Chop chop chop!

I love to cook, but every time I’m faced with having to attack an onion, I freeze.

How the hell do you do it without collapsing into a blubbering pile of red-faced sneezy goo?
(Appetizing, I know…)
Not to mention the delicious yet messy mango, the prickly pineapple, or the wily chicken.

So, armed with a gift certificate to L’Academie de Cuisine, I set out to conquer the mysteries of kitchen knives Saturday afternoon.

Tucked away in a little yellow building on Wilson Lane, it’s a completely non-threatening environment with no-nonsense classes taught by professionals. There were about twenty of us, mixed gender and ages, nervously assembled in front of cutting boards, knives, and an assortment of fruits and vegetables. Facing us was a chef brandishing a very sharp knife.

In the course of three hours, the very entertaining Brian Patterson taught us “Basic Knife Skills,” vanquishing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and a whole chicken with ease. He also demystified how to choose and care for the most essential kitchen knives. Half the class was demonstration, followed by time to practice your newly acquired skills on any number of previously intimidating foods.

It was such a fun experience, I’m inspired to return for a pasta class later this week.
Definitely check LAC out if you are interested in learning more about the culinary arts, right here in DC.
(Well, Bethesda, anyway!)

3 Comments so far

  1. Tiff (unregistered) on September 12th, 2005 @ 2:51 pm

    Did he teach you the cold water trick for the onion? Cut the ends off the onion, then soak it in a bowl of very cold water for a few minutes before cutting it up. That keeps the stinging down long enough to chop it…

  2. Jenn L (unregistered) on September 12th, 2005 @ 3:10 pm

    He didn’t, but he did show us the cool technique where you cut crosses into the tops of roma tomatoes, dunk them in boiling water, then in ice water, and the skin peels right off.

    Kitchen geeks unite!! :)

  3. Steph (unregistered) on September 13th, 2005 @ 9:23 am

    So excited that you put the gift certificate to good use! I just bought a Wustoff Classic Chef’s knife — maybe our next dinner club should be a knife-wielding affair? Hmmm… I’m kinda liking that theme :-)

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