This past week I had the chance to go to my very first ever culinary school called Relish Culinary for our work team building event. I love that you get to make everything you eat plus they add on to it by creating few treats made by the chef. Hands down one of the most fun experiences I have had at work ~ dinking wine, making homemade pasta, crepes and bruleeing stinky cheese!
As soon as we walked in the door, we were greeted iced cool glasses of Geyser Peak.
The appetizer made by the Chef ~ Figs stuffed with Irish blue cheese, wrapped in prosciutto, roasted and then drizzled with a balsamic glaze.
They even made me one sans the stinky cheese! I did actually brave the stinky cheese to try another and ready for this…..I liked it! I totally blame that on the “bacon” aka prosciutto.
We all moved into the kitchen, put on our aprons and toasted to start our cooking adventure.
The Chef and host of the night told us all about the school, themselves and the menu. Fun fact if you live near Healdsburg ~ you can volunteer here for free cooking classes ~ so fun!
Our first task was to FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS making homemade pasta.
It’s a pretty short list but……
Dump one cup of flour on the table and make a well big enough to hold 1 egg and 1 Tbsp. olive oil.
Add the egg and then the olive oil…in that order.
Then, slowly whisk the egg gradually adding in a little flour at a time.
The trick is to not get too much flour at one time or your pasta will be lumpy.
It takes about 5 minutes to form the pasta dough ball, then, the fun begins. Cheese!
You have to knead that dough ball using the palm of your hand and pushing it flat, folding it in half and repeating. You have to do this for about 10-15 minutes to form the “gluten” that binds the pasta together.
It’s a workout ~ my co-worker & I after like 10 minutes wondering if our dough would ever turn into pasta!
After all that kneading, we drank more wine, wrapped the dough and let it rest for 20 minutes.
The next tasks took all of us working together as a team to create 6 foot long pasta sheets using these old school pasta rollers.
There are 7 settings your roll the dough through, 3 ties on each setting. At the end, you slice the pasta into 3 pieces and thread it through the pasta slicer attachment.
Tadahhh!!! Sprinkle with flour, toss and the fresh pasta is ready to cook.
It was about this time we broke out the Geyser Peak Chardonnay ~ we earned it!
To go with our fresh pasta, the chef purchased these amazing local king salmon filets that she coated in homemade pesto, then, roasted in olive oil on a cedar plank.
I will be the first to admit I only like salmon raw and in sushi….but, like this, I LOVED it and would totally eat it again.
The next station was dessert which included making up homemade chocolate ganache.
Simply take a bunch of good dark chocolate and add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.
Stir, but, don’t set your wine glass down
We all had the chance to channel our inner chefs by working together to cook a bunch of homemade crepes which included flipping them from the pan in the air.
By this time, the entire place was smelling pretty amazing, but, we had one last task we had to complete so we could enjoy our farm to table homemade meal.
Have you all ever heard of bruleeing goat cheese?
We all had to torch one round of stinky cheese. I LOVE the fact that they made a mini goat cheese since they knew I didn’t like stinky cheese.
Let me just say ~ caramelizing crunchy sugar on top of it totally made me want to try it.
The simple salad was so incredibly tasty ~ we took arugula, shaved radishes and fennel (yes, two ingredients I don’t like, but, loved in this) and tossed them with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
The base for our crunchy, sugar topped stinky cheese.
Each place setting at the table had a complete book of recipes for everything we made for us to take with us. Served up with lots of Geyser Peak Red and White Wines of course!
I am just going to say it ~ I ate stinky cheese and I liked it….I think it was because it was a mild goat cheese, but, I have no doubt the sugar coating and tart lemon arugula salad made it even better.
Best pasta I’ve ever eaten ~ you know because of all the love put into making it
Tossed with fresh tomatoes, basil, lemon olive oil and sweet grilled summer squash.
The crepes we made were stuffed with fresh berry whipped cream, fresh berries and drizzled with that chocolate ganache we made. They really were as good as they looked.
Such a fun night ~ good food, good wine, good friends and coworkers!
I can’t wait to go back and have The Husband get his Iron Chef on trying out one of the public Relish Culinary Classes!
We are spending today/tonight celebrating my nephew’s, niece’s and mom’s birthdays so I will catch up with you all tomorrow.