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Serious Foodie Class in Vancouver


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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.

Actually, it has made me want to sign up if I can afford it. You can read about something and look at pictures but nothing replaces "doing it". Reading about everyones experiences makes me what to be right there experiencing it myself not being an observer. Sigh.....

S :wub:

Never met a vegetable I never liked except well okra!
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(Nose pushed up against the glass) wry smile...looks like I will not be taking any classes. A little too dear for my budget. I have been off work on disability insurance through my employer and its highly unlikely I will return. It does not leave alot of disposable income so with a mortgage and car payment, it does not look like almost 700.00 for chefs courses is in the writing and especially with a crown coming up next month. I guess I will just have to do my own training. I bought a good book. John Ash Cooking One on One Private Lessons Contemporary Food From a Master Teacher. He goes through sauces,stocks,marinades,pestos,vinaigrettes,savory sauces, and then on to technique in which he covers a wide range of topics and then on to main ingredient lessons. So I will work my way through that. I also have a French Cooking book laid out similarily so I will just teach myself. I have never had the time to experiment alot and cook since I have been on my own since I was sixteen earning a living and then a single parent raising a child in my twenties. Not to mention earning a degree to support her. So life has always been so busy. Perhaps this would be a time to look at cooking not as a chore which it had become but as a new adventure. I really had been become a consumer of other peoples meals and put together fast and convenient meals for myself. So this might be a good time to start being creative and inventing recipes and stretching myself in the kitchen like I used to when I was younger and used to enjoy the kitchen. The problem is I hate my kitchen I currently have. anyway, I am getting off topic...so better stop here.

Keep up the good work everyone who has the good fortune to take this course.

S. :rolleyes:

Never met a vegetable I never liked except well okra!
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Samasutra, a book I would highly recommend if you want to teach yourself classic cooking is "Le Cordon Bleu, Complete Cooking Techniques". I think you could find it on any of the on-line book sellers. It's not cheap ($67.50 in bookstores...maybe less if purchased on-line) but well worth the investment. It won't take the place of hands-on training like the serious foodie classes but the pictures and explanations are very clear and easy to follow.

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wow pretty surprised by the reaction and here i thought i was only asking a simple question, that surely wouldn't cause such a stir, guess i was wrong

Don't worry about it ... some folk just get their knickers in a knot over the oddest things. IMO the first class (of which I was a part) shared a lot more info in this forum than the current class.

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.

I don't think anyone's giving away the farm ... just a list of grocery stores you can pick up anywhere. Besides, unless you have commercial grade BTU's, a staff of helpers cleaning and prepping for you, and Chef Tony's joyous banter in your own home, you still wouldn't be getting the full effect.

A.

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wow pretty surprised by the reaction and here i thought i was only asking a simple question, that surely wouldn't cause such a stir, guess i was wrong

Don't worry about it ... some folk just get their knickers in a knot over the oddest things. IMO the first class (of which I was a part) shared a lot more info in this forum than the current class.

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.

I don't think anyone's giving away the farm ... just a list of grocery stores you can pick up anywhere. Besides, unless you have commercial grade BTU's, a staff of helpers cleaning and prepping for you, and Chef Tony's joyous banter in your own home, you still wouldn't be getting the full effect.

A.

I cannot speak because I am not taking the glass and I guess some people feel cheated when they spend alot of money and the goodies are shared with the masses. However, to me we are just getting a peek through the looking glass. A wee taste and I would say that you are 100% correct that nothing can take the place of "being there". You need to soak up the words of a great teacher, the vibe and I am sure there is all sorts of nuances that are totally going over our heads because we recieve information second hand. A few pictures, a grocery list and a couple of techniques are just a tease and nothing more. If I win the lottery with one of my super 7 tickets, I will be signed up for the next class.

S.

Never met a vegetable I never liked except well okra!
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Samasutra, I haven't heard that anyone who took the class feels "cheated" as though we paid for something that others are getting for free; as Arne said, there's nothing to compare with being there.

I would say, however, that I personally think it's not necessarily fair to Chef to share too much, only because I wouldn't want anyone to think that they are getting the whole schmear and thus not take the class, which is worth taking, IMO, even if you have to scrimp and save to do it.

That is just my personal opinion, though: not a matter of trying to keep people in the dark so much as not giving away something that isn't ours to give, if you see what I mean. Kind of like my opinion on ...bootlegging DVDs. :raz:

Good luck on that Super 7!

Edited to correct the spelling of my emoticon! :laugh:

Edited by *Deborah* (log)

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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I don't think anyone's giving away the farm ... just a list of grocery stores you can pick up anywhere. Besides, unless you have commercial grade BTU's, a staff of helpers cleaning and prepping for you, and Chef Tony's joyous banter in your own home, you still wouldn't be getting the full effect.

Hey Big Shooter, this I have!

As Tony is not here to consent to divulging his curriculum, we should tread carefully.

This is the start of the slippery slope. Tony supports himself on these classes. Although a grocery store list is not the Rocket Formula, it could be construed as his intellectual property.

I recently sent out 80 copies of the gingerbread recipe when I thought I might have been replying to a few interested locals. I offered it up freely, but was very surprised at the response. Tony has not offered up anything to the board and we should respect that.

The gingerbread response was just another gentle reminder as you never know who is reading your stuff.

Anyhoo, this does not need to be a tempest in a teapot, but perhaps Tony's permession might be sought before this goes further.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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This is the start of the slippery slope. Tony supports himself on these classes. Although a grocery store list is not the Rocket Formula, it could be construed as his intellectual property.

I agree that post of others recipes and techniques may be an infringement of the original providers intellectual property, and indeed should not be shared verbatim without permission of the originator. The sharing of recommended food shops or services though, isn't that sort of what this forum is about, especially if they are in Vancouver? And surely, any recommendation to their establishment would be appreciated by the proprietors, especially since they are not big box, mainstream operations, but the rapidly disappearing genre of smaller or unique shops. Anything we can do to keep them going is a plus for people like Tony who originally recommended them. jmho. :smile:

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

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[host]

At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite (as I posted a comment up-thread) it's time to move on. We're here to talk about the class at NWCAV, not about copyright infringement.

I will speak with Chef Tony this week (or someone taking the class could) and make sure he's cool with the discussion.

Thanks.

A.

[/host]

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Last night was Italian night, except for the baguette which we cut into an epi (wheat sheaf) shape.

Tony demonstrated a classic tomato sauce; taught us about buying and using canned tomatoes and dried pasta; and waxed eloquent on the beauty of Italian cooking.

We made two dried pasta dishes - pasta with broccoli rabe and bocconcini and pasta with the aforementioned classic tomato sauce.

Using the fresh pasta dough prepared by Tony, we made prawn and leek tortolloni with smoked salmon cream sauce. Rolling out the pasta super thin made such a difference to the flavour of this dish! I'll never be able to buy the fresh filled pasta on Granville Island again. Dessert was cornmeal biscotti.

I hope one of the others has a few pictures to post.

Edited by barolo (log)

Cheers,

Anne

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  • 2 weeks later...

Our last class was Monday, featuring crab cakes with pinapple salsa and chili sauce, sun dried tomato crusted halibut, roast duck and creme brulee.

The halibut dish was demonstrated by Dave, one of our classmates and a very accomplished cook who is featured in the Vancouver Sun food section today. He won a recipe contest run by the BC Chef's Association with the halibut recipe and one of the prizes was the Serious Foodie class. It was a great way to end the class - the student becomes the teacher. Thanks to Tony, the culinary students, the staff and my fellow students for making the classes so successful!

Cheers,

Anne

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Our last class was Monday, featuring crab cakes with pinapple salsa and chili sauce, sun dried tomato crusted halibut, roast duck and creme brulee.

The halibut dish was demonstrated by Dave, one of our classmates and a very accomplished cook who is featured in the Vancouver Sun food section today.  He won a recipe contest run by the BC Chef's Association with the halibut recipe and one of the prizes was the Serious Foodie class.  It was a great way to end the class - the student becomes the teacher.  Thanks to Tony, the culinary students, the staff and my fellow students for making the classes so successful!

I didn't get to taste what you made but I saw a crab cake that was brought in for Chef Marco and it smelled amazing!!

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? 

When I was a lad, this line was frequently used as an argument for not getting married. In that context the line had some merit - or so I thought - until I discovered that buying the cow has its own rich rewards which have very little to do with drinking the milk.

I think there may be some parallels here.

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buying the cow has its own rich rewards which have very little to do with drinking the milk.
a.k.a. "The Anna Nicole Smith Theory".
I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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  • 1 month later...

Actually, it started last Monday. First night was salmon, last night was duck. We also did a bit on pig butchery. Photos are to follow, but to be honest, I find the class is conducted at a higher pace than the introduction so I haven't even thought about taking pictures.

I'm pretty sure *Deborah* took a few shots.

Yours truly has been given the honour of cooking off the ribs from the pig we butchered last night. Since I won't be at the next class (going to Hot Chefs Cool Jazz) and the following Monday is a holiday, I'll be waiting a few weeks before I smoke them bad boys ... definitely will be posting pictures.

A.

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Agreed Arne, because the class is aimed at the so-called "advanced foodie", I am finding the pace much faster and the info much more free flowing. Having said that, Chef is also more open to leaving things up to us. Eg, spice mixtures - he just says that he is using a spice mixture and doesn't go into great detail listing off each spice. He mainly says, "this is a classic combination" or something along those lines, and then leaves it up to us to decide what we want to use. So you actually get to think more for yourself as opposed to following along a Step 1: 1/4 T salt, 1/4 T sugar, Step 2: pat dry breast etc... Combine all of that and there is pretty much no time to snap photos.

Am thoroughly enjoying this class, perhaps moreso than the last one because of the above. All we have done is breakdown of proteins, then immediate prep plus charcouterie. Very little in the way of starches or veg. Got to break into the school's stash of demi-glace last night which made for an unbelievable sauce for duck breast. And the venerable nwyles even graced us with an appearance. Was expecting more yelling from him, perhaps he is lulling us with a nice-guy appearance before coming down with the hammer next time.

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Agreed Arne, because the class is aimed at the so-called "advanced foodie", I am finding the pace much faster and the info much more free flowing.  Having said that, Chef is also more open to leaving things up to us.  Eg, spice mixtures - he just says that he is using a spice mixture and doesn't go into great detail listing off each spice.  He mainly says, "this is a classic combination" or something along those lines, and then leaves it up to us to decide what we want to use.  So you actually get to think more for yourself as opposed to following along a Step 1: 1/4 T salt, 1/4 T sugar, Step 2: pat dry breast etc...  Combine all of that and there is pretty much no time to snap photos.

Am thoroughly enjoying this class, perhaps moreso than the last one because of the above.  All we have done is breakdown of proteins, then immediate prep plus charcouterie.  Very little in the way of starches or veg.  Got to break into the school's stash of demi-glace last night which made for an unbelievable sauce for duck breast.  And the venerable nwyles even graced us with an appearance.  Was expecting more yelling from him, perhaps he is lulling us with a nice-guy appearance before coming down with the hammer next time.

Having never been to Chef school or taken any lessons, This was interesting for me as well.

The breaking down of the pig was great.

I am going to keep my distance in the class. I gave a couple of pointers to a group when plating and helped with their duck but not much really. This is Tony's class and I am happy just to be there.

See you next week at the sausage festival. This is also very interesting as I did not learn at the feet of an Italian grandmother so I am curious to see how it goes.

Cheers

N

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Dropped by today to pick up my forgotten rillets (we had extras), and Tony gave me a taste of the duck stock they're going to reduce to demi. Sorry for the oft-used interjection, but ...

YUM!

A.

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See you next week at the sausage festival. This is also very interesting as I did not learn at the feet of an Italian grandmother so I am curious to see how it goes.
album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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As others have remarked, the pace of these classes does not favour lingering careful camera work. Great fun.

With the customary caveats and apologies for dubious photography and iffy plating...

From the first week: Salmon poached with fennel, here topped with a salmon 'bacon' [belly, wok-smoked]

gallery_42308_2890_8624.jpg

Salmon in a potato horseradish crust with a lemon beurre blanc...

gallery_42308_2890_4837.jpg

...and from week two, seared duck breast with a pan reduction sauce, polenta and an orange & walnut salad.

gallery_42308_2890_3059.jpg

Butchery: Two Chefs, one side of pig, and a generous helping of anatomy lessons.

gallery_42308_2890_12415.jpg

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That piggie looks SO good. OMG. :biggrin:

I just had a surprise visit by two dashing women presenting pork belley. That's got to be one of the best surprises!

mmm yumm bring on the pictures!

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

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