Let’s do a Cooking Class

“Let’s Do a Cooking Class” (Really?)

A group of friends.  Old friends:

“Let’s do a cooking class!”

“A what?”

“A cooking class. It’ll be fun!”

“Define fun.”

“An activity where we learn something new, we eat fabulous—“

“Are you crazy?  We don’t want to cook anymore.  We want to go out for dinner!”

“I can think of other things we could do for fun:”

“Hard pass on that.”

“Me too, but how much fun could a cooking class really be?”


Well, turns out quite a lot, especially if you choose Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Cambridge Mass.

When you arrive for your private class, CSCA will have everything waiting for you, including an expert chef (Hi, Anthony!) who will guide you every step of the way.

One of us had chosen French cuisine in advance, something I’d never have done. I am what one calls “la mademoiselle klutze,” AKA “Please don’t partner me up with her!” Chef Anthony, however, was there to make a believer out of me. (He is a saint and very cute. Where does one get that kind of poise? Je ne sais pas.)

During our mini wine and cheese soirée, he explained beautifully that we could partner up (or not) (we did) then dice, purée, mince and blanch our way through the sophisticated menu. Afterwards, without even having to clean anything up, we’d sit down at a beautifully set table and dine on our own creations (with wine!)

Our menu kicked off with French onion soup. Bien Sur!

This was followed by a very yummy couscous salad featuring goat cheese and figs!  Enchantee!  Also asparagus with a tarragon beurre blanc and a flavorful cognac braised chicken, which I never heard of but now think I could actually make at home. Quelle surprise!

Our chef stayed with us through thick and thin and there was a lot of both. I personally feared I’d need to be carted out in a wheelbarrow, and later was.  Ha ha, just kidding (barely).

This is not to say our event lacked drama. For example, did you know that the wishbone of a chicken is to be found in its, uh, rear end? (A statement to which Chef Anthony chuckles and says “I definitely didn’t say that!“). Did I mention there was wine?

My partner (poor dear) and I were told this “fact” by Anthony but failed to retain that bit of info. So our probings and pokings and awkward insertions were for naught. (Medical students probably go through this, don’t they? Upon reflection, this thought made me feel a little better.) We later learned that, for cutting purposes, the wishbone needs to be removed first. Our wishbones were not, unless Anthony had stepped in surreptitiously to get the job done. He does have super powers and should wear a cape.

All in all, though, the Chicken Cognac was wonderful—and I am set for Thanksgiving trivia.

The pièce de résistance of course was the gorgeous (and delicious) Beef Wellington. Grande!  Tres Jolie! Formidable!

Dessert was meant to be a very lovely array of cream puffs and eclairs personally prepared, cough cough, by yours truly. While perhaps they weren’t so lovely, miraculously they were truly delicious! (see below).

Not so miraculously…my partner and I had a bit of an accident with the piping bag, the gizmo you squeeze cream filling into to then squeeze out again from the other end. Like Julia Child!

Our technique, it must be said, may have looked a bit less like Julia and a bit more like Lucy and Ethel when the piping tip fell off somehow, somewhere.  Inside one of the cream puffs? A little surprise for someone? We worried right up to dessert until, once again, Chef Anthony came to save the day.  He’d found the darn thing (and thank goodness…not in a cream puff).  He’s such a peach! I think I owe him a car wash.

And so, friends, if your group is looking for something fun to do, about three hours long and a little out of the ordinary, maybe not bungee jumping, but more than just going out to the movies, do consider CSCA. Less commitment than an art class and no supplies needed! Hip hip! We heartily recommend! Fun!

Vive la CSCA!

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