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Serious Foodie Class in Vancouver


Daddy-A
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Tuesday class seems to be basically the same as Monday, although I imagine CHef Tony changes things up just enough to keep himself interested. Case in point; I'm sure last week that he said we would be making ciabatta rather than a baguette [i'd have preferred the baguette, I think :) ]

You sick people all feel better soon, OK?

cheers

Derek

Actually, last night it was neither....we did a foccacia.

so....do we get a recap?!! :wink:

Quentina

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It's been very interesting having my non-cooking husband prepare dinner . . . .

Hmmm perhaps he should take the class? :biggrin:

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Last night was a busy night, we did not get out until 10 oclock. we worked on:

A baked goat cheese salad with mixed green, blanched green beans, roasted hazelnuts and roasted garlic.

A vinaigrette which we used for both the salad and to make a sauce for the chicken. A split chicken (Chicken under a Brick) which was soaked in brine, browned in a hot pan then roasted. - boy was that good. I know what I am making this weekend. ;-)

Foccaccia which we topped with carmalized onions, dry baked tomatoes and olives.

Basmati Rice Pilaf which Chef Tony demonstrated and made for everyone as time was tight.

Tony also gave us his olive oil selection criteria and opinions. As I mentioned earlier, it was a busy class but extremely enjoyable.

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It's been very interesting having my non-cooking husband prepare dinner . . . .

Hmmm perhaps he should take the class? :biggrin:

:laugh:

He doesn't have the patience. Case in point, his way of trying to make chicken soup was to take the lovely stock I had on the oven over the weekend, added a head of celery, a peeled onion (whole) and some whole peppercorns.

This guy needs to start at the Non-Serious-Foodie-Here's-How-To-Boil-An-Egg-You-Fool level.

Love him tho'. :wub:

Edited to ask what's up for next week's class . . . do you know in advance?

Edited by lauraf (log)

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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Last night was a busy night, we did not get out until 10 oclock.  we worked on:

A baked goat cheese salad with mixed green, blanched green beans, roasted hazelnuts and roasted garlic.

A vinaigrette which we used for both the salad and to make a sauce for the chicken. A split chicken (Chicken under a Brick) which was soaked in brine, browned in a hot pan then roasted.  - boy was that good. I know what I am making this weekend. ;-)

Foccaccia which we topped with carmalized onions, dry baked tomatoes and olives.

Basmati Rice Pilaf which Chef Tony demonstrated and made for everyone as time was tight.

Tony also gave us his olive oil selection criteria and opinions.  As I mentioned earlier, it was a busy class but extremely enjoyable.

thanks for the recap, greg! are you normally in the monday class as well? if so, i'll have to search you out next week and say hi!

the chicken sounds absolutely divine. my friend picked up an extra recipe list for me so i'll have to try and do it at home.

i'm secretly glad you guys didn't do the baguette as i'm dying to learn how to make one! my friend told me that apparently we will make that in an upcoming class.

could you share a quick run down on the olive oil tutorial that chef tony gave you guys?

thanks!

Quentina

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:laugh:

He doesn't have the patience.  Case in point, his way of trying to make chicken soup was to take the lovely stock I had on the oven over the weekend, added a head of celery, a peeled onion (whole) and some whole peppercorns.

This guy needs to start at the Non-Serious-Foodie-Here's-How-To-Boil-An-Egg-You-Fool level.

Love him tho'. :wub:

Edited to ask what's up for next week's class . . . do you know in advance?

yikes! :shock:

Quentina

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thanks for the recap, greg!  are you normally in the monday class as well?  if so, i'll have to search you out next week and say hi!

the chicken sounds absolutely divine.  my friend picked up an extra recipe list for me so i'll have to try and do it at home. 

i'm secretly glad you guys didn't do the baguette as i'm dying to learn how to make one!  my friend told me that apparently we will make that in an upcoming class. 

could you share a quick run down on the olive oil tutorial that chef tony gave you guys?

thanks!

Chef Tony's guide to selecting Olive Oil

1) make sure the label says extra virgin olive oil.

2) make sure the label says first/cold press.

3) make sure label has acidity %, ideally less than 1%. If they do not have the % listed then it is likley higher.

Chef Tony's home olive oil is a Portugeuse olive oil.

In addition, Tony cuts his olive oil for use around the stove. He uses 1/3 olive oil and 2/3 nuetral oil such as corn oil, grapeseed, peanut, etc. He is not a fan of Canola oil.

See you next Monday.

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I think I heard stew and baguette for the next class. Laura, Chef Tony does talk about what is coming up but I think he likes to improvise and see what is in the markets, so he leaves room for some last minute decisions.

As was noted, class was really busy this week. The actual techniques were very basic – searing chicken and the goat cheese pucks, caramelizing onions, blanching beans, roasting garlic, oven drying tomatoes, kneading dough, roasting chicken, making a basic vinaigrette, etc – but there was lots to do and it gets more complicated when you are up and down between the kitchen and the classroom.

A couple of additional comments on the olive oil – nothing earth-shattering - keep it in a cool, dark place, as light and heat will break it down, and buy it somewhere where they have high turnover or buy a dated product, so you are not buying two-year old oil. The school uses Golden Olive Eleni oil which is widely available in Vancouver.

I’ve heard Chef Tony’s comment about canola oil tasting fishy when heated before, but canola oil doesn’t seem to be universally rejected by chefs. Thomas Keller uses it extensively at Bouchon, his bistro restaurant, or at least he claims he does in his Bouchon cookbook – I’ve never been to Bouchon itself, sadly. I’ve been using grape seed oil for the past year or so, as it has a very high smoking point and I have very sensitive smoke detector.

I’ve been a convert to brining for a while but I’ve never butterflied a chicken. I liked the approach and results a lot, especially for my kitchen where high heat roasting usually means the smoke detector going off. Searing the chicken in advance makes for crispy skin and lets me keep the oven temperature lower. Chef Tony told us he even cooks 20 pound turkeys this way but no way would a butterflied 20 pound turkey fit in my oven.

I did bring my camera this week, but the batteries were dead. Perhaps by week 4 I’ll have it together.

Cheers,

Anne

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...just waiting for your report  :wink:

Yesterday was:

1) thin crust pizza. Reviewed dough making. Put herbs and cornmeal in the dough. Tony's tomotoe sauce is great and this will be covered in a future class. Had shaved white asparagus as one of the toppings which was different in addition to cherry tomatoes and roasted garlic. Used fontina cheese instead of mozzerella.

2) lamb stew. Browned the meat which had a dry rub of smoked paprika, pepper, and marsala. Added this to onions, carrots, garlic. Deglazed pan with red wine and some orange juice. Topped the stew with a gremolata.

3) lemon tart. Learned how to make pastry dough and form the cups for the custard. Tony demonstrated the custard making but we made the pastry cups.

Tony also provided a list of shopping spots in the Vancouver area.

Class is getting a lot livelier.

Greg

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...just waiting for your report  :wink:

Yesterday was:

1) thin crust pizza. Reviewed dough making. Put herbs and cornmeal in the dough. Tony's tomotoe sauce is great and this will be covered in a future class. Had shaved white asparagus as one of the toppings which was different in addition to cherry tomatoes and roasted garlic. Used fontina cheese instead of mozzerella.

2) lamb stew. Browned the meat which had a dry rub of smoked paprika, pepper, and marsala. Added this to onions, carrots, garlic. Deglazed pan with red wine and some orange juice. Topped the stew with a gremolata.

3) lemon tart. Learned how to make pastry dough and form the cups for the custard. Tony demonstrated the custard making but we made the pastry cups.

Tony also provided a list of shopping spots in the Vancouver area.

Class is getting a lot livelier.

Greg

4) almost forgot, mashed roasted yam and garlic to go with stew.

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Chef Tony's guide to selecting Olive Oil

1) make sure the label says extra virgin olive oil. 

2) make sure the label says first/cold press.

3) make sure label has acidity %, ideally less than 1%.  If they do not have the % listed then it is likley higher.

4) Bottle should be DARK in colour as olive oil spoils in the sun.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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  • 2 weeks later...

a little slow on posting here, but here are some pics from the last couple of classes!

as greg posted above, we made little amoeba shaped pizzas.

gallery_32080_2463_22903.jpg

and a 'lil lamb stew over some mashed yams. you can see the yam mash peeking out in the middle!

gallery_32080_2463_43140.jpg

sorry, unfortunately, i forgot to take pics of the lemon tarts. it kinda jumped into my mouth before i had a chance to click a pic!

Edited by makanmakan (log)

Quentina

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This week's class was my favourite so far! We made....

Risotto with squash, pine nuts, tomatoes and arugula. So so good! I ended up making it the next night for dinner and was able to wing it without the recipe!

We sauteed the "yummies" separately to preserve the flavours. In chef's words, so the flavours don't homogenize all together.

gallery_32080_2463_37269.jpg

And here is the finished product!

gallery_32080_2463_29922.jpg

My favourite quote from chef was as he was demo-ing how the texture of risotto should be....."when i push it, it oozes....oooooh, that's a nice feeling!" :laugh:

Next up was the fun part of the night! Gnocci!!!! Or as chef calls them, "pillows of love"!!! :raz:

Here is our batch of gnocchi before it got annointed in the hot water.

gallery_32080_2463_54003.jpg

Then we made steak saltimboca. Ooooh, I will never make steak without dry aging it ever again! Now it all makes sense as to why I can ever replicate a good hunk of meat at home! Chef dry aged the steaks for us and we did the rest.

gallery_32080_2463_62327.jpg

And after making the red wine reduction..... You can see Lee's hands digging into his steak in the background!

gallery_32080_2463_24966.jpg

To wrap up my favourite menu with, chocolate/tequila/cayenne souffle! Oooh, chocolate goodness! I took a picture with my friend's souffle which rose wayyy higher than mine!

gallery_32080_2463_12784.jpg

I learnt a ton from this class and can't wait to try the gnocchi and dry aging at home. I also discovered something interesting on Monday night. Lee, my other friend and I tasted each other's dishes and were quite surprised that all of ours were different! We were all in different groups and even though we had the same base recipes and ingredients, the end results were not.

Can't wait till the next class....pasta and baguettes!

Quentina

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How much are these classes and when does the next sessions start? They sound fantastic? Really interesting in this process regarding the aging of the steaks?

S.

hello samasutra.

Here is a link to the first post in this thread. It has a link to the NCAV home page, where you can find contact information, examples of dishes you will prepare and core subjects that are covered in the class.

Also with regard to the aging of steaks. I would strongly recommend that you go down to HSG to say 'Hi' to Neil, His steaks are some of the best in the city, his knowledge also knows no bounds and he always has a smile and a few moments to chat to a fellow eG head.

peace out

tt
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Regarding the dry aging of steaks, the ones we used were dry aged for 2 days, i believe. One way to do it at home is to place the steaks on racks with a dish underneath to catch the drippings and let sit for 2-3 days. If you have a big enough fridge, you can hang the steaks with hooks. The steaks ended up looking very dark, but when sliced into, raw, it was still very red inside but not dripping with juices/blood. I'll be trying this in the next couple of days...wish me luck! :raz:

As for the list of shopping spots, most are already well spoken of here. Here's the list.

East Indian

Punjab food centre

Fruiticana

Italian

Bosa foods

Santa Barbara

Cioffis

Il Grotta

Scardillo grocery

European

European specialty's imports

Chinese/Asian/South-East Asian

Chinatown

T & T

South Seas Imports

Garway Market (SE Asian/Phillipino)

Japanese

Fujiya

Middle-Eastern & Greek

Parthenon Importers

African

African General Market

Latin American

Los Dos Amigos Market

Brazil Food Products

Los Gierreros Mexican Foods

Other

Nile & Spice Reggae Cafe

Oyama Sausage Co.

Galloway's

Quentina

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"chef Tony also provided a list of shopping spots in the vancouver area" can anyone expand on that, am very interested to hear

Gotta say, I'm of very mixed opinion on this. As a student in the September instalment of the Serious Foodie Course and an active participant in this thread, there is a definite up-side to posting class synopses and photos here, especially when it comes to providing nuggets of Chef Tony's wisdom that may encourage people to take the course themselves.

However, there is such a thing as "giving away the farm" in offering up too much information on the topics that are covered in class. Once that line is crossed, I feel that it becomes a disincentive for people to sign up for Serious Foodie and take it themselves. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? That's why I've never posted any of Chef Tony's recipes or posted any in-depth detail on the techniques that he's teaching: it would eliminate some of the primary benefits of cooking under his direct tutelage at Northwest.

I realize that there'll be a lot of dissenters on this issue, but that's my two cents' worth.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I was hoping that someone would post a shot by shot series of photos so I would not have to even leave my restaurant to take the course. Does anyone have detailed notes of the lectures. It would save me lots of time in even travelling to the school.

I already have a couple of the students working here. If someone would get the the notes, I could undercut Chef Tony and do it here.

If you are so interested in what is going on in the course, buck up and take it. As you have read, everybody seems to be enjoying it.

Edited by nwyles (log)

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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