A Door County Cooking School
I have a secret... I.never.liked.school. There, I said it. That was true until I went to cooking school. I had the opportunity to take a class at the Savory Spoon Cooking School in Ellison Bay. The school is located in a former school house built in 1879. The historic home was painstakingly restored in 2005 and it is really beautiful inside and out. Owner Janice Thomas is a chef in her own right and while she didn't teach this course she helped make the evening fun and flow nicely. I love to cook but I also like to have fun and we got to do just that. Janice's enthusiasm is contagious and her love of food and cooking is obvious. Janice with one of the students in the cooking school. Did I mention you can buy wine by the bottle or glass? Bonus! Since I was with my friend Shelly, we ordered a bottle. Every good cook knows one needs to drink wine while cooking. I had previously taken a cooking class at the Savory Spoon that was taught by Chef Bruce Alexander, owner of Alexander's in Fish Creek which was phenomenal. This class was a lot different whereas in this class we worked with unusual recipes some of which I had never heard of but I was up for the challenge. Chef Adam Scheirl from the Whistling Swan was our teacher. After a short talk on what the plan of attack was, we students washed our hands, donned aprons and were off. The desserts were made in the back kitchen so I stayed clear of that. Not a baker, too much math. The idea was two or three students work at each kitchen station. Chef Adam (in the hat) and his students... We had a lot on our plate, so to speak so I'll get right to it. He started out marinating the Hamachi Sashimi or what I like to call Sushi. It was served with apples, avocado, sorrel (which he found in his yard) and lemon oil. It was fabulous... As an invited guest, as much as I wanted to horn in on a main dish, I waited to see what needed to be done. As it turned out it was asparagus and radishes. The chef's wife was a girl that went to high school with my kids. It was nice catching up with her so she joined our little radish cutting trio and helped out with our wine. The chef worked on Flatiron steaks and some of the students worked on the Romesco Sauce that went with the steak and grilled Romaine. The Romesco sauce consisted of tomatoes, roasted red peppers, garlic, bread, hazelnuts, almonds, parmesan, vinegar, olive oil and spices. I loved it. Grilled Flatiron steak, grilled Romaine and Romesco sauce. Usually, the food is served family style to the group at the end but there were so many different dishes, many of which the chef had a hand in, that we were served dish by dish. It was amazing. Here we have the grilled asparagus, Miso Butter, and radishes with a six minute egg... Now that's a mouthful. Just look at those professionally cut vegetables. Eggs seem to be in and on everything these days and I for one, am a huge fan. Apparently, I didn't get a photo of the Seared Scallops with a roasted mushroom salad, cashew butter, grilled ramps and ginger vinaigrette... I must have been too busy enjoying it. Did I mention I adore Seared Scallops? Wow is all I can say. I got to help with the vinaigrette... Local sports editor Jon Gast and his wife Leslie took the class as well. Jon and my pal Shelly worked at a local paper together for years. We had fun catching up with them as well. Not sure what kind of face Jon's wearing here but Shelly looks cute... Dessert was a brown butter Hazelnut Cake, with Cherrie Gastrique (never heard of it? me neither), Goat Cheese Mousse and Lemon Curd. Sounds like we were at a five star restaurant doesn't it? It was soooo good. We really had a great night. Lots of nice people and lots of great food! Thanks Chef Adam, we had an amazing night!