Want to know the best way to spend a Friday night past the age of thirty? Cooking Class at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). Years ago I took a class there and it was so much fun that I decided to go again.
Of course, the amazing human being that introduced me to this place is Dotty…as she’s generally pulling me out of my day to day to do fun things like take cooking classes, visit museums and try new restaurants. For those of you who’ve never heard of Dotty let me give you a little history. Dotty was my very first roommate in NYC. I rented a room in her amazing (huge!) UWS apartment for a year and then Spencer and I moved in with her together. We started our little NYC life alongside the best roommate ever. We now consider Dotty our NYC family.
So, Dotty and I met for a four hour 6:00 pm class of Fall Favorites where we learned the cook the following:
- Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Truffled Croutons and Shiitake Mushrooms
- Kale Salad with Pickled Onions and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Beet Pappardelle with Goat Cheese and Roasted Hazelnuts
- Fontina-Stuffed Veal Scallopini with Wild Mushroom Sauce
- Guinness-Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta and Roasted Cipollini Onions
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Pancetta
- Gingerbread-Pear Trifle
The class was started off by giving a rundown of the different ingredients we would be using and explaining their purpose. Did you know that you can eat the stems of beets? And that Kale is sweetest in October? We also went over a few knife skills and some advise on good food practice. For example;
Eating In Season & Why You Should Do It:
- Food tastes better as it’s growing in prime condition
- The cost of food is lower as there is more of it
- It’s better for the environment to eat in season!
How You Can Eat In Season:
- By visiting your local Farmer’s Market
- Joining a CSA
- Download the Seasonal Food Guide app
Once the basics were covered we were split into three groups of four. Each group got to make all the entrees and we split the sides/soups between the three groups.
I loved how the class was run as it was very well organized, the menu and recipes were clear and the Chef and Assistant were very helpful and knowledgeable. Our Chef that night was Chef Wai Chu and assisting him was Cristina who’s last name I don’t know but was insanely funny and added a nice touch to the kitchen.
As we were ready to start a new recipe we were presented with a tray that had everything we needed. Some things were even measured out already!
The recipes were involved and complex and like nothing I had ever cooked so it really made me feel like the class price tag was worth it ($120). Chef Wai would do mini demos each time we were about to start a new recipe so that everyone was clear on what was expected.
It was super fun to cook with beer. The Guiness-Braised Short Ribs took about two hours to make so we started that off first. We had to keep checking on them every 20 minutes or so to make sure nothing was sticking to the bottom of the pan. I have to say everything we cooked with from metal bowls, dutch ovens, to the knives were perfect and high quality.
As were finished some of the recipes we plated them to later be put into the warming oven. From top left Clockwise: Fontina-Stuffed Veal, Gingerbread (to be used with dessert), Caramelized Pears (to be used with dessert) and Kale Salad with Pickled Onions and Apple Cider Vinaigrette.
My favorite part of the whole class was making pasta! I actually had never made pasta and I’ve been dying for a KitchenAid Pasta attachment so it was a total treat to try one before committing to the purchase. We added beet puree to the dough which was like adding something amazing to an already amazing thing…amazing!
The last few minutes of cooking class really felt like being in a professional kitchen. We were a little bit rushed for time so it was all hands on deck to make sure the dinner was ready by 9:30pm. We finished a little bit past 9:30 but it was worth it to ensure everything was perfect. At the end of class we all sat down to eat a family style dinner. ICE was generous and provided us with delicious wine to go with our meal. Of course everything was incredibly good. Best part? We got takeaway containers!
If you want a copy of the recipes please don’t hesitate to reach out! What’s your favorite go to recipe?
Institute of Culinary Education
225 Liberty St, New York, NY (Brookfield Mall)
Monday – Friday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Saturday – Sunday:9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Make a Class Reservation: here