Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hot Stove Society: A Great Educational Luncheon

I was happy to be included in one of the final events of the year; the Junior League of Seattle Sustainer luncheon was a cooking demonstration hosted at the Hot Stove Society, a cooking school in Seattle operated by celebrity chef Tom Douglas. 

The format allowed our group of 40 or so to sit at 2 large butcher block islands and observe Chef and Hot Stove Society Director, Bridget Charters prepare the menu.  She walked us through the fundamental of each dish, while her team of cooked the same menu on a large scale in an adjacent kitchen so that the entire group could be served family style.
I must compliment Chef Charters on her clear and friendly method of teaching culinary skills. She put our group at ease and encouraged us to ask questions and consider variations to the recipes. The overhead camera/tv monitor helped us to see her methods from where we were sitting.
The first course (top) was a Pea Puree on Crostini and a Pea Shooter, accompanied by an Asparagus Bundle with Prosciutto and Parmesan. I especially loved the hint of mint in the pea soup.
I swooned at this bank of ovens! I would love to actually cook in a class like this. It would be fun to work alongside other students.
I walked around the impressive kitchen before the luncheon started and took this beautiful image of the asparagus bundles being prepared. 
The main course was a Shaved Asparagus and Seasonal Greens Salad, Moroccan Style Braised Chicken with Lemon and Fava Beans and a Pilaf of Kale and Fava Beans. There was something too bitter (one of the greens?) in the shaved asparagus salad, though I loved the idea of shaving asparagus into thin strips. That is a preparation I will try at home.

I have never tasted chicken so tender, so braising is also something I intend to try. The spicing was just right and the bright flavor from the preserved lemon pieces was delicious. 
Dessert was a rustic Strawberry Galette and made for a lovely ending to this Spring meal. Thank you, Hot Stove Society for a fun afternoon. Your relaxed environment and happy staff was the prefect venue to make new friends.

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