Pumpkin Sangria from Hudson Social |Chef’s Tip


Chef's knife

Hi! Donna Monaco Olsen here, coordinator for the Taste of Westchester Continuing Education program for Westchester Community College to share with you from a past cooking 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 current demonstration classes are listed here. To sign up call 606-6830 x1 WCC.

Hudson Social, Dobbs Ferry

Owner/Chef: Owner Dominick Durante, Chef Giuseppe Bologna, and Mixologist Yolanda

Hudson Social is in the newly restored Dobbs Ferry train station, and just a stone’s throw from the river and the new waterfront park. There is a live music program and you can enjoy their seasonal outdoor seating to see the spectacular view. It’s a commuter-friendly spot grab a meal on the run or relax before heading home. Details: 11 Station Plaza, Dobbs Ferry, 914-693-3875. www.hudsonsocial.com

Chef’s tip

Sangria is a refreshing drink anytime of the year. Our bartender Yolanda showed us the winning combination making this a fall favorite by combining the following ingredients; White Pinot Grigio, Stoli Vanilla vodka, Pinnacle pumpkin vodka, apple cider, simple syrup (sugar and water), pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, club soda over ice and seasonal sliced apples and oranges.pumpkin sangria 2

This was a winner for the pumpkin spice flavor fanatics in our class. If you don’t want to purchase all the ingredients this restaurant will sell a premixed version in a refillable growler for $20. Call them to have it ready for your party!

Cooking demonstration

Our chef demonstrated techniques that can be used in everyday cooking including a lesson on making a light and quick, French vinaigrette.

Chef Joe showed us how to make a proper emulsion using three key ingredients that will heighten the taste in all of your cooking; Dijon mustard for viscosity, honey to mellow flavors and lemons for acidity. See his recipe below.  He constructed a hearty salad full of texture (granola and almonds) and flavor (apples and cranberries) that is a perfect base for his vinaigrette. His chef’s tip was to “dress” the inside of the bowl surrounding the greens by drizzling the vinaigrette and not directly on the greens so as not to have soggy leaves.

He constructed bruschetta in a toaster oven made with artisan bread, dried figs (not re-hydrated), goat cheese, and wild flower honey teaching us that minimal ingredients make for the best flavors.

Hudson Social will be hosting another class outdoors in July for our Summer 2016 semester. We hope you will join us for a spectacular class!

Join us next time

Join us at several of Westchester’s most exciting restaurants for a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds. Each chef offers private cooking demonstration, followed by a tasting of the prepared items. The new Fall 2015 semester is going on now and has many great classes still available to take registrations, Check out the current offerings at WCC Continuing Ed, Taste of Westchester. Classes are only $15 plus a sampling fee. Sign up with a friend for one demonstration or a few by contacting WCC by phone at 606-6830×1.

If you are a chef or restaurateur and are interested in participating in this program please contact the college at 606-6830×1 and ask for Sarah.


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.

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