Since the cruise ship job fell through I have been looking for work, helping out where I can and teaching some. I had a very nice conversation with Nancy Douglas about teaching at her B&B in Woodinville, went out for a visit and started to plan a menu. In the mean-time Nancy called me one Friday night to ask if I could step in to cover for another Chef who was scheduled to teach but became ill. I worked with the chef’s existing menu and I think things all turned out fairly well. One of the students had been a Cantina customer, so that was especially nice.
Nancy spent a lot of time in France and has grown a Francophillic business devoted to the good life of wine and cuisine, so the classes are all focused on regional French cooking. The one I did a couple weeks back was based on a small region north of Provence in the mountainous region near the French/Swiss border. The next class I teach focuses on the broader area of Normandy which is like the Pacific Northwest is their access to miles of coastline and fresh seafood as well as latitudes in the 45 to 50 degrees North range which support greens, mushrooms, cows and apples/pears in the regional agriculture. Think great cheese and cider.
For details on the B&B, and their classes in general see their website my class on 4/18 will include the following;
Normandy French Regional Dinner Class
Pork liver pate served with gherkin pickles, kalamata black olives & crusty bread (making the pork liver pate and the bread during the class)
Green Salad Frisée with Camembert de Normandie and green apple dressed in a dijon mustard & chive vinaigrette (Edge of Seattle homemade vinegar)
Sole Sautee with shrimp & seasonal mushrooms
Spinach soufflé, sauté of carrots
Gateau aux Poires with sliced pear and crème fraiche
In addition to teaching I spent a couple weeks helping out with the opening in the Lost Lady American Cantina, which Nancy Leson wrote about a few weeks back. I will not be there long term, but I spent a couple weeks with the staff (mostly kitchen) talking about how to set up the kitchen in an efficient manner, and discussing the types of Tex-Mex cuisine that we Seattle-ites demand and love. The owner, Dale is a BIG Texas personality who has operated steakhouses in Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere, has been shot by his ex-wife, loves great steak and tall tales, and will demand the best from his staff. We parted on very friendly terms and Dale knows that he can call me anytime if he needs a hand.