I’ve been on quite the hiatus — first it was Nashville for the KEEN Digital Summit, and then I had a health issue to address… but I’m back into the swing of things again! I’m ready, you ready? Cool. Let’s get it then.
So I first visited the Village Kitchen Shoppe nearly a year ago.
When I get people gifts I often like to give experiences, rather than things. And being that my dad loves to cook (he’s basically an undercover gourmet chef) I thought it would be fun to gift him a cooking demonstration for his birthday.
The idea of sitting back, relaxing, and drinking a couple glasses of wine while observing new cooking techniques followed by a delicious meal sounded right up our alley! And it was.
I’ve been back to the Village Kitchen Shoppe many times over the last year. Their well-stocked shop is a great place to find cooking-related gifts. Each time I go I discover exciting, new trinkets and tools — like colorful, magnetic, stackable measuring cups & spoons or the absolute coolest mixer I’ve ever laid eyes on.
So… last month, when I discovered a pair of passes to another one of these cooking demonstrations at an auction organized by the David & Margaret Home, I was determined to win them to surprise my dad with a sequel to our previous culinary training.
The $50/person “TAB (Take a Break)” class was lead by 1 head chef, Gina, 1 sous chef and about 8-10 observers. It lasted from 10:30am – about 1:30pm. Gina, who has been working at the Village Kitchen Shoppe for four years, is likable and full of interesting knowledge.
A sample of things I learned specifically about eggs from Gina during the TAB class:
— Egg shell attracts egg shell. If you break an egg and a piece of the shell falls into the bowl, use another piece of shell to help fish it out.
— Egg yolk is always the same size. It’s the egg white that differs amongst the various sizes of eggs. Who knew?
As you can see below, the demonstration was best seen from the overhead mirror that reflected the table Gina worked on.
The food itself was fabulous! During this particular demonstration (the menu is different each time) they served a sweet and sour holiday brisket, a massive iceberg salad with refreshing dressing and blue cheese, roasted fingerling potatoes and carrot coins, goat cheese popovers, and a pumpkin pecan cake bar with a cream cheese vanilla bean frosting.
The brisket was tender and full of incredible flavor. The goat cheese popovers, perfect for mopping up the crazy good sauce from the brisket, were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The vegetables, deceivingly simple to make, seemed like there just had to be some fancy, special secret to them.The gloriously gigantic pumpkin pecan cake bars were a perfect way to end the meal and indulge in the festivity of fall. Moist, sweet, surprisingly light, yet still wonderfully rich — I was a big fan.
The following weekend I made the fingerling potatoes and carrot coins (with a Beer Braised Beef dish by the Pioneer Woman) and it was boyfriend-approved! Both recipes were ridiculously easy to repeat but tasted like I’d slaved in the kitchen. Loved that.
Overall: I recommend the classes at the Village Kitchen Shoppe to anyone in the San Gabriel Valley area looking for a new way to spend a Saturday morning or celebrate a special occasion.