Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Southern Home & Kitchen: Cooking Class

At the start of the night. Such high hopes!
Have you heard about the new Cooking Classes offered at Southern Home & Kitchen at Thru-Way in Winston-Salem? I hate to be a hater, but I was pretty disappointed with my experience. I'm willing to give it a second chance, but it's left a chip on my shoulder. The spring-inspired class was scheduled from 6-8pm on a Monday evening, but didn't end until after 9pm. By 7:30pm, we had only received 1 course out of the 4 we would be enjoying. Thankfully, the assistant had a heavy hand when pouring the wine (though we could see that two of the 4 bottles were $3 Chuck from Trader Joe's).

I think one of the biggest problems was that the chef had difficulty multitasking. And for a spring-inspired meal, I was missing some green - where were the Peas? Asparagus? Strawberries? The taste of most everything was fabulous, but the menu was a bit heavy: Leek and Potato Soup; a Potato Pancake and Scallop; Filet Mignon with a Mushroom, Spinach and Goat Cheese Strudel; and Bread Pudding with Kahlua Caramel Sauce. This would be perfect for a fall menu. I can't imagine I'm the only one who noticed this.

Bread Pudding...finally!
To his credit, the chef quickly whipped up two impromptu sauces that wonderfully complemented the Scallop and Filet Mignon (both cooked to perfection), and impressed me with his food knowledge. The Scallop was finished in the oven, along with the Latkes, which were a bit gummy, but the impromptu sauce made up for it! I was intrigued by his use of Streusel in the Bread Pudding - removing the dish halfway during the baking process and adding a simple crumble of Brown Sugar, Butter, Pecans and Salt adds a wonderful layer of flavor and crunch. But if you're going to go to the trouble of making a divine homemade Kahlua Caramel Sauce, don't drizzle Hershey's Syrup on it too!

At the end of the class, I was more ready to leave than I was full. Luckily, Dewey's Bakery offers free cake squares on Monday, so my partner in crime and I had a yummy morsel on our drive back to Greensboro. If you go to one of these classes, and I encourage you to, have a snack before you go. It's a very cool store and this is a terrific concept, so maybe I just hit it on an off night. But for me, $46 is a lot to spend on something I'm very less than satisfied with.

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