What does a Radical Cook do on vacation? Take a cooking class, of course! This past week we went on a desert retreat to the Coachella Valley. There we discovered an oasis of culinary delights called Cooking With Class.
Cooking With Class & Taste
Cooking with Class is a mother-daughter operation in La Quinta, CA featuring cooking classes, catering, as well as an adjacent wine bar "Cork and Fork." In an exquisitely designed demo kitchen amidst a quaint gift shop featuring fine wines, professional level knives, and adorable kitchen items for young and not-so-young, Chef Dave Schy held court. Dave is a former restauranteur from Chicago. In addition to teaching classes he hosts his own website, www.newtaste.com, which is a free, recipe-driven site that teaches people all over the world to cook and eat healthy.
What's Growing in the Desert?
Sitting alongside tourists and part-time desert residents, including my own mother-in-law, Dave led us through the Farmer's Market class. Our cooking class was demonstration only, a bit disappointing for someone who enjoys getting busy in the kitchen. But I was on vacation after all. So I decided to sit back and enjoy the show. And the food.
In just two hours time Chef Dave had taken us through the spring seasonal delights. Recipes included a delicious beet, orange and arugula salad, chili non carne, green gazpacho, and griddled corn cakes. As if all these wonderful dishes were not enough, as I was taking the last few bites of my corn cakes I thought to myself, "I wonder what he could do for a dessert?" He must have been reading my mind. Opening the fridge and taking out a well-designed yet light- in-fare dessert of locally grown dates, strawberries and coconut he gave us all an extra treat to top off a truly extraordinary culinary adventure.
Recipes and More at New Taste Journal
Can't make it to La Quinta in time for the next Farmer's Market class? Then check out Chef Dave's recipes at www.newtaste.com. Having tried it, as made by the master himself, I'd recommend the Chili Non Carne or the Green Gazpacho. My favorite featured recipe that day would have to be the beet, orange and watercress salad (note: Chef Dave substituted arugula for watercress. Just as tasty!). So beautiful and delicious, I just had to take a picture.