Posts Tagged ‘cooking class’

Get Thee To a Valentine..

January 31st, 2012 • No Comments

(Note: Updated on February 9th (Thursday) 2012 – will be updated as events unfold or get Sold Out..)

I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, but like Halloween, it’s a celebration/festivity that has taken on a life of it’s own. And 2012 is no exception, there are just a plethora of Valentine’s tastings for both the chocolate and non-chocolate lover – I’m not even sure if the latter exists! Some quick thoughts on Valentine’s and tastings: if you’re a restaurant or event provider who wishes to really draw people in this time of year, any theme with chocolate, sparkling wine (especially Champagne) or some over-the-top rich dish like braised meats seems to bring people in in droves – oh, and also any food/concept connected with Amore, for example oysters and fondue (both chocolate and cheese work). It’s also OK to add terms like “seduction”, “decadent”, “aphrodisiac” and even “libido” to your menu descriptions which breaks away from the everyday norm of exclusion of these concepts – Valentine’s gives you as the marketer the right to explore the racier side of life..and people will accept and forgive you for about a week! Of course, certain cultures are also associated with lasciviousness so French and Italian restaurants and themes have a distinct advantage. If you have a strong combination of all of these themes and concepts, you can also expect a marriage proposal or two to occur – and hopefully, not with your staff!

Oh, and to make all this information just a touch more confusing..Valentine’s Day is officially Tuesday, February 14th, but many events list their date on Saturday or Sunday as “official” Valentine’s Day events – it’s a celebration of love and romance, does it really matter what the official date is? I think not..

I will list the major tastings by date (Note: if you’re just looking for a listing of restaurants that have multi-course dinners especially for Valentine’s, here’s a pretty good list by Washingtonian):

Thursday, February 9th,

Sommelier Showdown (as part of the DC International Food and Wine Festival), 7:00pm-9:00pm
Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20004

Tickets are $150/per person and can be Purchased Online

See top DC Sommeliers flex their knowledge at the Washington DC International Wine & Food Festival’s inaugural Sommelier Showdown. Our experts will engage in a friendly tête-à-tête and compete in a race of the taste, using deductive tasting to identify wines with hidden labels.

To complement the wines presented, the Showdown will feature five of DCs most noted chefs who will be tasked with bringing food and wine together, including Chefs Todd Gray (Equinox), Xavier Deshayes (Ronald Reagan Building), and Jaime Montes de Oca (Zentan).



SOLD OUT-Savory Syrah – A Global Tour
7 pm
Chain Bridge Cellars, 1351 Chain Bridge Rd. McLean, VA 22101

Wine experts all agree that Syrah is one of the “noble” varietals, capable of making some of the most complex, layered and age-worthy wines in the world. But the kinship between a $10 Aussie Shiraz and a $70 Hermitage is pretty hard to fathom! So take a worldwide tour of everything Syrah/Shiraz can be and see if you can find some common themes. We’ll taste bargains from Australia and the South of France;  classic American, South African and Rhone wines; and a couple of “big guns” from the Barosa and Cote Rotie.

This class includes seven wines, Syrah-friendly snacks, and take-home descriptions of each wine and region covered.

To reserve a space, email [email protected] or call 703.356.6500


TasteDC Chocolate Making 101 at Wanders Chocolaterie

How to Blind Taste Wine
February 9th (Thursday) Session 1: 6 – 7:30 pm; and Session 2: 8 – 9:30 pm
Adour in The St. Regis, 923 16th and K Streets, N.W., Washington, DC 20006

Wine Director Brent Kroll will conduct a sensory analysis on how to quantify wine flavors and origin.

Tickets are $60/per person.
Call (202) 509-8000 to Make Reservations


Mama Mia – Pasta Making 101: Agnolotti Stuffing

February 15th, 2011 • No Comments

Over at TasteDC we love to roll out pasta for Agnolotti (pretty much the same as Ravioli)..and knead it, mix it, stretch it, stuff it, cook it, and then eat it! The above video was from TasteDC’s Pasta Making 101 class on Sunday, February 13th, 2011 – the day before Valentine’s Day, so people were a bit more enthusiastic than usual, which made it quite a fun event!

Here’s the recipe:

Agnolotti alla Piemontese
Authentic Piedmont-Style Rich Beef filled Ravioli in a Savory Sauce

Ingredients Pasta:
1 lb Durum flour water as needed
4 lg eggs
1T olive oil
1 pinch salt

Ingredients Stuffing:

2 oz butter

3 T cooked rice

1/4 lb tinned peeled tomatoes

a small carrot

1/2 onion

1/2 stick of celery finely chopped together

a little parsley

1/2 lb lean raw beef, finely minced

1 glass white wine

4 cabbage leaves, boiled and chopped rather finely

 to taste
freshly ground black pepper

grated nutmeg

2 eggs

1 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions Stuffing:
PUT a very small amount of butter in a small frying pan. When it is foaming add the cooked rice and fry, stirring, for 1 minute. Put on side.
TAKE the seeds and liquid out of the peeled tomatoes, and pass them through a vegetable mill.
PUT the rest of the butter in a frying pan together with the chopped vegetables and parsley. Cook gently until the onion becomes transparent. Add the minced beef. Cook gently, stirring all the time, until the meat is golden brown. Add the wine. Reduce completely, so that no smell of wine remains. Add the tomato pulp and the rice, the chopped cabbage leaves, salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer gently for half an hour. By this time you should have a fairly thick mixture.
TRANSFER this to a mixing bowL. Let it cool. Add the eggs, beating them first, and the Parmesan. Mix well.

Directions Pasta Dough:
Combine all ingredients, except water into a kitchen aid mixer with a hook attachment. Mix ingredients until made into a dough, add water if needed. Wrap in Saran wrap and refrigerate for thirty minutes.
In another bowl beat an egg that will be used to seal the ravioli with a basting brush. Cut dough bundle in half and flatten out enough to pass through pasta machine, from thickest to thinnest. On a flat surface lay sheet of pasta and brush with egg wash half of the sheet. Fill pastry bag with meat filling and make 2 tsp size deposit onto the pasta sheet, at 1 ½ inch intervals from each other. Once the sheet is filled overlap the sheet and seal the edges using your fingers. Exclude any air bubbles which may have formed. Use ravioli cutter to cut sheet into separate ravioli. Sprinkle flour on a tray, lay ravioli on top and cover with a clean cloth. Refrigerate.
Boil pot of water and cook ravioli to your liking. In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt 1T butter add short rib sauce, bring mixture to simmer for a couple of minutes. Once ravioli are cooked, strain and toss ravioli in sauce pan. Sprinkle Parmigiana cheese and serve.