‘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!
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!
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.
Candy isn’t always something you think of when you think of recreational cooking classes at Cook Street. After all, isn’t it all about classic French and Italian techniques and soaked in plenty of wine? Well, all that changes around the holidays, when we offer one of our most popular (and most fun!) classes…Holiday Candy (November 3). In this class, you’ll learn to make Caramels, Nut Brittle, Pate de Fruit, Nougat and Hand Rolled Chocolate Truffles, all while gaining knowledge about the delicate world of sugar cookery. And don’t think that food and wine is completely forgotten…man cannot live on candy alone, so we’ll have a full meal with wine to tide you over.
In the meantime, here are some fun candy facts to get your sweeth tooth going:
It’s all about legacy: Over 60 percent of American candy brands have been around for over 50 years, and people have been eating rudimentary forms of candy (usually honeyed nuts or fruits) since the days of ancient Egypt.
Candy’s best eaten in quantity: Talk about a sweet tooth! Candy is big business — and chocolate manufacturers currently use forty (40) % of the world’s almonds and twenty (20) % of the world’s peanuts.
Chocolate mania: During Louis XIV’s reign, chocolate took the French court by storm. Widely thought to have aphrodisiac properties, chocolate was often combined with other stimulants to make life more interesting for fashionable Parisians.
Want to learn more about candy? Forget bringing mass-produced candy canes to that holiday party…impress your friends with your mouthwatering caramels, nougat, and more. You won’t want to miss Holiday Candy on November 3!
Colorado isn’t exactly a fishmonger’s paradise, but it’s possible to get and cook delicious fish even in these landlubbin’ parts. Take A Fish Tale, our popular recreational cooking class focused on incorporating fish into appetizer, entree, and salad while using classic techniques that get every last morsel of deliciousness out of that piece of fish. Read on for some fish myth debunking in honor of our upcoming class:
I can’t afford fresh fish in Colorado! Bogus. There are plenty of purveyors of fresh fish in the area that won’t destroy your financial future. For great deals on fresh fish, try the Pacific Ocean Marketplace on 120th and Main in Westminster. You’ll probably see a few restaurateurs picking up their daily catch.
Frozen fish is disgusting: Sometimes, but it’s all in the handling. A flash-frozen salmon that is properly dealt with from deck to distribution warehouse will be tastier and easier to cook than a fresh fish that’s battered and mistreated along the way.
Eating fish will give me mercury poisoning: No way. Common fish in the United States tends to be low in mercury, though trace amounts can occur. That slight danger is overwhelmed by the health benefits of fish, which include lowered risk of heart attack and plenty of beneficial fatty acids.
I can’t cook fish! Balderdash. With the right set of skills and techniques, you’ll be able to take advantage of fresh, delicious fish any time…and we’ve got plenty of tricks up our sleeves to help your next fish meal be the best ever. Interested in a Fish Tale? Swim over to this link 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, 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.
Here at Cook Street, we’re a wee bit wine-obsessed. And not just because the stuff tastes good…because it is so rich in history, variety, and application that it’s the perfect counterpart to everything from the French and Italian classics we teach to the international flavors we feature in other courses. But wine has a problem. Even more so than food, it’s beset with mystery and myth…myths that can keep even the most adventurous foodies from dipping into its rich world. Here are three dastardly wine myths we’d love to dispel:
I can’t afford to be an oenophile. Bzzzzzzzzzzzt! Wrong. Inexpensive wines are more abundant (and more popular) than ever…and quality is not impacted, as this article demonstrates. You don’t need gobs of money to be a wine connoisseur…only patience, palate, and a willingness to try new things. Next time you’re feeling cash-strapped, go to your local wine shop and ask for a bottle that’s priced to your budget. Chances are good you’ll find that your glass is just as impressive as a more expensive one.
I’m not allowed to drink wine now. Think all wine gets better with age? Think again. As this article points out, unless you can afford to buy the perfect blend, store wine without drinking it, and ensure both the perfect storage conditions and the ideal time to pop the cork, you’re wasting your time on aged wine. Leave the wine aging for the experts (or drink aged wines when you’re out). So much great wine tasting is all about the now…and now is the time to enjoy that new bottle!
I’m not snobby enough to be into wine. Balderdash. Wine is for everyone…why do you think it’s found around the world, from the most modest tables to the halls of royalty and heads of state? Don’t let your fear of turning into a snob keep you from deliciously paired, perfectly balanced wines that complement and enhance your food and tickle your palate. Snobby is as snobby does, so as long as you’re able to rein in your superior tendencies about your superior knowledge, you should be good to go.
Want great wine education without the snobbery? You want Cook Street’s wine classes, which focus on the rich history and properties of wine in an approachable, fun, and relaxed setting. Click here to view a list of upcoming wine classes…click here to view all classes at Cook Street.
In honor of our World of Taste: Germany class next week (seats still available!), we’re dishing up some trivia and knowledge about the fabulous wines of Germany.
- Handmade Wine along the Rhine: The Rhine river is synonymous with German wine…and for good reason. This body of water doesn’t just host some of the best grape-growing terrain in Europe, it actually encourages handcrafted and hand-tended grapes because the steep vineyards don’t lend themselves to mechanization. Meanwhile, the river’s microclimate effect creates striking varieties along the river.
- Riesling, please: Riesling is Germany’s most popular grape. Aromatic and acidic, this grape constitutes over 21% of Germany’s grape crop. There are records of Riesling wine production in Germany from the 1430s on, and this popular white wine loves pairings with white meats like fish, chicken, and pork.
- Old world: Germany has the dubious/awesome distinction of housing the oldest-ever found bottle of uncorked wine…which was found along with a Roman sarcophagus and is thought to date from 325 AD!
Learn more about German wine (and how to cook some delicious food to go along with it) at our upcoming World of Taste: Germany course offered next week. Click here for details and registration..Tschüß!
There’s a long weekend ahead, and of course that means that Denver is itching for a great foodie event or four. Here’s what’s on our radar. While you’re at it, check out our updated list of rec classes that focus on fall flavors, classic techniques, unforgettable wines and some international flair.
- A Taste of Colorado: Yup, it’s already time for Denver’s greatest free food fair, featuring over 50 fine food vendors and much more. City Park, downtown Denver, September 3-6. Click here for details.
- Taste of Keystone: Prefer to have your fine food sampling in a resort-style setting? Keystone’s your destination this weekend, with demos, samples, and a good cause. Lakeside Village at Keystone , September 4. Click here for details.
- Denver Beer Fest: It’s (almost) here…a week when beer mysteriously takes over the hearts and minds of all Denverites and gently threatens to overwhelm the world. Yum. September 10-19, various locations throughout Denver. Click here for details.