I had been wanting to take a cooking class for a long time, and a few months ago when reading Michelle’s blog The Domestic Mama & the Village CookI read about a crepe cooking class she’d taken. Since we both live within 17 miles of each other, I didn’t hesitate to ask her where she took the class. I was excited to learn about the Publix Apron Cooking School in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’re interested they also have cooking schools in Sarasota, Tampa, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Plantation and Alpharetta, Georgia. I immediately went on their website to check out any future classes, and then spent the next hour writing down all the ones I was interested in. Oh yeah…there were a bunch.
Of course my mind began spinning with all the possible scenarios. Michelle & I taking a class, a local food blogger meetup with Tina, Lora, Michelle, Binky & Joan, a fun mom’s night out with some of my friends (let me know which of you would like to do this with me!!)…really the possibilities are endless! At the time I still had Food Blog Forum Orlando to look forward to so I knew it might be awhile, but I knew eventually I’d be checking them out.
Finally Michelle & I agreed we both really wanted to take the sauce class, and when we finalized arrangements the week before we were both super excited! Foodie stuff is fun, right? I mean we all like to eat! Here’s a class description excerpt from the Publix Apron Cooking School website…
CLASS TYPE / FORMAT / COST – Special Topics / Hands-On / $45
INSTRUCTOR(S) – Apron’s Staff
DATE & TIME – Jun 9 / 6:00 p.m.
DESCRIPTION– One of the most memorable parts of a meal is the sauce that enhances the entrée. Once you understand the structure and framework of classic sauces and how and why sauce ingredients are combined, you can play with variations of the five “mother” sauces. Also, you will learn how to “fix” or counter-balance a sauce that does not turn out exactly right, and how to freeze sauces for future use.
MENU– Veggies ‘Benedict’ with Hollandaise Sauce; Penne Rigate with Italian Sausage and Tomato Cream Sauce; Pan Bronzed Scallops with Sauce vin Blanc (veloute); Pork Tenderloin with Sherry Peppercorn Sauce (Espagnole); Lobster Mac and Cheese (Bechamel).
Doesn’t that sound like fun? And even if you’re a sauce expert, I was sure there were going to be many tips and techniques they’d impart along the way…and there were. And we got to eat everything we made…score!
After a harried drive right through West Palm Beach’s downtown rush hour traffic and a few prayers for safety, I picked Michelle up and we headed to our class…cameras in tow. It was our first foodie event together since Food Blog Forum and we couldn’t wait. Thankfully the drive after I picked up Michelle was much smoother, and before we knew it we arrived.
We tied on our aprons, put on our name tags, washed our hands and took our spot at the cooking island. There were 8 other people there and each of us had our own spot with a cutting board and chef’s knife. I felt like I was part of a Food Network cooking show or competition. I admit I was a bit nervous. There were 2 chefs instructing that night were Richard and Micheal.
They briefly ran down the kitchen rules…most regarding cleanliness, and then we set out on the first sauce….the classic tomato sauce since it has the longest cook time. You know the longer it cooks the better the flavor! Here are some pictures of our cooking experience….
Tomato sauce and the Bechamel sauce
Lobster Mac and Cheese with the Bechamel sauce being added
Me stirring the Espagnole sauce which was the base of the Sherry Peppercorn sauce
Chef Michael having a bit of fun when the camera came out…too bad my eyes were closed!
Michelle pouring in the wine for the Hollandaise sauce
Veggies Egg Benedict
Pork Tenderloin which we topped with the Sherry Peppercorn sauce
After the first 2 hours…and a lot of food later, we finally poured ourselves a glass of Pinot Grigio and sat down to enjoy the feast. There was A LOT of food! They only set up four tables for dining so that we had a chance to sit with our other cooking companions and get to know them.
My plate ~ with this meal I was able to eat low carb! I only had a little pasta under that big bowl of sauce, but I didn’t eat it. I also didn’t touch my english muffin…just ate the veggie topping. I took one bite of the lobster mac and cheese to sample it.
Overall, we had a great time, and the food was fabulous! Michelle and I plan on taking more classes in the future, and I’m sure that I’ll end up there with other friends, the local bloggers and even my hubby! After seeing my pictures and hearing about my night, he seems very interested in taking a class with me…possibly one of these grilling classes.
The chefs were very friendly and helpful, and we all got a chance to participate many times throughout the class. At first glance I had been concerned with the price…but either I’m good at rationalizing things, or I’m right when I figure that for only $15 – $20 more than a dinner out with my friends, I am getting a hands on cooking class. So $45 for dinner out AND a cooking class is worth it for me.
*What about you? Would it be worth it to you? Have you ever taken a cooking class? If so, did you enjoy it? If you are local please sure other cooking opportunities in our area.
*Shares or Facebook “recommends” are MUCH appreciated! Thanks!!