Cooking Demos at Westchester Restaurants

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Westchester Community College has a cool continuing ed class called “A Taste of Westchester.” You go to a local restaurant, see a cooking demonstration and get a tasting. Now that’s my kind of school!

The schedule, after the jump. There’s one tonight at Don Coqui!

Join us at several of Westchester’s most exciting restaurants for a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds. Each chef will offer a private cooking demonstration, followed by a tasting of the prepared items. Fees include non-alcoholic beverages. New menu items each semester. Menu substitutions may occur when necessary. Call restaurants for directions. No refunds are given for these classes. Sampling fees are payable in CASH only. A one-time per semester registration fee of $3.25 will be added to the final tuition calculation.

CE-REST 2000 is class number for all Taste of Westchester classes.

Don Coqui

115 Cedar St., New Rochelle

914-637-3737, www.doncoqui.com

Cook with Don Coqui’s chef and interactively help to prepare delicious dishes to warm you on a winter’s night. Learn to make homemade butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter and sage sauce, and a salad of mesclun greens with goat cheese, caramelized onions, and vinaigrette. Create zeppolis and bellinis to end the evening on a sweet note.

1 Tues., Feb. 22, 7:00-9:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52635

Division Street Grill

26 No. Division St., Peekskill

914-739-6380, www.divisionstreetgrill.com

The chef will prepare a baked beet salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and apple vinaigrette for our first course. The next lesson will be a sautéed Barramundi (the new seafood sensation, sweet, mild, and delicious) white fish with a white wine glaze. A finale of crème brulee will be taught.

1 Wed., Feb. 23, 7:00-9:00 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52636

NEW! Roasted Peppers

320 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck

914-341-1140, www.roastedpeppersny.com

Opened in 2009, this American bistro with strong Latin influences is the collaboration of Mexican-born brothers Juan and Roberto Lepe, chefs in Westchester for over twenty years. The culinary experiences from their past have combined with their expertise and creativity to flourish into Roasted Peppers, their first restaurant venture. Chef Juan along with Chef Darrell Belcher, a 1987 CIA graduate, will show us the techniques used to create a few of their signature dishes. We will start with their famous lobster and brie quesadilla served with a crunchy pear relish and mango mojito sauce, followed by Nantucket scallops pan seared in a tart cherry balsamic glaze, along with butternut squash and fire roasted onion risotto, and will end with Chef Lepe flan for a traditional dessert.

1 Mon., Feb. 28, 600-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52638

March

NEW! Q Restaurant Port Chester

112 Main St., Port Chester

914-933-RIBS, www.qrestaurantbar.com

At Q Restaurant they strive to serve food fast, not fast food! This local favorite is known for its terrific Smokin’ Mid-Western BBQ fare. Voted “Best in Westchester” in 2010, along with its well known sister company, The Kneaded Bread, this family-run business aims to please. An authentic BBQ demonstration will have us cookin’. Owner Jeffrey Kohn will teach us how to make his famous wings and their authentic BBQ “Q sampler” consisting of pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken. We will learn how to make their delicious sides, hickory pit baked beans, ‘slaw, and potato salad, along with a few surprises. Their old fashioned banana pudding will end the demonstration with a sugary treat.

1 Tues., Mar. 1, 2:00-4:00 pm, $20 (+ $20 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52639

NEW! La Catena Italian Restaurant

871 Saw Mill River Rd., Ardsley

914-231-9260

A new restaurant in Ardsley where Northern and Southern Italian cuisines collide. Chef Emilio started his career over 25 years ago in many of the well-known steak houses and high-end Italian restaurants. The chef will feed us while we learn the techniques used to create his tasty offerings. We start with the secret to two of his most favored appetizers; scrumptious clams casino, and a portobello mushroom in a balsamic reduction. Learn the skills necessary to make three entrees: Vittela alla Sorrentina (veal scallopine, prosciutto, eggplant, and mozzarella in a brown sauce); red snapper Livornese (a light marinara sauce with capers, anchovies, and green olives); and chicken Paisano (simmered in vinegar peppers, served with crisp potatoes). Homemade La Catena cheesecake made with Gran Marnier will fill us to the brim!

1 Mon., Mar. 7, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52640

The Melting Pot

30 Mamaroneck Ave., Lower Level, White Plains

914-993-6358, www.meltingpot.com

The first Melting Pot opened in Florida, circa 1975. Fondue is a fun and interactive dining experience, and we will learn to make several of their fondues from The Melting Pot cookbook. Learn to make cherry blossom salad and the following fondues: broccoli cheddar cheese, French onion Swiss cheese, bananas foster, and dark chocolate raspberry. The cookbook “Dip into Something Different: A Collection of Recipes from Our Fondue Pot to Yours,” allows you to create your own fondue at home and will be available for sale for $29.95. At The Melting Pot, fondue truly becomes a memorable dining experience.

1 Thurs., Mar. 10, 1:00-3:00 pm, $15 (+ $23 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52641

NEW! Le Fontane

Corner of Routes 100 & 139, Katonah (Somers)

914-232-9619, www.lefontane.net

Specializing in authentic Southern Italian cuisine and hospitality, owners Antonio and Alfredo Abbate, two brothers raised in a family of restaurateurs and wine makers on Capri, introduced their culinary talents to Westchester in 1987. Le Fontane’s cuisine is prepared by talented Neapolitan Chef Antonio Perillo. The chef will take us on a tour of their pasta making room where we will learn to make homemade Spinach Fettuccine with artichokes in cream, followed by jumbo shrimp in a scampi sauce, roast pork with raspberry glaze, and sautéed escarole. The restaurant prides itself on its homemade desserts and they will demonstrate their wonderful apple strudel.

1 Wed., Mar. 16, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52642

Mughal Palace

16 Broadway, Valhalla

914-997-6090, www.mughalpalace.com

Learn how to prepare two Indian dishes as Chef and Owner Mahammad Alam and Chef Dewan teach you how to make Pokora, an appetizer of cauliflower, potatoes, and bell peppers. Then experience a demonstration of Haryal Kebab, succulent boneless pieces of chicken marinated in yogurt, ginger, garlic, white pepper, sour cream, and lemon juice.

1 Mon., Mar. 28, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52643

NEW! Jack & Dyl’s

49 Main St., Tarrytown

914-631-2228, www.jackanddyls.net

Come join us for a special cooking demonstration at this local hot spot where contemporary American fare is served by Union Square Café and Tribeca Grill alum David Thomas. Chef David will show us how to make his delicious shrimp and corn fritters with firecracker dipping sauce. Our pasta course will teach us how to make fresh ricotta gnocchi with truffles and parmesan, followed by mustard crusted salmon in a lemon-sage sauce served with spring vegetables and potato crisps. For our sweet trea,t a chocolate Moulton cake demonstration awaits.

1 Wed., Mar. 30, 6:30-8:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52644

April

Isabella Italian Restaurant

61 Main St., Tarrytown

914-332-1992, www.isabellabistro.com

Rocco and Tino Salvatico, brothers from the provincia di Salerno, Italy, have been presenting Italian cuisine from the South and North of Italy along with traditional recipes from Salerno and various towns of Campania since their opening in 2004. The traditional menu for this class features rigatoni Bolognese (tomato and meat sauce with carrots, celery and seasonings), veal Pizzaiola (veal with garlic, fresh plum tomatoes, and basil) and a tossed salad. A demonstration of their classic Tiramisu for dessert will end our meal.

1 Mon., Apr. 4, 2:30-4:30 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52645

NEW! Caffé Azzurri

20 North Central Ave., Hartsdale

914-358-5248, www.caffeazzurri.com

One of the “Best of Westchester” restaurants in 2010, come discover the warmth, comfort, and authentic culinary flavors set in an ambiance of elegance that this restaurant has to offer. Chef Sergio puts passion in his product to produce a sumptuous dining experience. He will show us how to make a polenta served with an exotic wild mushroom truffle cream demi, and roasted walnuts, followed by his infamous squid ink linguini, with calamari, clams, mussels, San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, basil, and chili. For a sweet ending we will learn to make strawberries zabaglione. Join us for a beautiful lesson and taste sensation!

1 Wed., Apr. 6, 6:30-8:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52651

Opus 465

465 Main St., Armonk

914-273-4676, www.opus465.com

Share a dinner with Owner and Chef Marc Mazzarulli, whose dishes are skillfully prepared and artistically presented. Chef Marc is a graduate of the CIA and runs the Wild Westchester BBQ Company as well as Marc Charles Steakhouse. This demonstration will start with a blue apple salad, mesclun greens tossed with toasted walnuts, diced apples, crumbled bleu cheese, and a reduced balsamic vinaigrette. The next course will be chicken Scarpariello, a boneless breast of chicken sautéed with crumbled hot and sweet sausage, roasted peppers, spicy pepperoncinis, garlic, and white wine and served with crispy potatoes. End this fabulous meal with an apple crisp dessert demonstration.

1 Wed., Apr. 13, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52652

The Melting Pot

30 Mamaroneck Ave., Lower Level, White Plains

914-993-6358, www.meltingpot.com

Eating fondue at the Melting Pot is a truly memorable dining experience. At this unique demonstration you will learn how to make a cherry blossom salad and the following fondues: creamy cheddar cheese and beer, spinach-artichoke cheese, chocolate strawberry shortcake, and chocolate S’mores. Enjoy learning to prepare the land and sea sampler plate (meats and vegetables cooked in a traditional oil fondue). The cookbook “Dip into Something Different: A Collection of Recipes from Our Fondue Pot to Yours,” allows you to create your own fondue at home and will be available for sale for $29.95. Come and “dip” with us!

1 Tues., Apr. 19, 6:30-8:30 pm, $15 (+25 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52653

Maud’s Tavern

149 Southside Ave., Hastings-on-Hudson

914-478-2326, www.maudstavern.com

Chef Maud Tucker, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and The New York Restaurant School, will concentrate her demonstration on a BBQ theme. Chef Maud will show us how to barbeque baby back ribs, beef brisket, and maple barbequed salmon with grilled watermelon and vegetables. Come and enjoy her creations while you learn her skills.

1 Wed., Apr. 20, 2:00-4:00 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52654

May

Memphis Mae’s BBQ

173 S. Riverside Ave, Croton on Hudson

914-271-0125, www.memphismaes.com

Our chef will excite us with the basics of BBQ. Andreas Nowara will discuss smoking meats and the basic regional differences of the “All American BBQ”. Watch the chef create his smoked sausage appetizer followed by a three meat BBQ platter featuring beef brisket, pulled pork, and pulled chicken, along with traditional sides of cole slaw and macaroni and cheese. The restaurant is well known for its banana puddin’ and we will be taught how to make this yummy treat.

1 Mon., May 2, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52655

Albano Appliance

83 Westchester Ave., Pound Ridge

914-764-4051, www.AlbanoAppliance.com

Born and raised in France, Chef Jehan deNoüe has 35 years of experience in restaurants in both the Connecticut and New York area. He is currently Albano Appliance’s own resident chef, managing the company’s continuing education program, including cooking classes and demonstrations. The cooking lesson this evening will consist of watermelon gazpacho, seared Magret of duck with orange sauce, Moroccan wild rice, and seasonal vegetables, and the secrets to his warm berry fruit turnovers with house made crème fraiche.

1 Wed., May 4, 6:30-8:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52656

NEW! The Cookery

39 Chestnut St., Dobbs Ferry

914-305-2336, www.thecookeryrestaurant.com

Truly a neighborhood restaurant dedicated to capturing the warmth of Italian comfort food, Chef David DiBari has received many accolades during his young career, including “Best in Westchester” 2010. Along with a passion for food, his family is the source of his food inspiration.. The neo-nostalgic Italian menu proves evident of Chef DiBari’s style of cooking which is to progressively approach simplicity. He will give a hands-on demonstration of how to make Cookery mozzarella using fresh curd. We will dine on this warm cheese seasoned with fett’ unta, fresh thyme, and olio novella. Learn his secret to making rigatoni with burst tomatoes, toasted garlic, along with our freshly made mozzarella and basil. We finish our demonstration with a delicious chocolate semi-freddo served with toasted pignoli nuts and fresh berries. If you have not tried this most creative chef’s kitchen, you must schedule a visit soon!

1 Mon., May 9, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee, payable to instructor). #52657

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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