Earlier this month I & hubs participated in something both fun & interesting! First time in our lives we spent time with a chef, cooking and laughing about everything and discussing the specific and history of Hungarian cuisine, and all of that not leaving our kitchen!
It all happened using Skype and all my kitchen tools and surfaces!
However, let me start first with the story of how this happened!
When I was approached by lovely Jenn Nicken and heard the concept behind The Chef and The Dish I was intrigued, interested and also excited to try something new and something that my husband could help me in. The idea is genius: you can cook anything from around the world, learn about international cuisines and have a one on one professional and skilled chef right there with you. All of that without traveling or leaving your kitchen. The best part (for a food lover like I am) is that you not only enjoy a delicious goodness after the class is finished, you also get the recipe cards with everything you’ve cooked. That way you can recreate it after and also impress someone like I’ll do for sure.
… and then the story about me & goulash…
A few years ago, when we were living in Newmarket (north of Toronto) we used to stroll along the Main Street, and always park around the corner from The Goulash House. Every time I & hubs would promise each other that we will go there and have a proper lunch or dinner because of all of the smells we could sense and beautiful dishes we could spot in their windows. Time passed, but for some reason, we never went there. I completely forgot about it and only remembered an hour before the class! Just imagine how surprised & happy I was knowing that I’ll not only taste it, I will also cook it!
A week before your class you have a Kitchen Prep Session where you and a Kitchen Assistant will have a Skype talk about everything you’ll need, shopping list & tools review and of course you will have time to ask any questions that you might have.
… and then you cook…
I am quite used to Skype as I use it regularly to call my parents so it was fast and easy to connect with lovely Chef Agnes! As I was instructed on my prep session all of the ingredients, as well as tools, were lying near me (for the cooking convenience of course). We talked to each other for a bit and Agnes educated me about the traditional Hungarian kitchen, why the certain ingredients are used and how they will affect the final dish. It was really interesting, and also made me & hubs relax and prepare for the interesting part!
For this class, we were both using the new Wüsthof line of knives: the Epicure.
As an amateur cook, I didn’t know how to properly handle my Epicure knives in the kitchen. Knowing that Agnes taught me how to use them properly (with no damage to myself) and I was able to test them out during the food prepping.
Side note: if you ever (and I think most of us did) played Fruit Ninja you’ll understand how I felt using my Wüsthof knives! Super sharp (thanks to laser-controlled precision sharpening), very light, perfectly balanced (since it’s ergonomically crafted for optimum comfort) and beautifully sculpted from recycled materials! They feel amazing in your hand and are so easy to work with.
It was the first time when I chopped an onion and didn’t cry, that’s how fast I was able to do it!
I was mostly using the Cooks Knife (the essential, all-purpose kitchen knife) and the Paring Knife (second most important knife in the kitchen). The third knife I was using was the Sausage Knife. When the time came to cut the strudel I was impressed. Because of the “saw-like teeth that enable the blade to slice cleanly through food with delicate textures” I just couldn’t stop slicing the strudel 🙂 Currently, this knife helps me when it comes to cutting tomatoes, sausages, bread and even cheese. Might I say that after the class I threw away my other knives because I was so spoiled with the best quality, perfect knife & palm fit there is!
The whole process of cooking was so exciting that by the end of the class my husband took the initiative to finish the Strudel preparation and helped me a lot with the goulash. Honestly, I never knew that he could be so much help in the kitchen and … that he is better than me when it comes to the phyllo dough & dessert prep.
By the end of the class, I felt like all of my neighbours will knock on our door asking to try out everything we just cooked))
You probably noticed that I used way too much of the phyllo dough, but Agnes explained all the nuances to me so that I would not do it again.
Thank you, Agnes, for an amazing experience and all the handy tips!
This post is a paid sponsorship from The Chef and The Dish and Wusthof Canada, but as always all opinions, excitements and improved cooking skills are my own!