A View Through the Cooking Class.

Part of my job entails the organization and production of cooking classes at the store. A change of pace from the usual, I really enjoy this aspect. I meet amazing chefs from around Columbus, learn new techniques and recipes and get a chance to hang out with the store’s customers. In the past few weeks, I’ve worked with Maca, a tapas restaurant in Powell (Maya, we need to go there the next time you visit), Lisa from restaurantwidow.com and Deepwood, an upscale new restaurant near downtown with American cuisine.

I take pictures at these events, and many times, I have no idea what I’m going to do with them. They might end up in future marketing ventures for the store, but more often than not, they sit in my iPhoto, untouched. Here are a few sights from these events, along with five things that I’ve learned while lurking around in the back of the classes.

cooking1

Lisa shows how to cut and section a grapefruit.

1. If you can’t afford one of these, you can purchase a perfectly good very sharp knife for about $20 at Asian markets. (Lisa’s holding one of these knives in the picture above.)

2. Paella, like mashed potatoes, according to my Aunt Marcy, is just as good – or better – when microwaved.

cooking3

3. Things about duck. The longer you cook duck, the gamier it is. Duck confit was originally designed as a way to keep duck from spoiling in a time when refrigeration wasn’t as good. You can reuse duck fat, once you go through the trouble of obtaining it.

4. There’s this method involving the fleshy part of your hand, underneath your thumb, that chefs use when determining when meat is done. When you touch your forefinger to your thumb, the elasticity of your skin/muscle/flesh is similar to meat that is rare. Pinky-to-thumb is well done. Try it; it’s weird. And please, please, please don’t really do this. A meat thermometer is much more safe.

Brian's homemade milk chocolate and vanilla ice creams.

Brian's homemade milk chocolate and vanilla ice creams.

5. This half of Itinerant Foodies cannot consume much dairy. (Major exceptions for cheese and butter; I’m not crazy. I’ll deal with the pain.) Even though I couldn’t try it, I can say that this ice cream looks delicious. It’s just gorgeous. Now for the final thing I learned. I don’t know if this is across the board, but Deepwood makes their ice cream with a machine the size of a home ice cream maker. Small batches of anything are scientifically proven to contain more love as an ingredient. Just saying.

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