Sunday, May 4, 2014

KC Culinary Indulgences

Cooking Class

A growing passion of mine over the past couple of years has been cooking. In reality,  the passion is around eating; cooking just allows me to make delicious foods to shove in my face. I simply love the act of eating. This is actually one of the unforeseen benefits of rocking a plant powered diet; I can simply eat more volume because I don't have to worry about the calories associated with the food.

Despite enjoying cooking and the food that comes as a result, I had never really tried to learn how to do it. Enter my list item of taking a cooking class. Once again, this was one of those things that proved harder to do than I initially thought due to living in Omaha. Thankfully, I have friends that live in larger metro areas that have these sorts of services. So, off we went to the Kansas City Culinary Center with our friends Meghan and Joji.

The class we took was basic knife skills. I thought this would be great because knife skills are the building blocks of any type of cooking. Additionally, I thought that if I got better with a knife, cooking might take less time.

We walked into the class and I immediately noticed that it looked like I knew more than I did simply because I brought my own knife block. If I was going to learn how to use knives, I was going to learn how to use my own. The room had a nice setup of mirrors and a camera that gave you good visibility to what the chef was doing regardless of your position in the room.

The first part of the class was him showing us how to sharpen and then demonstrating the techniques for various vegetables (onions, carrots, etc). The next part of class was where we got to use the techniques ourselves. We were making a big ol' vegetable soup to eat at the end of class. Angie and Meghan both stated that this wasn't a competition; Joji and I informed them that they were wrong. I feel that I beat Joji in the speed department, but he beat me in quality (this is par for the course for me). The good quality elevated Joji to chef's favorite. The chef would come over and demonstrate advanced techniques to Joji while we just looked on. I guess I lost the competition. I've got to say, I was a bit jealous.

Joji demolishing the celery
All in all, it was a fun experience and I did learn how to use my knives better. Unfortunately, it's one of those things you need to practice regularly, so I had already forgotten some of the stuff a day later.

Fancy Pants Dinner

Later in the evening, we went to try to cross off the most difficult item on my list, spend $150 on a meal for Angie and myself. I had no idea that this would be so difficult to do. Not eating meat and not drinking alcohol keeps the price down. I still don't know if it's possible and not feel like you want to vomit everywhere.

Our fancy pants dinner was at Cafe Provence, a French restaurant that seems to actually be ran by French folk. I thought our waitress was just throwing out a couple of random words in French to complete the atmosphere, but then I later heard her conversing with another employee in French.

Fancy pants bathroom decor
Angie and I each ordered an appetizer, main course, and dessert plus I gave a larger tip than I normally do and we only got up to $120. Of course it was a very good meal, but I can't really stomach spending that much money on a meal any time soon. So, overall, kind of "meh" would likely not go again.

Meghan more terrifying than usual

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