Serious Foodie Course; Day 1

19 Jan

What a day! I just finished my first class at the “Serious Foodie” cooking course at the NorthWest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. Although I started with a few first day jitters I was over those pretty quickly thanks to our instructor, Tony, who made things very light and friendly. We eased into the class with a basic introduction to the tools of the kitchen, specifically knives.

Tonight we learned the basics of how to use a knife, how to make a basic chicken stock, and then we made a Gypsy Soup, which was similar to tortilla soup and made from the chicken broth that we had cooked earlier. I must admit, I always throw my chicken bones away when I make roast chicken but seeing how easy it was to make a stock (or in this case a broth), I will be putting that little chicken carcass to good use next time!

Helpful tips that I learnt tonight:

  • Smaller/medium sized carrots and zucchini are more flavourful than bigger ones. (No, I’m not talking about those cute baby carrots!).
  • Tomatoes and limes should be kept at room temperature. This was news to me – I always keep my tomatoes in the fridge. No more!
  • The difference between stock and broth is that stock is made with the bones, and broth is made with the meat still on the bones. I have always used the two interchangeably. Again, no more!
  • Use a pastry scraper to transfer your vegetables from the chopping board to the pot or pan. I always just balanced them on the back of the knife. Oops.
  • When cooking pasta, use cold water from the tap (or filtered cold water). Don’t use hot water from the tap.
  • A mirepoix is basically the supporting cast of vegetables which help make a good stock. How awesome is that name? Mirepoix. It’s almost as good as bouquet garni.

I learned other things too and one, in particular, shocked me. Did you know that each glug of olive oil contains 125 calories?! I. Did. Not. Know. That. I am normally fairly generous with my olive oil (which explains a few things) but now, having learnt this, I will be stepping away from the oil!

If the food we ate tonight is any indication, I will have to make Wednesday trips to the gym mandatory. We started off by nibbling delicious canapés, moved on to homemade soup and a glass of wine, and finished with freshly made pastries (we didn’t make those). Overall, I enjoyed the first class. It was fun and I’m excited that, in just one class, I’ve already expanded my knowledge in the kitchen. I can’t wait to see what the next seven classes bring.

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3 Responses to “Serious Foodie Course; Day 1”

  1. mia January 22, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    hi hi…so about the pasta thing. is there any particular reason why cold water is better for pasta than hot? very curious about that! thanks! interesting post!

    • greedyguts January 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

      Hi! Well our instructor made the point that all hot water from the tap sits in a hot water tank until it’s ready to be used. So I guess the theory is that the water isn’t as clean as flowing cold tap water. He actually said using cold filtered water is the best. I tried this yesterday (using cold tap water) and I personally couldn’t taste any difference so I guess it is a personal thing. Thanks for reading!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dirty Apron Cooking Class – Ooh La La! « The Culinary Adventures of a Greedy Guts - January 22, 2012

    […] my cooking confidence by getting out of my comfort zone. I had a great experience with the “Serious Foodie” cooking class from the Northwest Culinary Academy last year but this year I want to try different cuisines and […]

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