Chef’s Tip: Leslie Lampert of Cafe of Love, Mt. Kisco ~ Pre-dress Kale Greens to Breakdown Fibers

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This warm and cozy restaurant with a French Bistro flare, is the sister restaurant to “Ladle of Love”.  Our lovely proprietor, Leslie Lampert, shared some of her secrets at one of our classes along with the restaurant’s recipe for Maple-Cider Vinaigrette (see recipe below).

200517393-001Hi! Donna Monaco Olsen here, co-coordinator for the Taste of Westchester Continuing Education program for Westchester Community College to share with you from a past demonstration. All classes are held within Westchester restaurants, where local chefs share their talents and recipes with us in their own dining rooms. Over the years, I have attended hundreds of classes, and I always learn a new trick or two from our great chefs! All demonstration classes are listed below or click here.

Owner/Chef:  Leslie Lampert and Chef Mike Donnelly

Restaurant:  Cafe of Love 

Tip:  When preparing a kale salad “dress” half the greens ahead of time so they wilt a bit. Just before serving dress the whole salad. This will give you two textures on the plate by breaking down the fibers of the pre-dressed kale and coating the rest for a more palatable plate of greens.

Our chef showed the class the makings of a beautiful “jewel” salad aptly named for the bright colors of the root vegetables roasted and tossed with the greens and maple cider vinaigrette. We were instructed to cut them all the same size so that they cooked evenly.

Our participants tasted the dressing prepared two ways for an education on incorporating air into the vinaigrette. Shaking the ingredients in a container produced a thicker or more dense dressing where using the Vita mixer or a blender incorporates air into the dressing for a lighter taste as well as pulverizing the shallots for a more even taste. Try it both ways and decide which you prefer. The chef instructed us to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a finishing oil only. When using it in the blender it gives off a metallic taste from the heat of the motor, preferring grape seed oil or a blended oil for dressings. The Dijon mustard helps to keep the dressing emulsified. Note in the photo kale is not present, as this is a farm to table restaurant our jewel salad was presented with arugula greens instead of kale due to market findings. A modern chef can incorporate what is best at the market and make last minute changes by knowing his ingredients.

Veggie Jewels       Veggie Jewels

IMG_2415Leslie Lampert at Cafe of Love with a beautifully dressed salad.  

Cafe of Love grows herbs to be used in the restaurant and we were introduced to the herb Lovage seen here. The stems and leaves are a shiny yellow-green and smell of lime when crushed. The leaves can be used in salads or to season broths as they are in the making of their famous soups. Its flavor and smell is somewhat similar to celery and Lovage tea is said to stimulate digestion. The seeds can be used as a spice, similar to fennel. We tasted the herb and were invited to pick some to use at home. It was used as the “secret” ingredient  in the Celeriac Bisque. It seems as if they named it just for the restaurant!

IMG_2397Lovage

All vegetables are sauteed prior to adding water or broth in order to maximize flavor. Our chef instructor Mike Donnelly gave us an important tip. Gently simmer all soups and do not boil as it agitates the ingredients and creates “scum” or foam on top from the impurities in the ingredients.

IMG_2407Gently saute your vegetables all cut to the same size for maximum flavor and even cooking.

We were invited into the kitchen for a peek at the makings of a classic beef Bourguignon. The chef added tomato paste to give the sauce “body”. Like all of the ingredients used in the restaurant it is important for the chef and owner to have a relationship with the farmer. The organic beef used in the makings of our stew that night came from the Sugar Hill Farm located in Pennsylvania. Our class ended with samples of the soup and stew packed for us to enjoy at home but many of us could not wait to taste the recipes we witnessed so opened them up and devoured them then and there.

IMG_2401Attendees watching the chef at work in an immaculate kitchen.

IMG_2029John Jay Farmers Market soup offerings beautifully displayed.

Leslie Lampert is an amazing inspiration to all, especially women in the restaurant business.  She continues as a writer and is working on her cookbook “Crazy Love”. Leslie appeared as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show and pioneered an electric food truck in Central Park to name just a few of her many talents. She currently has many thriving businesses, creating an empire all her own. She has her foot in many doors and her award winning soups can now be found in Mrs. Green’s Natural Markets. With her “can do” attitude and constant innovative ideas she must never sleep. We are thankful that she volunteered on her day off to teach our class. She will be hosting another class in late March of our Spring 2014 semester and we hope you will join us.

Care to get tips first hand? Check out the current offerings at WCC Continuing Ed, Taste of Westchester. Classes are only $15+ a sampling fee.  Sign up with a friend for one demonstration or a few by contacting WCC via online or by phone at 606-6830×1.

The new Spring 2014 semester has just begun!

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. 

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

The Burger Barn ~ www.theburgerbarn.com-A great place to meet friends to hang out for a drink or a quick bite! Proprietor Justin Tesone will teach us the makings of one of their house specialty drinks to get us started on our adventure. Executive chef Osaes Salguera will show us how to make their delicious raspberry dressing to adorn their breaded goat cheese salad, consisting of mixed greens, crispy coated goat cheese, almonds, and a sprinkling of dried cranberries. We will taste four mini-versions of their famous burgers to get a sampling of what this restaurant is known for. Manager Jeff Rosolen will explain the makings of two of their popular Angus beef burgers: the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) Burger: warm goat cheese, piled with arugula, and the Italian Job: smoked mozzarella, hot cherry peppers, sautéed onions, and sundried tomato mayo on Texas toast bread. Next up is a demo on two additional, seasonal ingredient-inspired mini-burgers including one with freshly ground turkey. Discover the secrets to their crisp hand-cut fries. Tues., Mar. 4, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14248

MTK Tavern ~ www.mtktavern.com-Part rockin’ live music venue, part gastro pub, and part lounge. Who says you can’t be all things to all people? Check out MTK Tavern! Owner Jeffrey Rosen has come up with the recipe for fun. Chef Robert Sherlock will treat us to a lesson on their special beet and arugula salad. Next up, the chef’s secret to spicy beef short ribs in a red wine reduction, served with roasted potatoes and in-market vegetables. Our dessert will be a how-to on a seasonal raspberry tart. Come party with us! Mon., March 10, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14249

DeCicco’s Family Market ~ www.deciccos.com-As a family owned and operated specialty grocery store chain, each DeCicco’s locations offers something special. At the Armonk location, an upstairs bar/restaurant serves pizza and local beer and wine, and there’s a bocce court and fabulous demonstration kitchen. Their beautifully displayed and well stocked seafood department is at the ready for all of your desires. Seafood chef’s Rondie Chen and Berardo Agudelo will teach the cleaning tips and recipe techniques used to make their crispy fried calamari. The lesson will continue with a Tuscan style stuffed lobster tail and the instructions for linguine with fresh white clam sauce. A surprise sweet treat from their magnificent bakery will conclude our lesson. Tues., Mar. 11, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14250

Chutney Masala Indian Bistro ~ www.chutneymasala.com-Kitchen-Tour: Discover our chef’s hidden secrets in a waterfront setting down on the Hudson River. Chef Navjot and Anu, a husband and wife duo, create all the dishes at Chutney Masala. Navjot is from Jalandhar Punjab, India where he studied the fine art of Indian food. Our class will teach his special take on Indian cuisine. On the menu will be veggie samosas (pastry filled with delicious spiced vegetables). The makings of everyone’s favorite, tandoori chicken, will be taught, then a lesson on making chana masala (chickpea stew) alongside basmati pulao (rice and peas). A pounded rice pudding will be our dessert demonstration. We will also enjoy a quick lesson in the kitchen on the specialties of Nan bread. Always a popular class! Tues., Mar. 18, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $22 in CASH sampling fee, payable to instructor). #14162

AJ’s ~ www.AJsburgers.com-Hands-On: Chef Alan Cohen will fill your plates and mind with his knowledge of simple food made from great ingredients. 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 Alan (a WCC graduate) will have us taste a mini version of his award winning Habanero burger, while teaching us how to make several chili sauces. Then experience the makings of fresh clam sauce over linguine using only eight ingredients to produce a simple, tender, and delicious white clam sauce that is all about technique and ingredients. Finish with a simple rice pudding that makes a beautiful canvas for your favorite fruit or chocolate. He is always full of surprises and gives tastes of whatever special he is working on that day. Check out their chef’s table dinners for a fun night with friends! Mon., Mar. 24, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14166

Don Coqui ~ www.doncoqui.tv-Hands-On: Don Coqui is an authentic Puerto Rican dining experience including live entertainment many nights of the week. The first floor of this New Rochelle location (Don Coqui is now also in White Plains) features an interactive professional demonstration kitchen and provides the perfect venue for us to help chef Armando to prepare our meal. Before beginning, the chef whets our appetites with a sampling of his latest appetizers, accompanied by the bartender’s beverage instruction on mango and peach mojitos. Then begin our how- to on a Puerto Rican-inspired potato salad. Next up, a traditional dish cooked in every Puerto Rican home, pernil: slow roasted pork. To conclude we will make coconut flan with a deep caramel glaze and shaved toasted coconut for dessert. Salud! Tues., Mar. 25, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14167

Doubleday’s Restaurant & Bar ~ www.doubledaysdf.com-An old time bar feel made even better when paired with fabulous modern food! Chef Danny Caldara will teach us a trick or two in this classic rustic spot in the heart of downtown. We will start with a lesson on how to make a beautiful lobster ravioli in a champagne cream sauce, adorned with roasted corn and red peppers. Our continuation will be the chef’s special, organic chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, baby spinach, and sun dried tomatoes, accompanied by a cauliflower hash. The chef’s sweet treat will be the makings of a classic Bananas Foster. Join us for a warm and tasty evening on the river! Wed., Mar. 26, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14251

The Horse & Hound Inn ~ www.thehorseandhoundinn.com-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, and original beams along with “spirits” of both kinds. For the past seventeen years the husband and wife team of Silvano and Sue Vales have created good food and fun. To start our class, chef Vales will treat us to an amuse bouche, consisting of a fried oyster with baby arugula and Old Bay aioli. We’ll the learn the makings of warm bacon dressing over spinach salad, followed by a demonstration on breaking down a whole salmon for use in their delicious pan seared salmon with carrot and ginger coulis, accompanied by spring asparagus and shallots. To sweeten our lesson, grilled pineapple served with coconut cream. Sat., Mar. 29, 12:00 noon-2:00 pm, $15 (+ $23 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14173

Café of Love ~ www.cafeofloveny.com and www.ladleoflove.com-Hands-On: When the earth starts to sprout its spring offerings, it’s time to take soup ‘n salad seriously. Enjoy an evening of warmth in the beautiful French country inspired dining room of Café of Love. Learn valuable tips, tricks, and the trade secrets of their sister restaurant, Ladle of Love, as both kitchens are famous for taking local ingredients on a global adventure. Owner and executive chef Leslie Lampert will lead us on a lettuce and greens journey, demonstrating complementary vinaigrettes to become the perfect pairing for a light yet luscious soup! The restaurant is farm-to-table, enabling us to enjoy what is being harvested that week and incorporating it into our evening’s interactive menu. Mon., Mar. 31, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14174

Humble Pie ~ www.humblepiespecialtycakes.com-Hands-On: Liza Iraci, owner of this specialty cake shop located in the heart of New Rochelle, will instruct us on how to create a decorative cake. We’ll learn how to encase our own cake in fondant, and the art of simple yet beautiful fondant and gum paste flowers to decorate the top of our take home cake. Vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, or lemon flavor will be offered along with two different fruit fillings and frosting choices. All the shop’s specialty cakes are made to order and custom designed. The shop also offers a variety of cupcakes, cookies, and seasonal pies. There is no limitation and they will create whatever flavor you desire. Come out and be a cake decorator for a day! Wed., April 2, 5:00-7:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14252

The Melting Pot ~ www.meltingpot.com-Weekend Lunch/Hands-On: At this fun and interactive restaurant, we’ll start by viewing a brief slide show presentation on fondue followed by our cooking demonstration. We will help to make several of their fondues from The Melting Pot cookbook,Dip into Something Different: A Collection of Recipes from Our Fondue Pot to Yours. It allows you to create your own fondue at home and will be available for sale for $29.95. Help to make a caprese salad and the following appetizer and dessert fondues: quattro formaggi, cheddar cheese, milk chocolate tiramisu, and bourbon flambéed pecan dark chocolate. Our lunch class will be graciously offered with wine pairings for an additional $10. Come out and “dip” with us! Sat., Apr. 5, 12:00-2:00 pm, $15 (+ $23 sampling fee, payable to instructor; optional cookbook, additional $29.95; optional wine pairing additional $10). #14175

Mambo 64 ~ www.mambo64.com-Hands-On and Signed Cookbook Offer: A Brazilian night is in store for us when Chef Stephanie Landis invites attendees to help prepare a Brazilian feast. We will start out with Brazil’s national cocktail, caipirinha, made withcachaça (sugar cane rum) and fresh limes. Next help her to make an appetizer of Brazilian cheese puffs. Our entrée will consist of churrasco (grilled beef) accompanied by a yucca frita and topped with tropical fruit salsa. Learn the secrets of passion fruit flan. Owner Arlen Gargagliano is not only a chef but the writer and co-author of many cookbooks. She will have signed copies of her cocktail/tapas book, Calypso Coolers: Recipes For 50 Caribbean Cocktails and 20 Tropical Treats available during the demonstration for an additional $20. Arlen’s belief in food and its power is far reaching; she’s sure that if we could all sit down to a meal together; sharing both tastes and tales, there would be peace on earth!Buen provecho!Mon., Apr. 7, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor; optional cookbook, additional $20). #14253

Via Vanti! ~ www.viavanti.com-Take-the-Train: In a lovely space reminiscent of an old black and white movie, set in an old train station, this Italian hot spot’s owner Carla Gambescia will teach us about the flavors of primavera (springtime). We’ll celebrate La Primavera with a special three-course menu designed to highlight the flavors and ingredients that mark the arrival of this happy season. We begin with a variation on hummus made with ramps, spring onions with a very short growing season (some chefs forage for them in secret growing spots in wooded areas) and figs served with warm pita. Our lesson will continue with a pasta primavera made with crestte de gallo (cockscomb shaped pasta), then a quick discussion on the makings of an easy chicken paillard with baby artichokes and capers adorned with a delicate white wine sauce. To sweeten our evening, finish with unlimited tastes of gelato including all eighteen of their varieties! Tues., Apr. 8, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14176

Tarry Tavern ~  www.tarrytavern.com-Kitchen Visit: Owner and Chef Henry Cabral, who cooked alongside his dad in their family restaurant, Caravela, has come up with a unique formula that fills a niche in a restaurant-heavy town like Tarrytown. 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 dine before or after a show at the Tarrytown Music Hall. The chef will show us how to make hand-made ricotta cavatelli with spring peas and asparagus along with a few other delicious tidbits incorporating seasonal fare. He will demonstrate flourishes of spring market inspired ingredients, continuing with a fabulous lesson on the makings of a morel stuffed chicken breast en croute (encased in pastry) adorned with a Madeira wine sauce. For dessert, a lovely vanilla bean panna cotta with blueberries. Join us for a peek into this inviting restaurant’s kitchen! Mon., Apr. 14, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14183

Crabtree’s Kittle House Restaurant & Inn ~ www.kittlehouse.com-The Kittle House began humbly in 1790 as a barn, before the future restaurant and inn were built. Since 1981, it has been owned by the Crabtree family, who have returned it to its former glory, including transforming the former stables into an award-winning wine cellar boasting over 65,000 bottles. Executive chef Jay Lippin’s expertise and unique style of cooking will lend for a very special learning experience, starting with spring asparagus and morel mushroom risotto (all ingredients are locally sourced). Then we will learn the techniques used to make fillet of local rainbow trout with seasonal vegetables and a fresh herb beurre blanc sauce. Our sweet treat will be the chef’s secret to a CKH frozen white chocolate torte with wild blackberries. Join us for a special evening! Tues., Apr. 15, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14186

DeCicco’s Family Market ~ www.deciccos.com-Hands-On: Welcome Spring! The DeCicco family has always valued buying local products and supporting local businesses. Their in house, scratch bakery specializes in custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies and Italian pastries. Just in time to fill your Easter basket, you’ll decorate your own royal icing cookies instructed by the store’s pastry chefs, Jessica Puma and Richard Choate. They will teach you the tips and techniques for creating beautifully hand decorated sugar cookies. During this session you will learn about the equipment and tools, ingredients, and step by step process to making these decadent treats look like the pros. You will leave with 6 of your own hand decorated large cookies and tons of great ideas for yummy edible gifts for any holiday or event. Snacks, juice, coffee and tea will be provided. Wed., Apr. 16, 5:00-7:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14256

Royal Palace ~ www.royalpalacecuisines.com-Many 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 will share a few surprise dishes as well as have his chef demonstrate how to make murg tikka (yogurt marinated char grilled chicken), followed by aloo gobhi matar (cauliflower, potatoes, & green peas slow cooked with an aromatic blend of Indian herbs and spices) served with nan bread. A sweet end to our tasty meal will be a traditional Indian rice pudding garnished with nuts and we’ll conclude with a lesson on jalebi (deep fried flour batter immersed in fragrant sugar syrup). Come share a taste of India! Mon., Apr. 21, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14187

Roasted Peppers ~ www.roastedpeppersny.com-This American bistro with strong Latin influences is the collaboration of the Lepe brothers 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. These chef’s will show us the techniques used to create a few of their signature dishes. We will start with a seafood and quinoa salad: shrimp, calamari, and scallops over grilled vegetables with truffle balsamic drizzle and roasted pistachio gremolata. Next, a demonstration on the perfect grilled skirt steak, served with Spanish rice, roasted corn and black bean relish, sliced avocado, onion, and tomato. To “sweetly” end our demonstration sweetly, chef Juan Lepe will share the secrets to his mom’s famous flan! Tues., Apr. 22, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14188

Elia Taverna ~ www.eliataverna.com-Delicious homemade Greek specialties from the classic gyro sandwich to the traditional moussaka await you. Nestled on the outskirts of Bronxville in the beautiful Chester Heights section, proprietors Rui Cunha and authentic Greek chef Michalakis Sarris are passionate about good food and great service. Chef Michaliakis will tell stories of growing up in Greece and cooking by his grandmother’s side while he teaches us the techniques to make delicious Greek cuisine. Come sail away to the Greek Isles as our demonstration will begin with melitzanosalata (a roasted eggplant dip) followed by prassini (romaine lettuce, scallions, dill, and feta cheese topped with their famously spiced grilled chicken breast). Next will be a lesson on the classic Greek dish, pastichio (baked pasta with ground meat topped with a bechamel sauce). For dessert learn the art of making loukaumadas (fried dumplings topped with honey syrup and cinnamon) along with miso-miso, equal parts of steamed milk and espresso. The restaurant now has an extensive catering and private party planning menu to meet every need. We will all join in a resounding “OPA!” in celebration of this terrific class so hold onto your dishes! Mon., Apr. 28, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $23 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14189

Cedar Street Grill ~ www.cedarstreetgrillny.com-Located in the quiet downtown, this restaurant offers American themed fare and artisanal beers in a cozy and welcoming way. Family owned and operated, Chef Matt Kay and brother/manager Joe treat everyone like family. On most evenings you can also find mom Cathy (DF Deputy Mayor) greeting guests at the door. Chef Matt’s passion for creating specialty dishes began as he watched his grandmother cook Italian delicacies. Both Matt and Joe are musicians and love to join in during the weekly live sessions. The chef will demonstrate the makings of their crispy Brussels sprouts: bacon, almonds and local maple syrup (they don’t taste like the boiled ones from childhood). Then the secrets to his moist bacon stuffed meatloaf with house brown gravy over garlic whipped potatoes. For dessert a lesson on a great combination, banana and Nutella bread pudding served warm with vanilla ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauce. Tues., Apr. 29, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14254

Haymount House ~ www.haymounthouseny.com-Kitchen Visit: The mansion overlooking the Hudson River dates back to the early 1900’s when William Fuller built it and named it for the town in which he was born. It spent the last 50 years as a French restaurant until proprietor David Breschel magnificently restored to its original splendor. Executive chef Bruce Deaty, formally of the Red Hat in Irvington, will treat us to a peek inside his kitchen. He will demonstrate a warm shitake mushroom and asparagus salad with fried local farm egg and shallot sherry vinaigrette. Learn the technique for seared Atlantic halibut in a gingered spring vegetable bouillon with pearl couscous and mustard oil drizzle. Our lovely dessert will be a buttermilk panna cotta served in chilled rhubarb and strawberry soup with mint chiffonade. Don’t miss their live music Sunday brunch! Wed., Apr. 30, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #142558

Ramiro’s 954 ~ www.ramiros954.com-Hands-On: Chef Ramiro Jimenez grew up watching his family work at his grandmother’s restaurant on the water in Acapulco. He is a renowned chef who specializes 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 preparations in his open kitchen. In this interactive class we will help to create our meal, starting with an appetizer consisting of empanadas de picadillo (a turnover filled with ground beef cooked with onion, garlic, pepper, olives, raisins, and red wine and accompanied with sweet chipotle cream sauce). Help the chef to prepare the restaurant’s signature dish of pernil con mojo (slow braised pork shank served with tomatillo-avocado sauce and garlic mojo) and rice with beans. Our evening will conclude with flan de vanilla (traditional custard served with caramel sauce, whipped cream, and a chocolate cigar. Arrive hungry; Buen Provecho! Mon., May 5, 6:00-8:00, pm $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14190

The Horse & Hound Inn ~ www.thehorseandhoundinn.com-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 almost twenty years the Vales have owned the Inn, there have been several sightings of spirits. The husband and wife team, Silvano and Sue Vales, have created good food and fun and will be our hosts (possibly along with some ghosts). For an amuse bouche enjoy the Inn’s famous firecracker shrimp: cream cheese with jalapeno and a bacon wrapping. Our lesson in the dining room will begin with a vegetable goat cheese napoleon with a balsamic reduction. Pork tenderloin with sautéed apricots served with spring onions and glazed carrots is our entrée education for the evening. For a summery treat we will enjoy a mini-lesson on individual short cakes with macerated strawberries and whipped cream. Tues., May 6, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14191

The Melting Pot ~ www.meltingpot.com-Hands-On: Fondue is a fun and interactive dining experience, and we will help to make several of their fondues from The Melting Pot cookbookDip into Something Different: A Collection of Recipes from Our Fondue Pot to Yours. It allows you to create your own fondue at home and will be available for sale for $29.95. We will view a brief slide show presentation followed by a unique demonstration where you will help to make a the following appetizer and dessert fondues: a classic Swiss cheese, the Wisconsin Trio, white chocolate bananas Foster, and s’mores. Our entrée will teach us to prepare a tasting sampler of the restaurant’s seasonal entrée offerings. This evening’s class will be graciously offered with wine pairings for an additional $10. Come and “dip” with us! Wed., May 7, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor; optional cookbook additional $29.95; optional wine pairing additional $10). #14192

Fortina Pizza ~ www.fortinapizza.com-Weekend Lunch/Hands-On: Chef Christian Petroni, 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 grand space, situated in a courtyard setting in Armonk, these vivacious men make it happen each and every night. Chef Christian will wow you with his tasty combinations inspired by his Arthur Avenue/Bronx Italian upbringing, bringing new and exciting things to the plate each and every time. Our interactive demonstration will begin with traditional fried meatballs and a specialty of the house, the red sauce that adorns them and its many variations. A refreshing arugula salad dressed with a light lemon vinaigrette and shaved parmesan will cleanse the palate to make way for one of their signature dishes. Well known for their inventive pizzas crisped in wood fired ovens, we will learn the secrets to the restaurant’s popular pie, tenderoni, consisting of tomato, spicy sopressata, mozzarella, and chili oil, with a drizzle of honey for a winning combination. For dessert learn the art of making sabayon with wine served alongside an inviting cappuccino. Sat., May 10, 12:00 noon-2:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14196

Thyme Restaurant ~ www.thymerestaurant.net-Hands-On: Located on the main street, on the border of Yorktown Heights and Cortland Manor, is a contemporary restaurant serving great American fare. This warm and inviting setting allows you to view owner and chef Tom Costello on any given night working in his open kitchen. He will give us an interactive demonstration and we will help to create a delicious meal starting with lobster fritters over an asparagus salad with a spring onion remoulade. We will continue our lesson and enjoy Norwegian salmon with a charred onion soubise, served over saffron rice and local grilled ramps. Next help to prep a delicious mixed berry strudel made with seasonal berries and topped with crème anglaise. Mon., May 12, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14199

Albano’s ~ www.AlbanoAppliance.com-Born and raised in France, chef Jehan deNoüe has over 35 years of experience in the area. He is 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 a most approachable and informed instructor and will give out 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 modernl appliances, we will learn how to make a wild mushroom and asparagus tart appetizer and then the French technique for a beautifully baked sole in parchment paper with seasonal vegetables. Our dessert lesson will be a how-to on fresh fruit turnovers with homemade crème fraiche. Do not miss this class as it is always a favorite! Thurs., May 15, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14201

Chloe Madison Creations ~ www.chloemadison.com-Sweet: This fabulous dessert spot, known for its amazing cupcakes, is the mastermind of CIA graduate Mike Carroll. He will take us on a tour of plated desserts by showing us how to easily and creatively plate beautiful desserts at home. At this sweet spot you will get to taste four desserts: a deconstructed strawberry shortcake with panna cotta and the technique for spun sugar; the secret to Venetian tri-color cookies; a smooth cheesecake with a blueberry compote; and a beggar’s purse of chocolate cake, ganache, and raspberry coulis. You will leave the shop with a small version of each dessert including the sauces to replicate these presentations. Sat., May 17, 12:00 noon-2:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14245

Come out and learn with us!

Cafe of Love Maple Cider Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Apple Cider
  • 1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 TBSP minced shallots
  • 1 TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. Shake all ingredients in a jar or blend with hand wand or in blender. The blender aerates the dressing and you will use less.
http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/02/23/chefs-tip-leslie-lampert-cafe-love-mt-kisco-lesson-best-wings-homemade-dressing/

 

 

 

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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.

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