Tante Marie's Cooking School
New Class Schedule for 2007
Tante Marie's, a small private cooking school based in San Francisco, has just published their new 2007 schedule for the Spring and Summer of 2007 which can be found on their website under the heading 'Cooking Courses'. (Unfortunately their site does not appear to give permalink urls for the various pages, so you will have to navigate on the fly.) The reason I mention the announcement of new schedule is because readers often tell me how they tried to sign up for a class, but that they were all full. It's true, classes fill up quickly and in advance, so if you want to participate, the time to sign up is sooner rather than later.
In the past I have taken several courses, each lasting for six evenings: Seasonal and Artisanal with Jessica Lasky, both French and Slow Cooking with Jennifer Knapp and Latin American Cooking taught by Penelope Alzamora. This week I started another course - Basics 3 taught by Jodi Liano.
People sometimes say to me "You can cook, you don't need to go to cooking school". I disagree. Cooking is such an enormous subject that one person simply can not keep it all in their head. There is always something new to learn. Even little, unexpected things that promise to make life easier in the future. Take the leek tartare I made on Tuesday evening, for example. All my life I have been preparing my leeks in the same old way that doesn't easily get rid of the dirt often hidden between the leaves. Last night I learnt to halve the leeks length ways before chopping in one inch slices on the perpendicular and then putting all the slices in a large bowl of warm water, separating the leaves and then giving the whole lot a good sloshing around to dislodge the dirt particles. After waiting for the dust to settle a few minutes, and once the sediment is on the bottom of the bowl, I gently picked out the cleaned leeks, floating on the surface.
That I have returned to Tante Marie's School no less then five times speaks volumes to how much I enjoy going there. (I am booked up for a future weekend class of Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren too.) It's not about intensive learning or advanced techniques, its about fun and experience. I meet great people, get to work in a wonderfully comfortable kitchen, and the best part of all is that it gives me the opportunity to taste a dozen or so new recipes every week. It would take me months to have that much exposure to such a vast range of material whilst working on my own.
PS - I would love to share the leek tartare recipe but I want to do a little twiddling and experimentation with it first.
PPS - Transparency: I have met Mary Risley, Tante Marie's founder and although she is aware I have a blog but she has never solicited me for publicity. In fact Mary doesn't even remember what I look like (she completely blanked me last Tuesday). Mary kindly sponsored one of my prizes for Menu For Hope in 2005 and when I completed the 'Blogathon' in 2006, the proceeds went to Mary's local charity, Food Runners.