Yesterday I presented my first cooking demo. In a shiny, professional kitchen, with the assistance of a chef from the James Beard award-nominated restaurant at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Farm, I made five dishes from “The Maverick Cookbook” and served them to a group of guests who were eager to learn about the people and history covered in the book.
Each recipe had been perfectly prepped by my assistant, Alex, who swooped around the kitchen handing me ingredients and utensils before I even realized I needed them. Jonathan Perno, executive chef of the inn’s restaurant La Merienda, had exchanged a flurry of emails with me about the ingredients and tools I needed.
A great time was had by all, as guests dined on Angels on Horseback, bacon-wrapped oysters served on toast points—an appetizer that dates to the late 19th century an served in Harvey Houses—Palace Picadillo with homemade tortillas and Dixon Garlic & Wild Mushrooms, and the ethereal Italian custard-style dessert, Zabaglione, one of fGeorgia O’Keeffe’s favorite desserts.
The idea of cooking in front of a group of people seemed daunting to me, and I spent time prepping by watching others, taking notes and practicing in my kitchen. In the end, though, presenting the cooking demo was a fun and natural experience, just like having friends in the kitchen while I’m making them dinner.
I’m looking forward to my next cooking class with Chef John Vollertsen at Los Cosas on December 5!