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Sur La Table Cooking Classes


grover
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I have now attended three cooking classes at Sur La Table in Arlington for Pizza, Pasta and French dishes. Those courses were very good for me because I learned to make the dough, make sauces and so on. I had tried to make them myself before but wasn't satisfied with the results. The classes helped me in doing them right.

Inspired by Dino's tasty terrines recently, I decided to learn how to make them. Even though I got the Julia Child's cookbooks (Vol I and II) as a Valentine's day gift, I was overwhelmed. Fortunately, I saw these classes (Charcuterie: Sausage Making and More and Heritage Cooking: Cassoulet and More) on the Sur La Table website and enrolled in both immediately.

The first course was last night. The class was taught by Bonnie Moore, the former sous chef at the Inn at Little Washington. The menu was Chicken Liver and Apple Terrine - Salmon Rillettes - Boudin Blanc Calvados - Sage Breakfast Sausage - Duck Confit. The participants were divided into a terrine team, a rillette team and a boudin team. And then the groups were combined to make breakfast sausage. I joined the terrine team because making terrine was my major goal. Bonnie said that making a rillette is similar to making a terrine so I watched the rillette team while working on the terrine. The boudin team had a problem with grinding the chicken and veal mixture because of the grinding attachment to the mixer. The problem was fixed later but it delayed her instruction to my team. Making terrine and rillette with the recipe provided was quite a bit easier than I thought. After the terrine and rillette were in the fridge to firm up, we all watched Bonnie demonstrate how to stuff boudin while I was making sausage patties and cooking them. I don't remember who mixed the breakfast sausage because there were so many things going on. We ate the breakfast sausage and had a 20 minute break.

After the break, we tasted the food we made. All of it was very tasty. We then saw how to prepare duck confit. Due to the second class (Cassoulet and more), it needed to be in the fridge at least 24 hours after marinating. The first class was over at this point. It was the most bustling and busiest class I've ever been in. There were 3 assistants and a teaching aide but I think that they should have provided two food processors rather than only one. However, it was worthwhile being there. I really enjoyed seeing how to make and treat sausages. I can hardly wait for the second class tonight.

Anyone else had a good experience in the Sur La Table classes? Please share yours with us.

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Anyone else had a good experience in the Sur La Table classes? Please share yours with us.

Bonnie Moore used to be a star instructor at the L'Academie de Cusine. I don't know if she still teaches there. Over the years I've taken a number of her classes. She is very very good. Her chocolate classes are amazing.

The grinding attachment to KA did not work well 3-4 years ago when I took the same class at Sur La Table. It did not work well at home either. After this class I bought Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn and bought a "real" grinder that turns making sausages into real pleasure.

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Went to a sushi making class in the Pentagon Row store last night. I bought ladyfriend a sushi making kit will all the fixins', so figured this would be fun start. 

It was fun. Was it that educational? Not really. Could have gotten the same idea out of a book. 

The Good - the chef was friendly and fun and really enthusiastic, got an idea of basics 

The Not As Good - didn't learn how to cook the rice ourselves and the second batch was sort of mushy; didn't get that the chef was particularly trained in the art of sushi; we didn't get to practice cutting sashimi or nigiri pieces; there was only two rolls (California and spicy tuna) 

The Ugly - Arlington County doesn't allow wine for this sort of activity

What can I say... got us out of the house, we have been cooking a lot, and it was nice to try something new. Might try CulinAerie or another class at some point. 

 

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