Happy weekend, friends and family!
I hope you all had a great week! I am so glad it’s the weekend because I’m not sure I had another 6-hr cooking day left in me. In the past 2 weeks, my San Francisco Cooking School’s Pro Culinary class had some pretty exciting guest instructors for specialty workshop days. In addition, and as a supplement to our regular curriculum, we got an in-depth and hands on experience in several cuisines. It was so much fun!
We had an exciting day learning all about the Japanese Pantry from Sonoko Sakai. There are many interesting ingredients in Japanese cooking, including the use of buckwheat- a healthy, high protein flour used in soba noodles. We learned how to make flavorful homemade dashi (broth), fresh cut soba noodles, shrimp and vegetable kakiage tempura, and a beautiful fruit and mochi dessert from Sonoko. Perhaps more importantly, we learned the notion of staying curious, no matter your age, and following your passion. She has a healthy zest for life that I really enjoyed.
Another fun workshop day included Nichole Accettola, Chef/owner of San Francisco’s newly opened Kantine restaurant. This is a breakfast, brunch, lunch hotspot that serves Scandinavian food. We learned how to make a Smoked trout spread, Swedish Rye crispbread, and both sweet and savory porridge. I’ve not been to any Scandinavian countries quite yet, but Chef Nichole certainly inspired me to put it on our short list of travel adventures!
Perhaps the highlight of the week was our pig butchery workshop with Taylor Boetticher from Fatted Calf in San Francisco and Napa. He was awesome. Taylor has an extensive, 20+ year background in both the culinary and butchery world. He loves his work and is not shy about sharing it with others. We began our day hauling the 135 lb. Red Waddle, pasture-raised, half pig from his car and into the kitchen. Taylor spent hours teaching us all about the primal and subprimal cuts of the pig. He put the rather large hack saw in our hands and showed us how it was done. Most importantly, he showed us where the bacon was. You may be disgusted by the image of a half pig laying on the kitchen table, but unless you are a vegetarian, or our friend Jack, you get excited when Taylor shows you where the prized bacon comes from.
After a refuel lunch of the most delicious grain bowls I’ve ever had (made for us by our Chef instructor Kirstin), we got to work grinding and casing sausages, curing ham and bacon, and wrapping cuts for some delicious pork recipes for Pork Day on Friday. There was no other way to end the week.
In between the workshop days, there was Risotto Day, Seafood Day, Fish Market field trip and Brunch day, and plenty of delicious desserts to fill in the gaps. It was a busy week 7 and 8!