It’s not often that an innkeeper can get away in the fall. Ah, but a bit of planning paid off last week when I attended a cooking class with Scott Martino at The Good Cooking Store in Intercourse. You may remember that I met Scott on my first visit to this store –he was handing out samples of his Italian spaghetti sauces. (See my previous blog, It’s a Good Thing For Cooks in Lancaster County.)
The setting is delightful – Upstairs on the second level of the store is a state-of-the-art kitchen complete with TV screens and room for 18 of your closest friends.
Scott started out by saying that he’s not a typical chef with an ego that fills the room. We were encouraged to ask any kind of cooking question during the whole process. This casual atmosphere gave us time to jot down some notes ….while being served a three-course dinner.
Dinner was Radish and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese and Black Pepper, Pan Seared Diver Scallops with Sweet Pea and Asiago Risotto and….my favorite…..Chocolate and Valoplicella Crema with Fresh Whipped Cream. Yum!
Scott was trained in the classic French style – hot pans to sear and seal in the juices and finishing in the oven. I had taken cooking classes a long time ago at a French restaurant that used the same technique. However, this kitchen had brand new All-Clad cookware which stood in start contrast to the beat-up pans of my favorite French restaurant from long ago.
Scott’s advice was that the most important thing is to cook love into everything you make – don’t just follow the recipes….taste…adjust….love the food. And remember that butter is better. I soooo agree!
He also talked a lot about working at various restaurants like The Loft and Doneckers, passing along little tricks of the trade.
A little present appeared in the back of the book of recipes….10% off all non-sale items that evening. It provided what little incentive I needed to shop at one of my favorite stores. And so I set off – the Cuisinart double boiler was a good buy at $34.99 – it will fit snugly over 1, 2 or 3 quart pans and had a nice rounded bottom that will make tempering chocolate a dream, a little pig that will sit on my soup kettles and hold my spoon (after all, soup season is just around the corner) and a new Kyocera ceramic knife. This is my kind of store and there is always something that I need.
Ah, a wonderful evening out indeed. To see the list of cooking demonstrations and upcoming classes, click here. If you’d like to make it a complete girls’ night out, don’t forget to book your room at The Artist’s Inn. We’re only 20 minutes away.