Posts Tagged ‘Cooking Classes’

Chef Allen and Perky

Right Before I Dawned The Chef Jacket!

This year for my birthday, I received a Reality Cooking Class from Chef Allen’s in Miami.  My, oh my it was great fun!!  I highly recommend this as the perfect gift for any foodie.   

My Reality Experience started off with a conversation with Chef Allen Susser, one of the original New World Cuisine Chefs.  It was about 3:00PM when Chef Allen put me in a white chef jacket then  

Chef Allen next to Perky

Chef Allen's Reality Class

 started to show me around Chef Allen’s Kitchen.  He showed me where everything was and explained what was done where.  One of the places he showed me was the big walk-in, this place , I was not so comfortable with, but Chef Allen assured me that I would could not get locked in this cold dark cave of a refrigerator.   Soon I was so busy with the prepping for the evening I forgot all about that scary walk-in.  

Two of My Many Instructors

Fine Food Comes From A Hot Kitchen

 I helped make an ever so divine short rib marinade.  The chef in charge’s hint: when you are prepping for anything do all the peeling first then move onto the chopping rather than peeling one item then chopping it then peeling another then chopping it.   

Next it was off to the meeting of many chefs so that the night’s kitchen plans could be clearly outlined so that no one was in question as to what their tasks were to be for the evening.  Chef Allen went over the parties that were to be held at the restaurant that night, no one seemed to be stressed, in fact I do believe that Chef Allen has one of the most laid back kitchen staff I have ever seen.  

After the meeting we ( I was now a part of the staff… for the evening) skipped back to the kitchen to make sure all of our tasks would be done in time for the first diners that were due in an hour or so.  It was at this time that the food started!!! Everyone was eager to have me taste what they made for Chef Allen’s.  WOW! Is all I can say!!!! I was started off with a lovely fresh Poke served with fried plantain strips.  Fresh leaves of cilantro hit my taste buds with a vigor while the squeeze of lime juice danced with joy in my mouth then it was all finished off with a crispy crunch of plantain. That was just the start!   

My first course

Poke at Chef Allen's is a Must!

 I paused for a few minutes to nibble on my delicious Poke.  As I looked around I wondered what does this staff drink to keep them running around with smiles.  Not a second later, the pastry chef, Henry offered to make me a special coffee.  What is a special coffee?  Oh Ya!!! It is an over the top creation of coffee, dulce de leche and cream with a vanilla bean that has been sitting in sugar with a delicate tuile cookie spoon on the side.  If that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will! Chef’s hint: keep your vanilla beans in sugar after you have split them and taken out all the seeds, they make a perfect accompaniment to coffee drinks and vodka cocktails.  

Coffee is best when served this way:)

Little spoons made of dainty tiule cookies and Dulce de leche Coffee Ohhh LaLa!

The wood stove at Chef Allen’s was the hot place to be that night, so I was there right in the thick of the heat!   John the Chef in front of the wood stove was a nice laid back fellow. The Chef’s lobster hints: are to make the tail straight poke a long skewer in it before you dip it in the hot water, that way it will not curl up.  His other hint for making stuffed lobster dip it in boiling water for about 3 minutes then take it out and submerge completely in ice water until chilled.  Then take out of the ice water slice in half and remove the guts, rinse then place in the fridge until later then stuff with desired stuffing, a favorite is crab meat stuffing and put under the boiler, or at Chef Allen’s the wood stove until done.  Walla! Lobster fresh and Stuffed !  

Lobster stuffed with Crabmeat

Lobsters Are Stuffed With Crabmeat and Placed Under The Wood Fire Heat

My mouth is starting to water just thinking about that marvelous aroma that is produced when food is cooked in a wood fire oven!  And they let me start the fire!!  

WoodFired Steak

Now That's A Tasty Woodfire!

Fish Is Just One Thing Chef Allen's Is Known For!

This Fish Was Done Perfectly!!

The results of this flame are a  moist and tasty piece of meat or fish crusted ever so slightly to sear in the juices.   Chef Allen’s also does a caramelized onion dish where the red sweet onions melt into your tongue. The Chef’s hint for fish: make sure to score your fish if you are doing a whole fish, this lets the fish cook all the way through without overcooking the outside of the fish.  

Another dish that I helped make was a lovely fish speciality of Chef Allen’s.  It was a delicate balance of hot peppers with a little bit of lime and cilantro making a piece of raw fish turn into a delightful biteful!  The Chef’s hint: use a little Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce on your next piece of ceviche.  

Spicy Ceviche

Chef Allen's Knows How To Make Fish Any Way!

I love Indian food so when I was told that I was going to make a Curried Mussels I was thrilled!  I made this dish with fresh mussels, peppers, a little hot sauce and of course coconut milk.  I tossed the mussels in a skillet over a flame and them added the rest of the ingredients, stirred it a little over the  heat  then topped it off with cilantro. Curried Mussels to die for!!   Chef’s hint to dress up a dish like this: deep fry a bunch of  noodles they are not only a stunning garnish but also a great way to soak up the gravy in this fantastic gem from the sea.  

The Curried Mussels

Fried Noodles Crown These Plump Curried Mussels

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