Blogs > Cooking from Scratch

Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flavor Friends & Perfect Pairs

On Wednesday night, our Advanced Culinary School students learned the secrets to planning the perfect meal by knowing how to pair different ingredients to achieve the most delicious results.

We all know that certain things go well together, but many people don't know why. The biggest reason people have difficulty pairing ingredients together is that they don't really know where to start. The easiest place to start is by tasting individual ingredients, like olive oil, from different companies, and developing the palate.

In our workshop, students tasted 5 extra virgin olive oils, one pure olive oil, 3 balasmic vinegars, 2 apple cider vinegars, 4 types of butter (salted and unsalted), 4 types of salt, fresh herbs, dried herbs, 8 types of chocolates (ranging from milk to unsweetened, and even "candy coating" - YUCK!), a vinaigrette made with freshly squeezed lemons, the same recipe prepared with ReaLemon juice from the bottle (again, YUCK), and several other things!

After tasting and discussion, we could then build from there. It was our first Mirepoix Cooking School class where NO ONE cooked! How exciting!

I've said several times that the Culinary School Series is my new favorite set of classes to teach. I love that we can spend hours just talking about food, discussing the nuances, and dishing on food theory.

If the "hows and whys" of cooking appeal to you, consider signing up for the next series in January. Until then, taste, taste taste!


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