I’m sad. Monday was the last day of Cooking Lab at The Chopping Block. I can’t tell you how much I loved this series. Oh wait, you are my captive audience so I CAN tell you!! I have always prided myself on being a good cook. I could look at recipe, get the ingredients and come up with a decent plate of food. I learned in this series cooking really is so much more that that. It is understanding your cookware and tools. It is figuring out how to balance the flavor because not EVERY piece of protein or vegetable is going to taste theRead More →

Of all the classes I read about in The Chopping Block’s Cooking Lab, I knew I was going to be “fond” of class number 3.   It was all about developing flavors and understanding the roles emulsifiers, thickeners and starches play in some of my favorite things like sauces, soups and vinaigrettes. I knew this was going to be fascinating because I am literally fond of fond (the brown yummy stuff that sticks to your pan). Have you ever just scooped up a spoonful and popped it in your mouth? It is the essence of all the good things that can come out of your meal.Read More →

Have you ever done a jigsaw puzzle?  Do you look at the picture on the box, study the design and think about the pieces?  Or do you just dump the box on the table, find the edges and think of the picture components as you go along? I have always been a box dumper and realized that has also been my approach to cooking in the past. I dump my ingredients on the counter, look at my recipe and just go along.  But I think I need to start looking at the whole picture and thinking about my pieces. Monday I went to my secondRead More →

I have lost count of how many classes I have taken at The Chopping Block over the years.  Usually the class has a distinct theme (Thai, Julia Child, Pasta) and an exciting experience of cooking and eating fills my evening. Last night, I went to my first of four Cooking Lab Classes and I knew I was in for an entirely different experience.  With warm welcomes from owner, Shelley Young, and the one of my favorite chefstructors, Mario, I was perplexed at the table set up. The food was a mix between a 6 year old’s birthday party and a bad case of the munchies. Read More →