What did I say when Living Social DC asked me to be their guest at my pick of one their hands-on cooking classes?
I think cooking classes are fun way to get ideas and freshen your skills in the kitchen. In grad school I volunteered at a cooking school in Chapel Hill (which means I cut up a lot of vegetables and poured quite a few glasses of wine) so I could attend as many classes as I wanted.
If you’ve never been to a cooking class and you like to cook or to watch cooking shows on TV, you’ve got to try it. It’s dinner and a show and I guarantee you’ll leave having learned some new tricks.
I surveyed Living Social’s extensive offerings and picked Cooking with Bourbon, a class led by Chef Matt Finarelli. Why bourbon? Living Social graciously let me bring a guest and I knew this one would go over well with my guest, Joe, and I’ve been on a cooking with spirits kick lately (remember Bourbon Banana Pudding?)
We arrived at the lovely 918 F St. location and were escorted upstairs into the class kitchen.
A tip: if you’re taking a cooking class and want to have a glass of wine with your meal, check out their basement bar, the Speakeasy, before class. You can bring drinks to class (we didn’t realize this going in and the cooking class lasted about 2 and a 1/2 hours without the chance to get a drink besides the bourbon punch they served that was a touch too sweet and didn’t seem to have much kick to it.)
The room is well-designed with cameras hooked up to TVs and the instructor wears a mike so every last person can see and hear his instructions.
His love for cooking and food was immediately apparent as were his teaching skills; no question was too elementary.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. To start, we posted up at our station with its own gas burner and massive cutting board.
Everything was well-organized. Each station had a laminated copy of the recipes and all the ingredients and utensils we’d need for each recipe. The Living Social team was helpful and friendly; they never stopped moving, busing our stations, refilling waters, and fixing any cooking goof-ups. Thanks Molly for being kind when we slightly messed up our chocolate pies because we were taking pictures and not paying attention!
So what were we cooking, you ask?
Here’s the menu: (click on the dish to see Chef Matt’s recipe)
our finished product
and Chef Matt’s
Then we moved onto the main course of Smoked Pepper and Bourbon Beef Chili, full of these peppers that made the room so smoky that everyone was coughing up a storm.
Our side was Sweet Potatoes
And finally, individual Chocolate-bourbon Pecan Pies with whipped cream.
I had to do a little repair to one of my crusts
Can you tell I’m happy to be back in cooking class and sporting my sparkly Sperrys?
Check out a cooking class at Living Social’s 918 F Street location! The stations are set-up for two people to work together, so it makes for a great date but there were plenty of folks who were attending by themselves.
If cooking isn’t your thing they have a variety of other offerings including fitness classes, beer tastings and wine/painting classes.