Posted by: Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian | February 15, 2011

Artepicure Cooking School and the winner of the Uncle Sam Cereal giveaway!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you all had a day full of love for yourself and those closest to you. Tonight, Steve and I will be celebrating at Wine Tasting Tuesdays at Ten Tables JP. Four courses and four wine pairings for $42. Can’t wait to share with you all the delicious food and wine we indulge in!

Over the weekend, I displayed my love for the art of cooking by attending a Knive Skills cooking class at Artepicure Cooking School hosted by the Massachusetts Dietetic Association. My friend Michelle and I ventured to Somerville together to improve upon our non-existent knive skills.

Enter Artepicure. Owner Mark DesLauriers uses his very own kitchen in his loft apartment to host cooking classes. I could not imagine eating in this charming kitchen on a daily basis!

So many cookbooks!!

I learned so much from this class! Most importantly, I learned how to hold a knive properly. Instead of gripping your whole hand around the handle, you should use your thumb and index finger to hold the blade to gain better control of the knive. Once we got the grip down, we were put to work!

First up, the onion. For the onion, you want to make horizontal cuts half way through and then do radial cuts around the onion. Then, you can chop vertically to produce uniformity in the dices.

Anyone else out there get emotional when it’s onion cutting time? There is a secret weapon to prevent those tears from falling. Introducing…onion goggles! These bad boys will prevent your eyes from burning and tearing up! Check out Michelle and I rockin the goggles…

Next up, peppers. For the peppers, we wanted a julienne cut. This involved “filleting” the pepper so to remove the white portions and to get to the flesh of the pepper. Then a super thin cut vertical involves bringing the blade of the knive right up to your knuckles holding the vegetable in place.

Lastly, the finest brunoise cut for the cucumber. This is achieved by first making horizontal cuts creating thin slivers. Then, making vertical cuts the long way followed by vertical cuts the short way. The brunoise is the smallest cut so you have to make sure the knive is touching your knuckles as you cut, leaving no room for thick slices.

Other vegetables that were cut included tomatoes, eggplant, carrots, lettuce, spinach, portobello mushrooms, and garlic. Fun fact about garlic: crushing garlic will release acids that cause it to taste spicy. For a subtle garlic flavor, mince, don’t crush.

So what did we do with all these vegetables?! We had a vegetarian meal cooked for us, right in front of our eyes!

While we waited for our meal to be ready, we snacked on bread and cheese.

First course: a green salad with tofu and a sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and pickled ginger dressing. Trick when you are chopping lettuce (also works with fresh herbs)- roll up the leaf of romaine and then chop once it is rolled. Makes for a quick and easy uniform cut.

Entree: Ratatouille with mushroom risotto. AMAZING!

And for dessert, a french apple cake. More apples, less flour. Topped off with fresh whipped cream which I had a hand in whipping.

The food was delicious. The knive skills I gained, priceless. All in all, it was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I would love to revisit Artepicure some time in the future and take another cooking class…or just spend time in the amazing kitchen.

I am now inspired to buy a good knife for myself. The teacher told us that you can really just use one knife for all your chopping, slicing, and dicing. The most important thing to look for when buying a knife is to make sure the knife feels comfortable in your hand. In the end, it comes down to comfort.

Now that I professed my love for the cooking class, let me send a little love your way by announcing the winner of the Uncle Sam Cereal giveaway. Congratulations to Elizabeth of Don’t White Sugar Coat It. You won three boxes of new flavors of Uncle Sam Cereal!

I hope you all had a Happy Valentine’s Day spent with someone or doing something that you love.

Peace, love, and food,

Kara

Have you ever taken cooking classes before? Did you enjoy your experience?

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Responses

  1. those goggles are the bomb.COM!!!! want a pair! can’t wait for my knives class! and the ten tables date sounds like a blast. and thank you-can’t wait to try these new uncle sam cereals!

  2. I’m so sad I missed the giveaway but so glad to have found your blog! great post; funny pictures

  3. That risotto looks so good! Love the onion goggles 🙂


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