Chef’s Tip: Chef Emilio Delija of La Catena, Ardsley ~ Flours Protein to Incourage Browning (fond)


200517393-001This cooking class entailed a demonstration of 4 menu items, including a flaming wheel of cheese, in the restaurant dining room. All attendees then enjoyed the chef’s preparations.

Hi! Donna Monaco Olsen here to share with you from a recent cooking demonstration. (Please scroll down for the selection of demonstrations currently being offered.) WCC’s Fall Semester 2013

Being the coordinator for the Taste of Westchester Continuing Education program for Westchester Community College, I have attended hundreds of classes but still continue to learn something new from our great chefs! 

Restaurant:  La Catena Italian Restaurant, Ardsley

Chef: Emilio Delija

Tip:  Dry and then lightly flour the chicken cutlet. This will cause it to brown more when sauteing and add flavor bits (fond), which will help to flavor the sauce. Fond is the little roasty bits left at the bottom of a pan, from the French word for “bottom”. Because of how it is created, fond is concentrated flavor and the technique for dislodging the fond from the bottom of the pan and incorporating into a sauce is called deglazing.

Chef Emilio is originally from Kosovo and came to Queens in 1986, realizing his dream by opening La Catena several years ago.  The chef showed us how to create some of his special dishes and then generously fed us. The evening was spent incorporating mushrooms and shallots for an earthy fall-time feeling, warm and comforting. We learned his classic cooking techniques by beginning with two of his favored appetizers.

First, Portobello mushrooms in the house-made, reduced balsamic sauce (which is featured in many of the restaurant’s house dishes-see his easy recipe below). The balsamic added the sweetness and acid that is needed to compliment the earthy tones of the mushrooms. He sauteed shallots in butter, (shallots are a milder alternative to garlic) then adding the remainder of the ingredients making a delicious first course.La Catena - Fall 2013 014

Reduced balsamic vinegar simmering with Portobello mushrooms.

We continued our lesson with mussels marinara noting that his authentic tomato sauce does not contain garlic. However, in the marinara sauce created for this particular dish there are only four ingredients; mussels, crushed tomatoes, garlic, and a small amount of butter to mellow out the acid from the tomatoes. If desired a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to spice it up. The sauce was light and had a briny flavor from the mollusks, making it impossible to stop dipping the warm crunchy “Bronx-born” bread.

La Catena - Fall 2013 015Chef Emilio, in his professional hat and coat.

Shh! Even the restaurant’s seasoned olive oil, which is placed on the tables to welcome you, has a secret. They puree sun-dried tomatoes to add a sweet-tartness against the herb infused, peppery tasting oil.

La Catena - Fall 2013 016Delicious mussels marinara sauteed in a pan.

La Catena - Fall 2013 010Class attendees enjoying the learning experience, good wine, great food and conversation with fellow foodies!

The buzz around the attendees was the “show” of Emilio’s now famous table side flaming giant wheel of cheese-Pappardelle alla Emilio. The dish is made with three types of mushrooms and fresh pasta.

La Catena - Fall 2013 022The wheel weighs 100 pounds when they begin hollowing out the center-wholesale costing approximately $1,800-it being not your everyday party essential!

The cognac is set on fire with a spectacular display of pyro-techno flare. The flames melt the giant hollowed wheel of imported Parmigiano-Reggiano for a cheesy scrumptious sauce. The flame warms the alcohol and cheese while the chef scoops the melting cheese in which to adorn the pasta. This is one of only a few restaurants in the county to create this “spectacle” of fire and cheese (what could be bad?).

The kitchen prepared the pasta and the trio of mushrooms sauteed with a touch of cream and shallots. What a treat for our class to see our chef in action.

La Catena - Fall 2013 023Not only a great “wow” factor, but it tastes like no other!

We next learned the skills necessary to make Chicken alla Pagliaro (named for one of his frequent customers)-chicken breast rolled with a center of Shitake mushrooms (raw), broccoli rabe (blanched), and roasted peppers in a shallot cognac, tomato sauce.

Remember to dry and then lightly flour the chicken cutlet. Adding flavor bits (fond), which will help to flavor the sauce. In this dish the chef used a splash of  Cognac to deglaze the pan, igniting it to remove the alcohol  taste, then added fresh sage, some tomatoes and a bit of butter for a very light sauce.

You can see in this video the technique used by our chef to finish the sauce, and in the background a couple who are frequent patrons. They joined our class that evening, as they come up from NYC to dine in this classic Italian restaurant (minus the red checkered cloths). They love the wait staff who still adorn the familiar black bow-ties as they see to your every need. This is the spot when you are looking for that old school service, and tasty classic Italian fare.La Catena 053Our chef leaves us with one more tip. Use a fork and spoon as your cooking utensils instead of all the fancy tools out there. They will help you to do all your tasks and are always at the ready.

La Catena - Fall 2013 031A fork and spoon make the best cooking utensils.

Chef Emilio-thank you for the food education! 

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. All classes are held within Westchester restaurants, where local chefs share their talents and recipes with us in their own dining rooms.

Care to get tips first hand? Check out the current offerings at WCC Continuing Ed, Fall 2013 Taste of Westchester. Classes are only $15+ a CASH sampling fee.  Sign up with a friend for one demonstration or a few by contacting WCC by phone at 606-6830×1. Come spend time with fellow “foodies” and learn a thing or two!

There is still time to sign up for some great classes!

Café of Love, Mt. Kisco, and
Hands-On: When the ground begins to swell with autumn squash, pumpkin, and root vegetables, seasonal soups and stews appear on everyone’s minds and menus. Enjoy an evening of warmth in the beautiful dining room of Café of Love. Learn valuable tips, tricks, and trade secrets of their sister restaurant Ladle of Love (also located in Mt. Kisco) as well as the Café’s, as both kitchens are famous for taking local ingredients on a global adventure. Paired with an earthy salad and savory vinaigrette, proprietor and executive chef Leslie Lampert will lead you step-by-step through several recipes you will be proud to serve to company and family alike.
Mon., Oct. 21, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83051

nessa and Zeppoleme, Port Chester,
In the last three years, nessa has created quite a stir. Proprietor Marc Tessitore’s family has brought their tenderness, creativity, and love for food and wine to their restaurant. Chef Chris Ferris along with Marc will show us how to prepare a four course tasting menu representative of the restaurant’s strong Italian roots. We start with nessa salad with vine ripened tomatoes, sweet onion, and fennel, in a delicate lemon dressing. Then learn to make their famous Bolognese sauce consisting of hand ground beef, pork, and veal ragu and whole milk ricotta, all tossed with rigatoni. Next watch a demonstration of seared skirt steak with a cabernet reduction, mashed potatoes, and broccoli rabe. Right next door is Marc’s newest digs aptly named Zeppoleme, where he has recreated a neighborhood coffee shop. We will find out the secrets to the shop’s modern ricotta filled zeppole, made of lightly fried Italian doughnuts, ricotta, powdered sugar, and a vanilla crema.
Tues., Oct. 22, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83052

The Cupcake Kitchen
and Luncheonette  As seen on SmallBites.  Irvington,
Hands-On: Let them eat cupcakes! This adorable breakfast and lunch spot is also known for the prettiest and most delicious cupcakes in town, along with custom fondant cakes for every occasion. Located on historic Main Street in Irvington, owner Jennifer O’Connell will give a hands-on instructional demonstration on decorating cupcakes in time for Halloween. This will be an interactive class using decorating tips from a pro and the outcome will be “spooktacular”. You will use pastry bags fitted with all the tools needed to create six fabulously decorated cupcakes to bring home. The luncheonette only uses fresh ingredients and will show you how to make their fabulous butter cream icing. In addition, get to sample a cupcake from their daily selection along with coffee or tea. Come out and play with us!
Thur., Oct. 24, 4:30-6:30 pm, $15 (+ $22 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83053

Iron Horse Grill
As seen on SmallBites. Pleasantville,
Weekend Seminar: So you want to be a restaurant owner? The Iron Horse Grill is an intimate restaurant in the turn of the century Pleasantville train station building. It has received accolades for its contemporary and superb seasonal cuisine. Our proprietor and executive Chef Phil McGrath will have a Q&A session on food and the restaurant business. He is an adjunct professor at the college and a 39 year veteran restaurant businessman at his three Pleasantville locations: Iron Horse Grill, Pony Express, and his latest creation, Seahorse. He will teach us the pitfalls and successes associated with this livelihood. Light refreshments will be served during this interactive lecture. This speaker is an old favorite so sign up quickly to reserve your spot.
Sat., Oct. 26, 12:00-2:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83054

AJ’s Burgers
As seen on SmallBites.New Rochelle,
Hands-On: Voted 2013 Best NY Burger and seen on Food Network’s Restaurant Stakeout, this local hot spot continues to serve up some super creative and delicious food. Chef AJ will have us taste a slider version of his award-winning habanero burger. Join us for a terrific interactive demonstration on butternut squash (BNS). Our “Iron” chef will teach us to create spectacular dishes all with one ingredient, just like on the TV show. Start off with an appetizer of BNS hummus, followed by a lesson on a silky BNS soup. Our main course we’ll learn the skills to make a savory BNS over linguine. The chef will help us to create a seasonal dessert of roasted BNS pudding topped with BNS whipped cream. Join us for a very different demonstration to play “Iron Chef.” Chef Alan asks that you bring a fall inspired ingredient to incorporate into the dishes on the spot!
Mon., Oct. 28, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83055

The Horse & Hound Inn
As seen on SmallBites.  South Salem,
Ghosts? Just as it must have been for stagecoaches long ago, the Inn is a beacon amid the dark and wooded roads of South Salem. The building dates back to 1749, charming with its wide-planked floors, low ceilings, and original beams. During the past sixteen years that the Vales’ have owned the Inn, there have been several sightings of spirits. Maybe one will join us for our lesson; after all it is the week of Halloween! For an amuse bouche enjoy the Inn’s famous firecracker shrimp, with cream cheese with jalapeno and a bacon wrapping. Our lesson in the dining room will be butternut squash, pumpkin, and apple soup. Filet mignon with plums in a pinot noir sauce served with sautéed kale and shallots is our entrée education for the evening. For a fall treat we will experience individual puff pastry apple pies with caramel sauce. BOO!
Tues., Oct. 29, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83056

Peter Pratt’s Inn, Yorktown Heights,
Welcome Back: This colonial homestead, built in 1780, has been a local inn dating back to 1926. Set in a residential neighborhood, the area has an historical presence, having served as General Washington’s command post. A special place to dine, it has been producing fabulous creations from master chef and owner Jonathon Pratt, who has taken over for his father, Peter, in the kitchen. We begin with an appetizer of crispy Thai crab stuffed shrimp, followed by a lesson on how to prepare a braised short rib and stilton ravioli. For the dessert tutorial, the chef will entertain us with a lesson on fried cheesecake with blueberry and chocolate sauces. This class is a favorite so sign up quickly to reserve your spot.
Wed., Oct. 30, 6:30-8:30 pm, $15 (+ $30 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83057

Tagine, Croton-on-Hudson,
Weekend Lunch: As the owners of Peter Pratt’s Inn and Umami Café, master chefs and proprietors Jonathan Pratt and Craig Purdy have taken on a new endeavor. Tagine is aptly named for the cooking vessel used in making many of the dishes found in this cozy French bistro with a Moroccan edge. This restaurant is making a name for itself with its warm atmosphere and delicious food. Our chef will teach us the makings of a classic French menu. We begin with a salad chevre chaud (broiled cheese on crisp bread), followed by a lesson on how to prepare a famous Alsace dish of choucroute garni (pork and sauerkraut). For the dessert tutorial, the chef will teach us how to make a classic French profiterole.
Sat., Nov. 2, 1:00-3:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83058

Tarry Tavern, Tarrytown,
Kitchen Visit: Owner Henry Cabral, who cooked alongside his dad in the family restaurant Caravela, has come up with a unique formula: his casual American gastro-pub offers creative, locally sourced dishes and seasonal menus inspired by what farmers and fishermen are growing, raising, and catching. Many patrons come before or after a show at the Hudson Valley’s landmark theatre, the Tarrytown Music Hall. The chef will show us how to make duck confit with hand-made squash and pear ravioli along with a few other delicious tidbits incorporating seasonal fare, while demonstrating flourishes of fall market inspired ingredients. For dessert, a glass of Ronnybrook Farms milk with warm apple pie. Join us for a peek into this inviting restaurant’s kitchen!
Mon., Nov. 4, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $23 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83059

121 Restaurant  As seen on SmallBites. North Salem,
Kitchen Visit: Enjoy the lovely scenery on your drive to 121! Chef Lucas Hannaburgh grew up locally and is a graduate of Johnson and Wales. He will demonstrate several techniques with an emphasis on regional, organic, and natural products. Guests can appreciate his passion for cooking and entertaining as it transmits into the dishes he prepares. The wood burning oven serves pizza that draws on both Roman and Neapolitan styles. Sample a taste of crisp magic that happens to their crust. Learn how to make homemade ricotta cheese with herbs, followed by seared sea scallops with mushrooms and Jerusalem artichokes. For a sweet treat discover the secret to their chocolate hazelnut bread pudding with nutella mousse. The class will take place in the 121 Kitchen building.
Tues., Nov. 5, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83060

Caffé Azzurri, Hartsdale,

Set in a lovely atmosphere, we will discover the authentic culinary flavors that Chef Alvaro Camilo and Proprietor Jerry Colella has to offer. He has grown up in the restaurant business and uses his culinary skills to create a sumptuous dining experience. His ever changing menu creates something for everyone. He will teach us to make an impressive and delicious appetizer of ricotta and quail egg ravioli with asparagus puree and a truffle tomato fondue. We will learn how to perfectly sear salmon served over a lentil and cherry tomato ragout. For a traditional treat, he shares the secrets to his luscious home-style cannoli created from his family recipe. Join us for a lesson with a fun and informative instructor!
Wed., Nov. 6, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83061

Chutney Masala Indian Bistro, Irvington,

Lunch & Kitchen Tour: Discover our chef’s hidden secrets in a waterfront setting down on the Hudson River. Chefs Navjot and Anu, a husband and wife duo, create all the dishes at Chutney Masala. Navjot studied the fine art of Indian food at the Culinary Institute in India. Our class will teach Southern Indian cuisine. On the menu will be sprouted mung bean salad. The makings of shrimp Biryani with a cucumber raita will be taught, then a lesson on making chana masala (chickpea stew) alongside aloo gobhi (diced potatoes and cauliflower). A pounded rice pudding will be our dessert demonstration. We will also enjoy a lesson on the specialties of nan bread.
Tues., Nov. 12, 12:00 noon-2:00 pm, $15 (+ $20 in CASH sampling fee, payable to instructor). #83062

Il Sogno Ristorante, Port Chester,
A transplant from NYC, where it spent several successful years in mid-town, Il Sogno is a cozy, familiar-feeling restaurant. Owner Jimmy Resulbegu demonstrates the restaurant’s nouvelle style of Mediterranean cuisine based on the foods of Tuscany and Campagna. Our lesson will include some of the specialties of the house, starting with insalata di granchio (crabmeat and avocado over a cucumber carpaccio); our second course will teach us the makings of a simple, yet elegant sauce. Spaghetti ala Ceca combines the freshest ingredients, including tomatoes, to make a no cook sauce for an everyday “go to” quick and easy meal. The main course is a signature dish at this fabulous restaurant and will consist of a lesson on pesce al sale (whole sea bass baked under a sea salt crust). Join us at this neighborhood gem. Mangia!
Wed., Nov. 13, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83063

Division Street
Grill, Peekskill
This 15 years “young” restaurant located in the heart of the downtown Artist District is known for its great food with an eclectic feel. Listen to live jazz each weekend while enjoying dishes prepared in a healthy way. Chef Pasquale Sarwar will enlighten us with his talent of preparing food with robust flavors. We will begin with a seasonal salad of oven baked beets dotted with goat cheese, walnuts, and the house made raspberry vinaigrette. Next, a lesson on roasted duck breast and leg in a tangy apricot brandy sauce. Finish off our demonstration with a pastry instruction on baked banana wrapped in phyllo dough, drizzled with crème caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Thur., Nov. 14, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83064

The Horse & Hound Inn, South Salem,
Weekend Lunch: As South Salem’s hidden gem, this innovative American fare restaurant and pub is set in a historic setting. 1749 is the earliest recorded date at Town Hall showing it as an Inn but it was a homestead long before that date. It has retained its charm with its wide-planked floors, low ceilings, original beams and “spirits” of both kinds. For the past seventeen years the husband and wife team, Silvano and Sue Vales, have created good food and fun. To start our class chef Vales will treat us to an amuse bouche of sweet potato and pulled pork. Our appetizer lesson will be seared tuna carpaccio with a chipotle aioli. He will provide a demonstration on breaking down chicken for frenching, served with herb au jus served and seasonal vegetables. Sweeten our lesson, individual apple pies with caramel sauce a la mode.
Sat., Nov. 16, 12:00 noon-2:00 pm, $15 (+ $22 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83065

The Chophouse Grille, Mahopac,
New to the scene, opening in 2012, TCHG hand picks aged steaks to create a most memorable meal. Offering superior service at a fair price in a relaxing atmosphere makes it sometimes difficult to get a reservation. Proprietors Matt Camerino and Toni Vulaj have over 25 years in the food service industry. The chef will teach us the secrets to spaghettini carbonara: procuitto di Parma and sweet vidalia onions, finished with parmesan cheese and a raw egg yolk to help bind the sauce. We’ll watch how they prepare a Pittsburgh rib-eye grilled to perfection, as they quickly sear it on high heat to char the outside and seal in the flavors. A demonstration of bananas Fontaine (banana bread topped with caramelized bananas and chocolate morsels, wrapped in phyllo dough and baked) with the ingredients melded to create an original and wonderful dessert. Come out to see what everyone is talking about!
Mon., Oct. 7, Nov. 18, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83046

Roasted Peppers
As seen on SmallBites. Mamaroneck,
This American bistro with strong Latin influences is the collaboration of Juan Lepe and CIA graduate Darrell Belcher, who have been 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, now three years young. The chef’s will show us the techniques used to create a few of their signature dishes. We will start with coconut shrimp alongside tequila pineapple salsa and an apricot dipping sauce. This will be followed by a lesson on Chef Lepe’s famous paella made with assorted seafood, chorizo, and chicken over delicious saffron infused rice. We will end our demonstration on a sweet note with raspberry brioche bread pudding.
Tues., Nov. 19, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83066

Royal Palace, White Plains (Greenburgh),
Much of the complex flavors used in this restaurant’s cuisine come from fragrant aromatic spices like cardamom, coriander, and cumin. This restaurant serves a daily buffet which includes many traditional dishes. Owner Jagdish Mitter, our host, will share a few surprise dishes as well as have his chef demonstrate how to make samosa chat (chana masala in a sweet, mint chutney with yogurt), followed by shrimp korma (ground shrimp with blended spices in a creamy sauce), lamb saliboti (dried apricots and straw potatoes), and malai kofta (cottage cheese, potato, and cashew croquette balls in a cashew cream sauce served with naan bread). Come share a taste of India!
Wed., Nov. 20, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $22 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83067

Fortina Pizza, Armonk,
Weekend Lunch/Hands-On: Chef Christian Petroni, the 2010 “Chopped” winner, along with proprietors John Nealon, and Rob Krauss, are three young men who are on the road to something great. Their combined knowledge of good food and great service make for a winning combination. Housed in a newly created grand space, situated in a courtyard setting in Armonk, these vivacious men make it happen. Chef Christian will wow you with his tasty combinations inspired by his Arthur Avenue Bronx Italian upbringing, which brings new and exciting things to the plate each and every time. Our interactive demonstration will begin with traditional fried meatballs, a specialty of the house. The polenta table will surprise you. Using a concept taken from his childhood summers spent in Italy, the family comes together to dine on what they acquire that day. The creamy polenta served family style on a marble slab, dotted with grilled meats, sauce, cheese, and fresh herbs, must be experienced to describe. The chef will perform magic on seasonal vegetables including brussel sprouts with sesame seeds. Learn the art of making sabayon with wine served alongside a steaming cappuccino.
Sat., Nov. 23, 12:00 noon-2:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83068

Ramiro’s 954, Mahopac,
Hands-On: Chef Ramiro Jimenez grew up watching his family work at his grandmother’s restaurant on the water in Acapulco, where fresh fish was served every day. He is a renowned chef specializing in taking classic Nuevo Latino cuisine and adding his own contemporary approach and creativity. The chef is a wonderful mentor and will teach us about classic ceviche preparations in his open kitchen. In this interactive class, we will help to create our dinner starting with a combination appetizer consisting of fried oysters and a seafood ceviche served with sweet plantain puree and creamed spinach. Help the chef to prepare a delicious ceviche de a tun (diced big-eyed tuna, lime juice, jalapenos, black radish, onion, and cilantro in a soy-habanero sauce) over a seaweed salad. Next, a lesson on the preparation of the restaurant’s signature dish, pernil con mojo (slow braised pork shank) served with tomatillo (avocado sauce and garlic mojo) and rice with beans. Our evening will conclude with churros con chocolate (traditional fritters dusted in cinnamon-sugar accompanied with warm chocolate sauce). Arrive hungry; Buen Provecho!
Mon., Dec. 2, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83069

Albano Appliance, Pound Ridge,

Born and raised in France, chef Jehan S. deNoüe has over 35 years of experience in the area. He is now Albano Appliance’s own resident chef, managing the company’s continuing education program, including cooking classes, manufacturer demonstrations, and personal and in-home instruction. He is an approachable and informed instructor and will give tips on a variety of methodologies for preparing a fabulous meal, all the while toasting us with wine. Surrounded by the most high tech and modern appliances, we will learn how to make a creole shrimp appetizer and then learn the technique for his sweet and spicy duck empanadas. Our dessert lesson from our French chef is how to make the classic chocolate pot de crème. Do not miss this class as it is always a favorite!
Thurs., Dec. 5, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83070

Thyme Restaurant, Yorktown Heights (Cortland Manor),
Hands-On: Located on the main street this contemporary restaurant serves great American fare. This warm and inviting setting allows you to view owner and Chef Tom Costello working in this open kitchen. He will give us an interactive demonstration and we will help to create a delicious meal starting with a quail salad with roasted beets, pickled shallots, and goat cheese. We’ll enjoy light tasting skate wing beurre meunière served over a wild rice pilaf, with fall vegetables. Next help to prep a delicious dark chocolate tart and crème anglaise, served with strawberry whipped cream.
Mon., Dec. 9, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83071

The Cupcake Kitchen and Luncheonette As seen on SmallBites. Irvington,

Hands-On: Located on historic Main Street, owner Jennifer O’Connell will give a hands-on instructional demonstration on decorating cupcakes. This is an interactive class using decorating ideas to make cupcakes in winter holiday motifs. You will create six cupcakes gift packaged and suitable for giving. Learn to use pastry bags fitted with all the tools needed to create beautiful cupcakes of your own. Learn the recipe for their scrumptious butter cream icing. Recently voted as one of the best breakfast spots by Westchester Magazine, this luncheonette evokes a feeling of the 60’s and only uses fresh ingredients. Enjoy a tasty cupcake of your choice and coffee or tea before we embark on our creative journey!
Thur., Dec. 12, 4:30-6:30 pm, $15 (+ $22 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #83072

Fees include non-alcoholic beverages. New menu items are explored each semester. Menu substitutions may occur when necessary. Demonstrations will begin at the times designated. Sampling fees are payable in CASH only. Call restaurants or visit their linked websites for directions. No refunds are given for these classes. A one-time per semester registration fee of $3.25 will be added to the final tuition calculation.

If you are a chef or proprietor of a restaurant, and are interested in participating in this program please contact the college and leave your contact information. 606-6830×1

Balsamic Reduction

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour


  • Balsamic vinegar from MODENA, ITALY
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary


  1. Place vinegar in a sauce pan with rosemary. Cook low and slow (like BBQ) at a slow simmer until reduced by half. It may take over an hour depending on how large a quantity you start with. Drain through cheesecloth. Refrigerated lasts up to 6 months.
  2. Use on meats, salads and vegetable sautes.


About Author

As a contributing blogger and the author of "Chef’s Tip", Donna Monaco Olsen recaps great cooking demonstrations from local restaurants. As the the coordinator for Westchester Community College’s Continuing Education program, named “A Taste of Westchester,” she writes the program, which offers more than 35 cooking classes each semester, and recruits chefs to do cooking demonstrations in their restaurants. She holds a full time position in the education field, and in her off time develops and contributes recipes for cookbooks. She is an avid baker and a former cake decorator who created many custom designed specialty cakes. Along with her husband, she reviews restaurants on Small Bites during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.


  1. Randy Goldberg MD on

    Because it excludes oxygen, submerging any raw food in oil runs the risk of developing botulism. However, because C. botulinum is a soil organism, this is especially true of things which grow underground. Uncooked onions, shallots, and especially garlic should NEVER be stored in oil, even under refrigeration.

  2. Finally found your blog. Need the list of restaurants for the Spring. Gave my brochure to someone.

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