‘Tis the season to give the greatest gift of all…the gift of Cook Street classes! Available in all denominations, our Cook Street gift cards make perfect stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and thoughtful gestures to the foodies in your life. Best of all, you can customize them to the foodie in your family! Click here to purchase a gift card today.
Please note: gift cards are non-refundable and are redeemable for classes and/or merchandise only. Gift cards are valid for one year from the date of purchase. Click here to see a course calendar for an idea of the variety of awesome classes offered by Cook Street!
This year, we’re offering great add-ons to make your card an even more impressive gift. Please note that these sets cannot be purchased online; if you’d like an add-on, please come to Cook Street during business hours or call the Café at (303) 308-9300. Add-ons include:
The Wine Savvy gift set includes The Wine Bible and a wine aerating spout.
The Spice gift set includes two Savory Spice blends as well as The Spice Bible.
The Pastry Perfection gift set includes one reusable pastry bag and five decorative pastry tips and a coppler attachmnet.
The Grilling Guru gift set includes Weber’s Big Book of Grilling and a Hells Handle grilling spatula.
The Food Lover’s Companion gift set includes The Food Lover’s Companion and a navy blue Cook Street Apron.
Gifts for all your foodie friends are just a click away! Click here to order, and Happy Holidays from Cook Street!
Knife skills = boring. Right? Wrong. At least we don’t think so! Our upcoming Knife Skills course not only gives you the skills you need to build a solid foundation for your next meal, but affords plenty of interest in the process (and yields a delicious meal complete with wine pairings). Think knives are, well, dull? Here are some fun facts about knife skills:
Here’s a quick way to figure out if your knife is sharp enough: tomato and other fruit skins can be sliced without a problem.
Too dull? If you wrap your knife in newspaper and take it to your local grocery store, the butcher’s counter will tell you when to bring it in for a mobile sharpening at a low cost.
One knife to rule them all: Can’t afford an array of expensive knives? No worries…a modest chef’s knife will do. Look for a blade constructed of one piece of metal that sits well in your hand.
A common myth about knives is that sharp ones are more dangerous than dulled blades. Wrong! Sharper knives are easier to control and more likely to be respected by the user.
We know, we know…sometimes the hype surrounding America’s favorite food holiday can lead to a bit of paralysis. Not feeling up to the challenge? We’ve assembled our favorite sources of Turkey-Day solace. Now get out there and cook!
- Thanksgiving newbie? NPR to the rescue!
- Prefer your Turkey day high-tech? Try these Thanksgiving-oriented iPhone apps.
- Burnt turkey is preferable to a burnt kitchen…we promise. Get your kitchen safety tips here.
- Prefer what’s tried, and tried, and tried, and true? Cooks Illustrated has you covered.
- Confused about your (gasp!) Butterball turkey? Operators are standing by.
- Last-minute menus and plenty of cocktails are on tap at Epicurious.
- Need video tutorials and tips? Turn to CHOW for help.
- Sometimes it’s time to just give up. Westword lays out recommendations for five Front Range restaurants that stay open on Turkey Day.
Dare we ask if you have a hostess gift in mind for that fabulous fete? We can help. Drop by the Cook Street Café…we’ve got gift cards and plenty of gift-ready packages to make sure you don’t show up empty-handed!
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably wondered what’s behind those extremely expensive bottles of wine. What factors go into wine pricing, anyway? Are there varieties that are worth more than others? What should you spend on wine?
Debunk those myths with Is It Worth All That?, a hands-on wine workshop that explores eight high-end wines and the price tags that go with them. Just look at this juicy (partial!) wine list:
- 2007 Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California
- 2006 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne Montrachet, Monopole Premier Cru, Burgundy, France
- 2007 ZD Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California
- 2006 Stags’ Leap Merlot, Napa Valley, California
- 2007 Domaine Lucien Barrot et Fils, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone Valley, France
A steal itself at only $69 for the class, you’ll love Is It Worth All That? and its savvy take on so-costly wine. Ready for a great date night, girls’ night out, or just ready to treat yourself? Join us Thursday, December 9. Learn more and register here.
As we cook, we also keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in food trends (with our feet firmly planted in classic techniques that always trump the latest and greatest). This week, the Web is suddenly all about sous vide, a cooking technique much beloved by fancy molecular gastrologists and involving the very long slow-cookery of meat in a plastic bag via vacuum. Huh? Whether you want to try it yourself or just are hungry for some knowledge to share at your next cocktail party, here’s a quick rundown on sous vide:
What does it mean? The term “sous vide” means “under vacuum” in French. Translation: Low temperatures, long cooking times, vacuum-sealed environments.
Why cook sous vide? Perfection: proper use of the technique means that cuts of meat that might otherwise dry out or change flavor with long cookings can retain their texture and take on a moist yumminess seen only in more expensive cuts. Also, it’s fun to play with thermometers, gadgets, and science! Who’s not up for a foodie challenge every once in a while?
What can you cook sous vide? Steak is the ultimate example, but chicken, carrots, even eggs can benefit from the technique.
Where do I learn more? Here’s a great collection of sous vide madness:
- Hack a slow cooker for sous vide
- Poor man’s sous vide
- Sous vide 101
- A practice guide to sous vide – by a Colorado mathematician who has gotten this science down to an art
Proceed with caution…any cooking technique that relies on lots of fancy equipment might not last the test of time. Want to brush up on your cooking basics and get reacquainted with French and Italian classics? Click here to view a course calendar!
Sigh…it’s official. With leaves falling all over, there’s no more denying that autumn has arrived. But never fear: changing your eating habits with the seasons is easy. Here are a few of our favorite tips:
Incorporate fall colors. Bright orange. Deep red. Rich brown. If your food reflects any of these colors, chances are it’s a fabulous fall option. We’re talking butternut squash, pomegranate, and apples. Take a chance and cook a dish with deep color today.
Cook your veggies. It just doesn’t seem right to eat wilted and warmed greens or mashed carrots when it’s bright and summery outside. Fall is a perfect time to enjoy cooked vegetables, whether braised, poached, mashed, or baked.
Go heavier. You don’t have to go insane with the butter and olive oil, but fall is a natural friend to hearty breads, long-simmered meats, and heavier sauces and desserts. Go ahead…enjoy!
Want to learn more about seasonal eating? Cook Street’s menus change with the seasons…and upcoming classes like Classic Techniques: French (can we say coq au vin?) and Classic Techniques: Sauces will give you the skills you need to eat well all season long.
It’s Friday, which means another weekend of cooking, eating, and enjoying the last dregs of nice weather! But before we go, we thought we’d tell you about a few classes that are pushing our buttons:
A Fish Tale: With a new menu, a focused skill set to share, and a supply of the freshest, most delicious fish, this is a can’t miss for date night or solo learning. Wednesday, October 20. Click here for information and registration.
Knife Skills: Get sharp with a course devoted to honing your knife techniques. You’ll never wonder how to cut again. Tuesday, October 26. Click here for information and registration.
Classic Techniques – French: What could be more classic than good, old-fashioned French cuisine? Devote two evenings to the food of France as you learn to cook bouillaibaisse, coq au vin, and other French comfort-food classics. Thursday, October 28 and Thursday, November 4. Click here for information and registration.
Que Syrah Shiraz?!: We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. This specialty wine class is not to be missed! Join us for an interactive look at these popular varieties. Here’s a taste of what you’ll be tasting — 2005 Guigal Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone Valley, France; 2007 JL Chave Saint-Joseph, Rhone Valley, France; 2007 Wishing Tree Shiraz, Australia; 2004 Rosemount Balmoral Syrah, McClaren Vale, Australia Click here for information and registration.
In a world where news about everything from the most mundane eats (a sandwich made with “bread” of two chicken patties?) to the most overblown, celebrity-driven gourmet treats, it can be hard to boil it down to food that works for your kitchen, your budget, your skill set, and your personality. In our recreational cooking classes (click here for a full culinary calendar) and our professional culinary program alike, we spend lots of time focusing on the intersection of flavor and technique. But what we can’t teach is inspiration.
We were glad to read this article on Chef Pierre Gagnaire, a Michelin-starred chef who sums up our thoughts about the dangers (and pleasures) of inspiration so:
“Food is much more about fads these days. You find one ingredient in one restaurant, and soon, it is in every other restaurant….There’s less exploring the frontier on your own when you can just be lazy and Google something.”
Does this mean you shouldn’t turn to Google for inspiration or help? No way. We interpret Mr. Gagnaire’s remarks as touching on the hands-on nature that makes great cooking so great. If you don’t take the time to get to know ingredients, to test flavor combinations and textures with your own tongue, how can you grow or change as a home cook or a culinary professional?
Here’s our challenge to you…stretch yourself in the kitchen. Always wanted to learn knife skills or how to cook with wine? Now’s the time. Prefer to learn alongside friends? Invite everyone over for an impromptu cooking challenge. Don’t let the overavailability of information rob you of your own inner innovation. And let us know what you find! We’re here to help.
It’s Wine Wednesday again, and today we’re thinking about the difference between old and new in anticipation of Friday’s Old World vs. New World Wines class. So…what does Old World mean, anyway?
- Old and new…it matters. In wine, “Old World” is used to refer to any winemaking region with a long history. Usually, it means Europe and some parts of the Mediterranean. In contrast, “New World” wines come from wines grown in less traditional locations. France and Germany are Old World; Australia and the United States are new.
- Why should we care? Because there truly is a difference in taste, with old world varieties favoring more subtle flavors and new world ones showcasing different terroir, mixes, and tastes. In general, old world wines are all about soil, grape variety, and location, while new world wines find a way to play.
- Taste the difference. Try comparing Burgundy (Old World) from France and its counterpart Pinot Noir from a new world source like the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Or pit a traditional Bordeaux wine against a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley or Australia.
Curious about the difference between old world and new world wines? We’ve got you covered! Cook Street’s Old World vs. New World Wines class includes a blind tasting and plenty of flavors to sample.
It’s wine Wednesday, and today we’re touching on something…a bit different. Because sake isn’t exactly wine. Or is it? Read on for some sake facts in celebration of our all-you-can-prepare-and-savor Sushi and Sake class this Friday:
- Is sake wine? Kind of. Called “rice wine” in English, sake is made from an entirely different process than the one we associate with grapes. To create sake, brewers take rice to sugar and rice sugar to an alcoholic brew that can be up to 20% alcohol.
- How old is sake? Old. We’re talking first references were in the third century old. By the 1400s, sake was brewed in temples.
- Is all sake the same? No way. There are two designations of sake – futsū-shu (table sake, in the same vein as table wine), and tokutei meishō-shu (premium sake). Like beer, filtering, aging, and dilution are just as important as the kind of rice used and the distillation process itself.
- What are some sake traditions? Sake can be served cold or hot depending on the season, the brew, and the preferences of the drinker. It’s often served as a marker of generosity and welcome, and can be used ceremonially for the new year, for purification, or for good fortune.
Enjoy some premier sake and sushi you prep yourself at our popular Sushi and Sake course this Friday! Click here for details.