Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cooking A Go-Go

This past Saturday Matt and I, along with 15 other cooks, were lucky enough to get to spend the morning cooking a lunch in the kitchen of the Corner Table with the chef Scott Pampuch. This Cooking A Go-Go event was put together by the Cookin' Minnesota group & we were lucky to get two of the spots. Chef Pampuch, one of this year's James Beard nominees, is known for his farm to table philosophy & we were given pretty much free run to his fabulous walk-in.
#52 - I like good cooking
When we arrived at the restaurant we were greeted with mimosas & coffee. After a few minutes to settle in we were given the rules of working in a professional kitchen & then split into teams, egg, meat, vegetable, starch and dessert. Matt was on team starch & I was part of team dessert.
Thoughts on steadying a cutting board This is how you strip an onion
Each team was taken into the walk-in cooler by Scott to discuss their ideas for their dish based on what was seasonal & on hand. Matt's group decided on a mushroom risotto & roasted root vegetables. My team decided to make a bread pudding with apple, dried fig and golden raisins that we would top with brown butter sauce & vanilla whipped cream.
Waiting for the chef's opinion Lessons on how to cut the duck for serving
As you can imagine the kitchen was a fury of activity with 17 people cooking at once. But thanks to Scott's patience & humor all the dishes finished on time & we had an amazing lunch.
Team Egg prepares an amazing appetizer
Team Egg served us an egg crostini topped with mushrooms. I think this was my favorite dish of the day. It seems so simple but the flavor was so deep & wonderful.
Part of the feast
Team Vegetable made a cream of vegetable soup that was garnished with sautéed kale and a salad that was full of fennel, apples, olives and almonds.
Soup's on
Team Starch's mushroom risotto, made with the mushroom stems the restaurant had leftover, was also full of deep flavor & a perfect accompaniment to the meat. Unfortunately, their roasted vegetables did not cook through on time, no problem though as Scott planned on turning them into a roasted vegetable soup for that night's dinner service.
Mushroom Risotto from Team Starch
Team Meat treated us to two duck dishes. One was duck breast with a golden curry sauce. The other was duck confit on a bed of potatoes & onion. Both we fabulous!
Duck confit Risotto, Duck & Salad
As for my Team Dessert, we had a little problem with our bread pudding as it was huge & didn't cook completely evenly but we did manage to cut out enough good bits for everyone, though at that point we were all so full we almost could have skipped dessert.
Everyone digs in Everyone enjoys the fruits of their labor
We love to eat at Corner Table but getting to cook there, what a treat!


Dewi said...

You are so lucky dear. What a nice crowd!

vanillasugarblog said...

oh lucky lucky you! I'm so up for something like that.

Karen Brown Letarte said...

What a fabulous experience! You were so smart to remember your camera! Thanks for sharing it with us. I am so envious! :D


Thistlemoon said...

Now that is an amazing sounding lunch! YUUUMMMMMM!

PG said...

Neat concept! I've never heard of anything like that where you get to pick and cook your our courses in a restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Looks like fun! Pretty cool how you were all separated into teams.

grace said...

um...awesome! and of course, given the choice, i'd do my darnedest to be a part of team dessert!

Lori said...

What a nice oppotunity for you two! I love this kind of stuff and I liked reading about it!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a fabulous experience. I'm jealous. Thanks for sharing.

KariH said...

Your dessert was rich and delicious and Matt's risotto was great. I got 2 servings of it in small carry out containers and had a great lunch at work the next 2 days! Glad I got to cook with you guys and everyone else there. Scott was such a gracious host!

Giff said...

that must have been tremendously fun!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

What a cool event! Love the risotto!

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