Chef Brian Huston from Boltwood came in this past Thursday to teach our members how to make a wonderful ribollita (Tuscan bread soup) and pickled zucchinis with mustard seeds and turmeric. It was our first time using the demonstration kitchen so graciously provided by Whole Foods; the vastness and practicality of the space itself, as well as the organizational work put in by Whole Foods staff, made our evening go all the more smoothly!
Cookology members crowded around Chef Brian as he prepped and cooked the ingredients for his dishes, listening to his rigorous yet often humorous account of his culinary roots and career. We were thrilled to learn about the five-course dinners he cooked for his friends (*and past love interests*) shockingly using only one pot when he was in college! His experiences working with Charlie Trotter, and in the famed Blackbird and Publican in Chicago kept us on the edge of our seats — humoring, scaring, and inspiring us all at once!
We cannot thank Boltwood and Whole Foods Evanston enough for helping us put this demonstration together! Our members had a great time and will be dropping by Boltwood to catch a dinner in the near future!
Food Laboratory: a time of open kitchen space when Cookology members can experiment with various ingredients to put a special twist on standard dishes. For our first food lab of the quarter, Cookology execs demonstrated knife safety, a simple gnocchi, and a chocolate soufflé to help build basic and technical skills in the kitchen.
The air was filled with the smell of fried gnocchi and vegetables, as well as the sound of our members fearlessly beating meringue to stiff peaks by hand. (We were extremely amazed at their insistence upon doing so despite the availability of electric mixers. Now that’s dedication!)
The creativity showcased that night was absolutely brilliant! Three-course meals came out from each team, and every smoothie, gnocchi combination, and soufflé flavor was different from the next! After a long evening of hard work, we all tasted the dishes and ate a well-deserved staff meal of roasted chicken and salad. We couldn’t have asked for a better food lab to start off our year!
This past Thursday, we met up with our members on the L to head to a restaurant in uptown Chicago. Located quietly at the corner of a strip mall, Dong Ky Chinese & Vietnamese Restaurant is a favorite of Cookology’s co-founders. It stands unassuming with its neon lights and ‘street food’ feel, but its menu boasts highly affordable prices and amazing variety!
Several of our members opted for traditional Vietnamese noodles that ranged from pho to mi and beef stew. Others went for delicious rice plates that sported tender pork chops and salads, or crepes filled with bean sprouts and pork belly. For many, this was their first time eating Chinese-Vietnamese cuisine, but we all walked away with both our minds and stomachs very satisfied!
Besides just coming out for a great dinner, we were able to learn more about our new fellow chefs and what their interests are in cooking! Stay tuned; new ideas for Cookology are growing by the minute!