrived at Zinc to find tables with lovely workstations set up for us, ready for our creations! We were informed that we would be making puff pastry, something that I had never had the inclination to try. (see tomorrow’s post as to why this is).
Without further adieu, let’s get on to:
10 Reasons To Take Cooking Classes With Chef Dave Omar
You’re going to learn the proper methods.
When you google “how to make puff pastry” you are going to get so many methods that didn’t even come close to what we learned in class, from a trained chef.I found methods from popular cooks that had you using a food processor – say what!!?? – to throwing it all together, omitting the chilling of the dough and more.
The method we were taught was to simply drag your fingers like a comb back and forth….back and forth…until it was a shaggy dough. Can you even imagine what a food processor must do? As well, there is no butter at this stage yet where a lot of recipes have it already put in.
Those proper methods are going to make you feel like a pro.
Considering this was my first try, I’m going to say that I was darn proud of this result. I’d also like to point out again, no food processor in sight and the butter is not chopped up into the dough. This folded up perfectly for that all important first dough fold.
You get to watch a trained chef make his food first, then copy it action for action.
Which is how you get those great results. TV shows and internet videos simply can never, ever compare to watching a chef in real life.
Real life questions with real life answers.
Gordon Ramsey will never step out of the TV screen and come over and yell in your face. However, Chef Omar will…
…come over and very kindly help you with your recipe. Here he’s showing me how to seal the dough around the butter and giving helpful advice. I’m sure he’d yell at you if you really asked nicely.
Develop Your Mad Kitchen Skillz
Some of the recipes are basic skills you should know, like how to make Hollandaise. Chef will show you how.
You get to watch your handsome husband completely flub the Hollandaise sauce. No mad skillz learned.
Hey, who am I to talk? I use my blender method for Hollandaise sauce and I’m pretty sure I would have flubbed this too. In fact, I tried to save the Hollandaise and when I couldn’t, turned around and blamed it all on Mike.
You learn…and learn…and learn some more.
I’m not sure how Mike managed to shoot this without me punching him, but he did. This apparently is my pensive learning face. My listening face. My how-did-you-take-a-profile-shot-of-my-Ukrainian-nose-without-me-noticing face.
Soaking in everything that was taught.
Cooking classes are so much flippin’ fun.
Even I am hesitant sometimes to go to classes of any sort, because believe it or not I can be very introverted at times- which no one ever believes but it’s true!- and dragging myself out of the house to attend a class seems overwhelming. Chatting up people, interacting, oh does it seem tiring.
Until I get there and then there is always so much fun to be had. I love watching everyone learn and seeing everyone having such a fantastic time. I can truly say I have never taken a cooking class that I didn’t enjoy!
You meet all sorts of great new people at cooking classes.
This pretty lady is actually my daughter’s Grade One teacher from last year, so I know her already, but there were new people in the class to meet as well!
You get to eat a meal with all those nice new people you met.
Sometimes it’s what you made, other times it’s not. We were treated to mimosa’s and crab Eggs Benedict from the Zinc kitchen. Which was a good thing because almost all of us flubbed our Hollandaise sauces.
Excepting the two keeners in the picture above, those teacher’s pets nailed the Hollandaise.
Now in my next post my friends, I am going to show you pictures on why you should never, ever make your own puff pastry at home.
That’s what I learned from this cooking class. Bet you can’t wait for that one!
When’s The Next Class Chef? Magpie