Keep It Simple
Over the winter break I did a lesson for a couple who were visiting from out of town. We did the lesson in their parent's kitchen and the focus was on making fresh pasta. My goal for this lesson was to teach them how a few simple techniques can add up to a really impressive meal. The pasta was made without the use of mixers, pasta machines, or specialty pasta cutters. The only required tools for the job were a knife and a rolling pin. We made a carbonara sauce to coat the pasta we made. Carbonara is one of the easiest sauces in Italian cuisine made from eggs, parmesan, bacon, and black pepper, held together by a little of the pasta cooking liquid. Keeping with the simplicity theme, the dessert was panna cotta with macerated berries. Panna cotta is a sweetened cream that is thickened with gelatin and we macerated (soften by soaking in liquid) our raspberries in lemon juice, zest, and sugar. In addition to being simple, this was also my most affordable lesson to date. The couple enjoyed sampling their creations at the end of the lesson, and even said they were planning on recreating the meal for their family later in the week.
I feel pretty lucky that I get to meet all of these different people who are interested in cooking. It's similar to the joy I would get, working in restaurants, when a customer would order off menu or have a special dietary restriction that required creative cooking on the fly. Each lesson is unique and I really enjoy the process of turning the concept into reality.