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Skills & Techniques

Basic Baking Skills
Chocolate Workshop
Cold Soups for the Summer
Cooking Skills for the Novice
Gourmet Cooking with a Modest Budget
Gourmet Pizza at Home
Knife Skills
Octopus & Squid
Oven Braising Techniqies
Pasta Workshop
Tapas Workshop
Classic Thai
Vegetarian Fingerfoods
Winter Soups & Stews

Basic Baking Skills
Baking is perhaps one of the most difficult kitchen skills to master. You can follow a recipe faultlessly step by step but without the knowledge of proper technique and the kitchen science involved, a recipe that seems like a no-brainer can easily flop. This class is designed to give you the necessary knowledge about the ingredients, the techniques and the chemistry that combine the art and science of perfect cooking.
In this class you will learn how to make an pecan pie with the flakiest of crusts, super light buttermilk biscuits, flowerless chocolate torte and the best way to make a perfect cookie dough.
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Chocolate Workshop 
This class is designed to not only teach the participants various basic recipes but to also provide an education in the history and science of chocolate
We will be making:
Chocolate Mousse
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Chocolate truffles
Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding
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Cooking Skills for the Novice
Once upon a time people grew up learning cooking skills passed down from their mother and grandmother. At least the girls did. Today, many do not, or did not get that opportunity. If you would like to cook, but could use some hands-on basics before tackling the recipes from a book, this is the class for you. Participants will learn how to cook green beans, carrots and broccoli so they are properly done and not a pool of mush, perfect potatoes au gratin, herb roasted chicken, chocolate mousse that tastes as though it came from a French restaurant. We will discuss the science behind the cooking and the ways to foolproof these techniques.
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Gourmet cooking with a Modest Budget
In today’s economy diners are looking to eat well without spending a large amount of cash. This class will teach you how to prepare dishes that taste and present “out of the ordinary” while remaining affordable. The participants will prepare:
Asian style fish cakes with cucumber and sweet and sour sauce
Moroccan chicken tajine with couscous
Baked crepes with strawberries and cream
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Gourmet Pizza at Home 
When it comes to making pizza at home, store bought crust doesn’t quite cut it. And frozen pizza? Lets not even go there. This class will teach you what kind of flour to use and how to easily make 2 types of dough, crispy thin and deep dish. Also you will learn how to properly top and bake the pie so you won’t end up with a soggy mess.
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Knife Skills
A knife skills class can dramatically improve your efficiency in the kitchen, assuage fears and boost confidence. This class will teach you how to choose the right knives for you, how to hold and use them safely and which knife to use for different tasks. After a couple of hours of slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing, filleting and paring we will turn the fruits of our labor into a shared meal.
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Octopus and Squid 
This class will familiarize the participants with the handling and preparation of everyone’s favorite Cephalopods. It is important when preparing these to have a good understanding of proper cooking technique as there is a fine line between tender and juicy and too rubbery to chew.
In this class we will prepare:
Fried Calamari with Homemade Tartar Sauce
Braised Octopus with Red Wine, Onions and Macaroni
Baked Stuffed Calamari
Marinated Octopus Salad
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Oven Braising Techniques
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin the famous French gastronome once observed, “Some people are born to cook but they must learn to braise”, How true, Braising takes time and patience and its outcome requires much more exactitude than other techniques of the savory kitchen. This class will give you the braising “chops” that your dinner guests will assume you must have been born with. We will braise shortribs with mushrooms, chicken in wine, duck legs with prunes and potatoes, herbed tomatoes and fresh fennel bulbs.
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Pasta Workshop
This class teaches the art of fresh pasta making. We will make potato gnocchi, filled ravioli and a hand formed pasta shape. This class will explain the science behind the choice of different flours, the proper cooking techniques for obtaining the best results, which sauces go with what shapes and the ease in which anyone, with a little understanding, can create beautiful artisan pasta at home.
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Tapas Workshop
Tapas were last years black but the concept is still pretty popular today because the culinary scene in Spain is about as hot as it gets. Much of what is being dished out in Spain these days seems über modern but, as with any old world cuisine, it is deeply rooted in tradition. We will prepare several different tapas starting with tomato bread with Manchego cheese, Spicey lamb meatballs with cucumber salad, cold melon soup with Serrano ham crisps, Catalan style beans and shrimp and bacon brochettes.
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Classic Thai
The problem with much of what is billed as Thai cooking in the United States is that it is prepared with factory farm meats and processed foods. As with most Chinese food served in America, Thai cuisine has strayed from authenticity to the land of “adapted for the American palate”.
This class will demonstrate how to prepare some standards of the Thai kitchen correctly.
The Menu for this dinner will be
Lemongrass Chicken Coconut Soup
Red Curried Fish Cakes with Cucumber Peanut Relish and Sweet Chili Sauce
Massaman Beef with Sticky Rice
Tapioca and Pandana Leaf Pudding.
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Vegetarian Finger Foods
Having a party and a lot of vegetarians are coming? Don’t want to stick them with the trusty crudite tray and dip while the carnivores have so much more to choose from? Fear not, it is quite easy to prepare an innovative and diverse vegetarian spread that the meat eaters at your bash will be happy to indulge in. Participants will prepare an array of small snacks, artfully presented, that will wow and satisfy. The menu includes:
Tofu and Spinach Asian Spoons
Eggplant Caviar Canapés
Onion fritters with Cucumber Banana Raita
Gougéres (French Cheese Puffs)
Curried Potato Samosas
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Winter Soups and Stews
Whether you have been on the slopes all day or in an office wishing you were, this is the time of year that when hunger strikes, we all yearn for a steaming bowl of soup or a hearty stew. In this class you will learn to make homemade cream of tomato soup, roasted squash, apple and coconut soup and lamb barley stew. We’ll discuss homemade stocks and how to shortcut them for best results.
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