Sur La Table, which calls itself “The art & soul of cooking”, is so much more than a place to pick up amazing cutlery and kitchen appliances to enhance your own apartment. Something that this amazing company prides itself on are its variety of daily classes you are able to take, as a way to enhance your culinary knowledge of sorts and ultimately find the chef that is inside of you. As someone who has been a big fan of Sur La Table for quite some time, I was eager to experience my first class with them this past Thursday night.
As referenced before, Sur La Table hosts a variety of classes at their 57th & 8th street location for the masses to enjoy. So whether you are on a global kick and want to learn how to make scrumptious dumplings, roll out with sushi making or take a trip down south for a taste of New Orleans, Sur La Table has you covered in order to pique your culinary interest.
Even though I am a guy, the first class that they signed me up for was their Girls Night Out: Deliciously Healthy, which was hosted by Chef Christianna Gozzi. Christianna and her two assistants really made it evident, from the get go, that this was going to be an interactive experience that had you meet other people as you were paired up in groups of four at each table.
I took my lovely friend Katherine to this experience, as she has expressed similar sentiments that I have had about trying a cooking class out. Our table was paired with this wonderful mother and daughter duo from Brooklyn, who shared a love of the show Top Chef and all things Sur La Table, as they had experienced many classes before. This allowed the level of excitement within me to enhance early on, and it kept going as dishes kept starting and finishing.
Our menu was essentially what the title of this class was- deliciously healthy. We made four different dishes: Cannellini Bean and Swiss Chard Soup with Poached Eggs, Quinoa-Crusted Chicken with Apple Salad, Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Walnut and Citrus Salad and a Blood Orange Sorbet. Naturally, my mouth was watering from the start as each option sounded scrumptious in their own way.
You really are in a culinary class of sorts, as Christianna expertly teaches you knife skills on so many of the items used, including how to shave down Brussels Sprouts, the mixture of vegetables that went into the soup (outside of the Swiss Chard), and the oranges and grapefruit that went into the pungent and fresh salad. She also opted for one of us to be the “hot chef” and man the soup station & create the sorbet throughout the meal. I naturally took control of that as I wanted to get an overall view on how this really is executed. The execution, in this situation, was effortless as you move from item to item seamlessly while still accomplishing so much as you moved on.
I also learned how to make everything from the Quinoa crust onto a fresh piece of chicken, a delicious poached egg that went as a topping on the soup (cracked the first egg, whoops!) and put together the ingredients to make the sorbet. Honestly, part of the reason why I took this class in the first place was that my mother Lisa, who passed 13 years ago, was a big chef and caterer out in Long Island and I did this as an homage to her in a way. Being in that kitchen reminded me of all the times I helped her out for her catering jobs, so it brought me back to a happy place in many different ways.
By the end of the class, we all got to experience each dish that we created and were happily stuffed after we finished. The food tasted absolutely amazing and will help me with my skills for future meals. Overall, this was a wonderful experience that I plan on doing again and again.
For more information on Sur La Table and their classes, check out their official site.