Ah, the new year. Time for reflection, refreshing and restart. Take a half step back and a full step forward. If you subscribe to an Asian mindset toward the new year, you can celebrate twice – first for the solar calendar and then again for the lunar calendar. (February 10, 2013 will launch the Year of the Snake.) That means you can take your time to set goals and meet them!
If expanding your cooking skills is one of your goals, maybe I'll see you at a cooking class this year. I've got a number of hands-on classes lined up in the Northern California area near my home. They are geared for lots of learning and fun:4-hour classes at Love Apple Farms: We sold out the first time around with this series of classes so we’re running them again. Some people took all of them, driving as far as Fresno. I already know that someone is flying out from the Midwest for the Viet class. Love Apple Farms is a unique biodynamic farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains, about 1 1/4 hours from San Francisco. There are locals who sign up but many people make a day-long excursion to cook in the mountains, then hang-out by the beach for dinner.
- Sun, Jan 27, 12-4pm: Asian Dumplings (great for gearing up for Chinese New Year) SOLD OUT
- Sun, Feb 24, 12-4pm: DIY Asian Tofu (plus a mostly vegetarian full menu of tofu dishes)
- Sat, Mar 16, 12-4pm: Get Into the Viet Kitchen (includes banh xeo sizzling rice crepes)
- Sat, Apr 20, 12-4pm: Asian Dumplings (added after the Jan class sold out)
5-hour classes at the San Francisco Cooking School: This is a brand new facility in San Francisco. The classes will be intensive and fun so I hope you’ll join me to break in the new school. I’ve got a weekend booked in March. The longer class format means that we can do interesting things. For example, in the tofu class, we’re going to make yuba, fresh tofu skin that’s out of this world, not to mention vegan. The dumpling class got tweaked a bit too from others that I’ve taught.
- Sat, Mar 23, 10am-3pm: Homemade Tofu (go from bean to curd, make yuba, and a whole meal of tofu)
- Sun, Mar 24, 10am-3pm: Asian Dumplings (master classic doughs, shapes, and cooking techniques) WAITLIST ONLY
- Sun, Apr 7, 10am-3pm: Asian Dumplings (added after the March class filled up)
1/2 day at Cakebread Cellars: I like to offer a little wine at the end of each cooking class but for this special class at renowned Cakebread Cellars, the winery is doing the pairings! Hurray. I’m looking forward to what the winery uncorks. We’ll start off with a morning hands-on class of Vietnamese favorites and then you get to take a private tour of the winery. Finally, everyone gathers for lovely sit-down lunch with paired wine. The staff and I will be on hand to answer questions. No wonder Cakebread calls their cooking classes the “Good Life Series.”
- Sat, May 18, 9:30am-early afternoon: Viet Spring Celebration (cook, drink, and learn about Viet food and wine pairing)
With all of these cooking classes, there is a staff to clean up. You attend to cook and tinker. At the end, we eat the food that we make. Hope to cook with you this year.