One of the best feelings in the world, is doing something you love and being able to share it with others. I love to cook and I love teaching. Yesterday, I was able to put the two together! I was the “Chef” for the Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories “Follow That Chef” series.
If you’ve been with me for a while, you know this series is one of my favorites. You get to meet local chefs, cookbook authors, and other fabulous foodie folks, follow them around the Santa Monica Farmers Market, then go back to the school for a cooking demo. I’ve made some incredible friends and learned quite a bit by going to these. To be on the other side of the counter and be the person cooking was nothing short of amazing! I had a great time!!
I was so excited, we were on the road just after 5 AM to make sure we were there on time! (To be fair, I live about 45 miles away and Los Angeles traffic is not always pretty!)
We had more than enough time to set up and prepare the room. Here is a shot of the school kitchen before we went to meet everyone at the Market!
Here is the Gourmandise famous red wagon! It was following ME! Squeeeeee!
One of the things I like best about the farmers market is the opportunity to take pictures. There is always beautiful produce and as we walked around the different stalls, we chatted with the farmers, asked questions and took pictures. Here is one of the ladies in our group taking a picture of goose eggs!
Cool, huh? :-) We are blessed to live in Southern California where this market is available all year-long. Nothing tastes better than fresh from the farm ingredients!
After the tour, it was time to cook! I don’t know how restaurant Chefs feel about doing demos, but I was very excited! Ok, maybe a bit nervous too. I was afraid I’d forget an ingredient, there would be long awkward moments of uncomfortable silence or worse, I’d cut my finger in front of everyone. You’ll be glad to know, I still have all my fingers and I never should have worried about silence because this girl can TALK! The shallots missing from the salad dressing, well…we won’t discuss that. :-)
I made Roasted Butternut Squash Soup!
Then, we assembled the salad! A tip from one of the participants was to drop a bit of dressing on your hand so you don’t have to keep washing tasting spoons. Taste as you go! Always important!
What? No… I didn’t just accidentally drop the lid of the blender in the dressing. Who does that?
Spinach salad with red onions, walnuts, feta, tangerines and a fabulous cranberry dressing made from leftover cranberry sauce!
Finally, we made sage brown butter sauce to drizzle over crostini’s topped with homemade Ricotta.
Here is a small part of the group tasting fresh ricotta – and posing for a picture!
As I said earlier, nothing feels better than sharing what you love! I shared my passion for cooking with some awesome people, in one of my favorite places. I am a lucky girl!! Many thanks and much love to the fabulous Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories for giving me such an awesome opportunity!