An Awesome Opportunity, pt. 2

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On Sunday, The Russian and I went to Rialto for a cooking demonstration by Jody Adams, the owner and master chef who has been a famed Boston chef for many years. This demo was made even better because Rialto had partnered with Brooklyn Brewery (made even better than the Brewery is located in my native NYC) to create dishes with beer in them.  Awesome.  It was an amazing day, filled with great food, beer, and tips on cooking from the master herself. Here’s some photos and captions that explain how tremendous this day was:

We started with coffee and homemade scones while we listed to Jody explain the class and what would happen next.

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IMG_2401We then learned how to make sausage from chef Brian Rea, the Chef De Cusine at Rialto.  I took lots of notes, including one that meat is best stuffed into the sausage when cold as not to make the fat melt while it is being stuffed into the casing.

IMG_2404Then it was onto the first course, an oyster with a beer granita which was paired and used a light Italian beer that was a collaboration with Brooklyn Brewery.

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The finished product with Adams in the background

The finished product with Adams in the background

I loved how  recipes were included, so I could follow along, take notes, and then try to re–create the dishes later at home (and I will try, eventually).

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We then moved on to clams steamed in the Brooklyn Brewery lager and mussel fritters beer–battered and fried.  Oh man, this dish.  Probably my favorite of the day.  The fritter was exceptional, perfectly fried and chewy in the center, and the clams in that steaming broth with pancetta, tomatoes, and greens was a warm comforting dish that ended up dipping my bread in and sop up all the juices, all etiquette quickly forgotten. The final element was a garlic aioli that was truly sublime and just the flavor needed to marry all the flavors of the dish.

and it was gorgeous.

and it was gorgeous.

I was lucky enough to sit next to Adam’s husband, so not only was the conversation and beer flowing, but we were often visited by the chef herself, and when I was finally bold enough (thanks, Brooklyn Brewery) to speak to her, she was warm and full of advice on how to further my love of cooking.

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I had told Adams about my new job as a line cook.  I decided to put my dreams to work and my love of cooking to the test and obtained a second job as a line cook in Brookline.  It’s only two days a week, so I will actually be adding this job as more of a side project, a way to see if my dreams of owning my own restaurant (or, more likely, food truck) could actually happen.  I’m also going to learn a lot.  I’m super excited and will definitely be documenting my new job and my thoughts of life as a professional chef.

I digress, my apologizes.  Back to the food.

Our next course was a venison sausage with a polenta, grapes, and green tomatoes.  This was paired with the Local 2 from Brooklyn Brewery, and this was my favorite beer.  Unassumingly light for its rich color, super smooth, like butter in your mouth, and flavorful.  I was disappointed that there was not more of this beer floating around (I had probably had enough by this point anyways).

The dish itself was wonderful as well.  I loved the grapes and polenta, and the sausage was so light considering it was a gamey meat.

and, of course, it was gorgeous.

and, of course, it was gorgeous.

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We finally finished with a stout float and a cookie.  By this point, I was so full I was unsure how I would be able to get home.  Everything was so decadent.

I couldn't even finish this. I had given up by this point.

I couldn’t even finish this. I had given up by this point.

I learned so many things about cooking this day, and it certainly won’t be anything I forget anytime soon.  Hopefully seeing chefs of this caliber in the kitchen will be commonplace for me, but for now, I was still starstruck and sopped up lots of good information on how to take my cooking to the next level.  All that’s left is for me to apply my knowledge and follow the path that’s before me.

-L

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