I could still catch magical whiffs of garlic and sweet briny scallop on my hands as I started this blog late Thursday night. This, and an epic to-go box of risotto, were just a few of the dividends of taking the class -- "Gordon Ramsay's Pet Peeves: Why Can't Anybody Cook Scallops or Risotto?" -- through INCA after Dark, one of Bermtopia's best culinary resources available to food nuts in our fair city. I also walked away with new knife skills, a better way to roast peppers, an awesome method of dicing onion where you end up with actual dice instead of small onion asteroids, four fabulous sauces and a new appreciation for fresh succotash (hint: everything goes better with bacon).
Offered through Spokane Community College's Inland Northwest Culinary Academy (I-N-C-A. Get it?), these are hands-on cooking classes that bring you into the behind-the-scenes world of a working culinary arts program. But it's just not a class, it's an experience -- working side-by-side with new food-lovin' BFFs, culinary students, INCA faculty and area chefs in a kitchen equipped with knives that are actually sharp.
Oh. And there are snacks and wine if you are so inclined. We were.
I love scallops. And I love risotto, but I have come late to the "Hell's Kitchen" game with Gordon Ramsay, king of the kitchen f-bomb. It's just been in the last month or so, that I've caught a couple of his rather rambunctious productions, including one where bad risotto actually literally went flying into the trash accompanied by some of the more innovative versions of "f**king unacceptable" that I've ever heard.
The combination was irresistible (minus the f-bombs maybe), so I gathered a couple friends, Mesdames les Artistes, and signed up for the class. After a quick introduction by Chef Curtis, an INCA instructor, we got to right to work. MLA Molly and I were assigned to fresh succotash -- and Apprentice Heather.
cue the angels' chorus. . .
I did not share that, most of the time, the most severe home knife injury I might incur is a mild bruise.
(Note to self: Sharpen knives this week. So you can be a danger to yourself.)
And then we were onto risotto and scallops -- the stars of our show.
|The demonstration screen is way cool. It zooms in and out so|
you can see E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
It also is a safeguard,
preventing the riff raff from sticking their fingers
in a perfectly delectable pan of risotto.
|Don't even think about it. |
It's mine. All mine.