Sometimes, you find inspiration in the strangest places. Recently, I found mine teaching a one-off gnocchi-making class.
This isn’t meant to be a complaint, but being a chef—especially a chef owner—means a lot of long hours and hectic days. Big summer events and hot weather like our current stretch of over 30 days of heat and humidity take their toll. Some days, even all the beer and bourbon in the World won’t fix it!!!
But there are also days that remind you why you love this job enough to spend 20 days straight of wearing nothing but your chef clothes, to and from work; why it’s ok that both arms are covered in small warning burns from ovens, fried chicken oil, and pans; and why you went to bed at 1am and get back up at 7am to do it all again.
Let me tell you about one such day.
While closing the Railtown Bistro was a sad thing, we got to see lots of our regulars and friends over the last week as they stopped in for one last meal with us. One of our regular guests told us on one of our last nights she would miss the gnocchi and as I knew that she was coming in, I was able to make gnocchi just for her and her friend. They were very pleased!
A few days later she contact me to ask if I would teach her and her friends to make gnocchi and, I immediately said “yes” and began to draw up a plan for what the night would look like.
I said sure , and I began draw up a rough idea of the night would look like. My plan looked something like this.
- Charcuterie and Cheese for guests as they arrive, tell them about Big Lou’s of course
- Start the night with prep for the three sauces:
- Chorizo and tomato
- Wild Mushroom and goats cheese
- Brown Butter and Sage
- Gnocchi making – everyone to get involved and help make enough for entrees
- Serve dinner of salad Gnocchi with the three sauces, all presented family-style
With approval on the plan, I began getting ready for the big night including doing all my prep on Saturday before the class. The venue was great: a beautiful house and a even better kitchen that was filled with lovely, inquisitive guests. Everything was right for a great evening.
It turned out that each of the guests had been to Two Chefs in Gastown and it was great to hear them all say how much they had loved it. During the night, we made some great gnocchi and I managed to hold my own against guests who had learned from gnocchi experts in their families.
Afterwards, I was able to watch the fireworks from a most tranquil patio with a view of the show. After quietly packing up, I headed home late at night as usual, but this time with a renewed energy for the Sunday brunch service that was on the schedule.
Along with the great night, I’m starting to play with the idea of some occasional in-home cooking classes, customized to specific dishes that the guests have picked to learn. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in hosting or being part of a group cooking class. We’d be more than pleased to create a custom and delicious event where you and your friends can learn and then enjoy your new food creation.
Thanks for reading,