“Foodie” Fridays in Austin
We all know how much fun it is to go out for dinner. How about going out for dinner on a “Cooking Date”? We have a number of stores, supermarkets and schools here in Austin that have courses you can register for and spend an evening learning how to prepare a particular style of food! It could be a theme like “Surf and Turf” or it could be cooking regional cuisine like “Authentic Argentine”. Rest assured you’ll be in for an evening of fun, food and togetherness.
1. SILVER WHISK COOKING SCHOOL http://www.silverwhiskcooking.com
Silver Whisk, created by Chef Myrna Kallergis in 2010, is Austin’s premier and state of the art cooking school. Chef Myrna began her culinary career at the Art Institute of Houston and worked with top chefs like Sara Moulton and Ted Allen. She has taught a number of programs across Texas, been featured on the Food Network and has been named Iron Chef of Houston by CBS. A sample of what you might register for at the Silver Whisk school:
* DATE NIGHT/SURF AND TURF… The couple that cooks together, stays together is what they believe at the Silver Whisk. In this class you will be taught how to make the perfect meal for two that will add some spice to your life. The menu you would cook might be Shrimp Bisque Shooter with Chive Foam…Pan-seared Cod with Miso-Wine Butter Sauce on Potato Puree…Guiness-Soy Sirloin with Shaved Asparagus Salad and Blackberry-Merlot Souflee (yumm!!) or how about:
* BETTER WITH BOURBON…In this class, you will be shown how to add a little sweetness to your food by adding a little bit of bourbon. You’ll learn how to deglaze, braise and even bake with it. It’s a southern comfort staple and in the fall could be your best friend. A sample menu would be Bourbon Braised Acorn Squash Soup…Mixed Greens with shaved red onion, blue cheese, tomato, pecans & bourbon vinaigrette…Pan-seared Salmon with spicy orange bourbon glaze & garlic mashed potatoes and individual chocolate-bourbon pecan pies. With colder weather moving in before we know it, how about some soup to warm you up?
* COMFORT SOUPS…You will learn the basics of making soup right from scratch; how to build and layer flavor in the stock, make your own soup add-ins and even brush up on being skilled on how to use a knife. The menu: Simple Chicken and dumpling soup…Hearty Tuscan beef & red wine stew…Sausage, white bean and spinach soup and Herbed Green chili stew followed by Cinnamon Apple Crumble dessert made by the chef.
2. CENTRAL MARKET COOKING SCHOOL http://www.centralmarket.com/Cooking-School.aspx/
There is always something new to learn when you take a course at Central Market’s cooking school; from brushing up on your knife skills to learning the latest cooking techniques. These classes are taught by the cooking school staff, featured instructors and celebrity chefs from around the globe. A sampling of what is offered at Central Market that might interest you is:
* AUTUMN IN TUSCANY…with Chef Sarah Fiorini, renowned cookbook author and owner of an organic family farm in Tuscany, she is also a sommelier and cooking instructor. Chef Sarah will share her family traditions and what daily life is like at Fattoria Poggio Alloro, the family farm. The evening’s menu could be: Insalatina Autumnale (Autumn spinach salad with pecorino, pomegranates & pine nuts)..Risotto con zucca Gialla e Zafferano (Autumn risotto with pumpkin & saffron)…Tacchino allo Zafferano (Golden saffron turkey breast)…Patate alla Poggio Alloro (potatoes poggio alloro)…Poggio Alloro Salad and Torta de Mele (Apple cake).
* AUTHENTIC ARGENTINE…with personal chef Carlos Crusco. In this class, Chef Carlos will share his techniques for making special Argentinean dishes right from scratch. And at the end of the night, you will be able to take home a jar of homemade Dulce de Leche. The menu for the evening includes: Dulce de Membrillo con Queso (Creamy soft cheese with quince paste)…Humita Moderna (Grated corn, onions & basil oil on crostini)..Empanada Criolla con Chimichurri Argentino (Empanada with ground beef, olives, green onions, raisins & eggs & chimichurri sauce), followed by Alfajores de Maizena (cookies filled with Dulce de Leche, then rolled in toasted coconut).
* FALL BISTRO FLAVORS FROM BESS…with Justin Raiford, the director of culinary operations at Bess Bistro and Walton’s Fancy & Staple right here in Austin (and owned by our own Sandra Bullock). In this class demonstration, you will explore a sophisticated harvest menu and get some great cooking tips from Chef Justin. The menu might be: Farmers Cheese in a radicchio cup with pomegranate…Asparagus & truffle potage…Beef filet with red wine-porcini sauce, roasted butternut squash & charred rapini; followed by Baked apple stuffed with rhubarb on toasted panettone.
3. WILLIAMS-SONOMA COOKING CLASSES http://williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/store-events.html
Each month at Williams-Sonoma there is a new list of classes available at your local store. You will learn about food from around the globe as well as close to your home. These classes are taught by their very talented chefs and culinary experts. Each class includes a cooking demonstration, plentiful samples of the dishes being featured and printed recipes for you to take with you when you leave. ( You also receive a discount on store merchandise you purchase on the day of your class!) In addition to the cooking classes, Williams-Sonoma also offers complimentary technique classes each month. A sampling of those classes is:
* START WITH SOUP…The perfect way to begin any fall or winter meal is with a delicious bowl of homemade soup. These soups when made hearty enough could become the meal – just add some nice crusty bread. Making soup from scratch is not as difficult as it sounds. In this class, you’ll be shown some simple steps to take to prepare soup and once you master those basic steps, you will be able to prepare a variety of different soups perfect for any meal.
* HEARTY & HEALTHY VEGETARIAN DISHES…Winter squash, pumpkins and mushrooms can replace meat in recipes and still be healthy and delicious. You will learn how to select, store and prepare produce that is seasonal for many vegetarian main dishes. Some of these dishes could easily become family must-haves.
* FALL BAKING…You know it’s fall when the oven is on and your home is filled with the wonderful smell of home-baked desserts. In this class, you’ll be shown how to prepare easy recipes that highlight cinnamon, apples, nutmeg and other fall favorites. These dishes will be perfect for breakfast, snacks and dessert.
Whatever you decide, you’re sure to be in for a memorable evening filled with laughter and good food!! A word of note…the menus that are listed are, of course, subject to change when you check them out online.
Dorie’s Past Picks:
Oct. 12 Oct. 5 Sept. 28 Sept. 21 Sept. 14 Sept. 7 August 31 August 24 August 17 August 10 August 3 July 27 July 20 July 13 July 6 June 29 June 22 June 15 June 8 June 1 May 25 May 18 May 11 May 4 April 27 April 20 April 13 April 6 March 30 March 23 March 16 March 9 March 2
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As always, local events and information are brought to you as a courtesy of Dorie Dillard, Coldwell Banker United Realtors, your NW Austin Real Estate Consultant. Please watch for future Dorie picks for Austin dining experiences!
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