Team building, cooking events, catering, parties, and classes in the San Francisco Bay Area

In the Kitchen – May 2011

May 5, 2011

In the Market

Walking through the Saturday farmer’s market is getting exciting. The first cherries are here, there and everywhere, the strawberries and bright red and deeply sweet, and the spring onions and green garlic, spring peas and fava beans, artichokes, asparagus, young fennel and even a few blue lake beans and baby squash have arrived. There were raspberries this morning, tiny, early, but full of sweetness and flavor. The hard thing this time of year, is to not give in to temptation and buy more than you can eat or share in a reasonable amount of time. The freshest farmer’s market finds, a week later, are losing nutrients and flavor rapidly.

In the Kitchen, a NEW Service!

We’ve been busy! We have had great events, parties, classes and team building groups lately, and the menus have been changing with the micro-seasons, one of the fun things about not having a set series of menus people can choose from. We make it up as we go, listening to what our client groups want to make and eat, and suggesting things we know are fresh and in season.

This last week, we made a transformation—we brought in lounge furniture, erected a curtain wall, and catered a party cocktail-lounge style, with a lot of happy people eating and drinking in style. We are “launching” our in-house catering, something we’ve never emphasized before. We can handle groups up to 100 for cocktail type events, and 70 (easily) or 80 (a bit more moving of furniture) for seated dining. While the kitchen is industrial in look, it is clean, colorful, inviting, and the dining area is easily screened off from the bustle of the kitchen.

Photo

Photo

(Event Photography by Ken Mendoza at DuendePhoto.)

Classes

Knife Sharpening, with Eric E. Weiss, recently featured in the Chronicle, still has a few openings for the Monday, May 16th class, and another scheduled in July if you can’t make it to this one. Eric has keenly honed his teaching techniques (sorry) and they are as sharp as his knives—you get expert instruction, and your own sharpening stone, so you can practice your new skills at home.

Selome Haileleoul has added a delicious Vegan Ethiopian class on Saturday, May 21st, where you’ll learn the secrets of this great cuisine and dine on the results (of course). Enter a land of warm spices, interesting cooking techniques, and fantastic results.

Rosetta Costantino has a bunch of classes on the schedule, but most are sold out at this point. She still has space for her June 24th class, featuring all the marvelous things you can do with zucchini from her garden (and from yours if you’ve planted some), and one August 26th, featuring eggplant—again from her garden. For her sold-out classes, getting on the wait-list may yield results—either with a spot opening up, or enough people to form an additional class.

Summer Camp

It’s filling fast—but there are still a few places left in each session. Explore the offerings, and see if your child or children are interested. Your 9-17 year olds will thank you for the rest of their lives for the opportunity to learn focused cooking techniques and gain confidence in the kitchen. With home economics classes a thing of the past at school, skills such as healthful and masterful cooking, which have a life-long impact, are all the more important. Our chefs, Samantha and Omri, are both well skilled in working with kids, and excellent chefs. Tracy will be overseeing, helping and waiting for her son to come into the world at the end of July.

Recipe of the Month

I made up today’s versatile recipe a couple of weeks ago, inspired (as usual) by what was fresh and new in the farmer’s market, and have already modified it several times based on what I had on hand. I’ve used it as a small plate topped with some day boat scallop crudo and a little Maldon salt, and as a side dish for Easter dinner—it went great with leg of lamb. Tracy has declared it her new favorite vegetable dish. Just trust me and don’t stint on the quantity of olive oil—and use good, extra-virgin oil. It’s healthful, and this dish just tastes like springtime to me.