Last Thursday, Chef Mark Grosz from Oceanique taught our members and guests from Northwestern’s French department how to prepare scallops with watercress, fruit marmalade and saffron beurre blanc, as well as a simple yet elegant chocolate pot de crème.
During the demonstration, Chef Mark allowed us to pick his brain about recent trends in food, what it takes to run a restaurant, how to draw inspiration from different cuisines, and the importance of cooking from the soul. His stories from his travels in Hong Kong and France were particularly insightful; it was easy for us to see how his French and Asian background continues to influence Oceanique’s inventive fusion cuisine.
All in all, it was another highly successful evening with another prolific Evanston chef! Thank you again to Chef Mark, the Northwestern Cercle Francophone and Whole Foods for making this incredible evening happen!
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!
Our first up-and-running club event! Today we cooked spinach and ramp risotto, yuzu quinoa salad, and chocolate-covered strawberries with Chef Station’s Executive Chef Romero. Special thanks to both Chef Romero and Whole Foods for making this fun learning experience possible! We catered the food we made to two Northwestern residential halls as some small munchies. Hope everyone enjoyed the class and the tasty dishes!