A Dinner at ‘Amoureux’

In lieu of Valentine’s Day, Cookology members launched a romantic on-campus popup restaurant sponsored by Northwestern Dining. Student chefs and hosts alike spent months perfecting the dishes and setting the atmosphere for a warm dinner. After several grueling and exciting nights of preparation, we arrived at the kitchen ready to run our service!

IMG_1627 IMG_1628

The weather was blisteringly cold, but our guests trekked through the snow and down the stairs to Amoureux. The hosts greeted them at the entrance of the restaurant, taking their coats and politely bringing them to their seats in a transformed Willard Dining Hall.

DSC_0311

With the room dimmed and tables laced with gorgeous red petals and flickering tea lights, Cookology served the first course: an amuse-bouche of french onion foam, goat cheese chive profiterole, and watermelon gazpacho.

DSC_0284 DSC_0292

Guests could witness the sense of urgency in the open kitchen as the chefs plated the upcoming appetizer: scallops with morel sauce and lemon verbena on a bed of pebbles (for that seaside nostalgic kick).

DSC_0307

DSC_0310

The savory scents of a beef Wellington was next to leave the kitchen. Charred carrots and red wine reduction surrounded the pink beef en croute atop a generous amount of buttery potato puree.

DSC_0321

DSC_0324

The Wellington was followed shortly by crisp, golden poached pears with strawberry ice cream and macerated blueberries.

DSC_0332

DSC_0339

…And what better way to end a dinner than with little bites of heaven? These Grand Marnier canelés went out to tables filled with conversation and laughter.

DSC_0341

DSC_0345

It was quite a sight to see couples, friends, and family all enjoying a cozy dinner together! On behalf of everyone in Cookology, we want to thank you for choosing to spend your special day in Restaurant Amoureux!

IMG_1642 IMG_1648

Advertisements

Ending Meal Madness with a “Bang!”

Since our last update about the student cooking competition Meal Madness, the Cookology team moved onto the semi-finals! Their entry was a composed rutabaga cardamom soup captured in an upside-down shot glass and surrounded by croutons, pickled apples, edible flowers, and grated nutmeg. The presentation is a homage to Grant Achatz’s style when he was leading Trio in Evanston, now Quince.

10610745_10152891158312806_2277474658934231448_n

The Cookology team next advanced to the final round of Meal Madness held in the student center of Northwestern University. The team took out the big guns, i.e., an immersion circulator, and worked to prepare a teriyaki-glazed salmon with wasabi cream, beetroot puree, and apple salad; all the while, providing samples to over 80 students that dropped by to watch the competition.

Salmon 10805578_10152894938707806_7773083257757082600_n

We are very happy to announce that in an exciting and long final round, the Cookology team is the victor of Meal Madness 2014! We want to thank Northwestern Dining for this great opportunity that they have provided Northwestern students not only to express their culinary creativity, but also to work with the beloved chefs and staff that have been supporting the campus. Cookology had an amazing time!

To learn more about the Cookology members that competed in Meal Madness and what makes them so passionate about food, be sure to check out this interview conducted by Northwestern Dining.

Scallops and Chocolate with Oceanique

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.

Scallop Seasoning

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.

Finished Scallops Pot de Creme

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!

Meal Madness: Round 1—Go!

Cookology has sent two representatives to participate in Meal Madness, Northwestern Dining’s student cooking competition! Our entry into the first round was a beet salad: a strudel inspired by Chef Bruno Albouze with a beet puree and greens. (This dish will also be included on our vegetarian menu for our pop-up restaurant during the beginning of December!)

IMG_0672

From our plating practice the night before the first round.

Despite some logistical hiccups with setting up our booth in Sargent dining hall, we were able to get our dish together in time for the judges. The competition itself was extremely fun, and we were pumped to finally show NU students, staff, and faculty both the vision of our group and the growing skills of our members!

10150536_10152882567857806_2144573359653219130_n 10403261_10152882567817806_659387689633517466_n

We’re pleased to announce that Cookology will be moving onto the next round tomorrow! Stay tuned for what we have in store!

Dining at a Hidden Gem

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!

IMG_0542

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!

Our Fall Quarter Kick-off!

The day had finally come — our first club event as an official student group! We kicked off fall quarter with a short info session in Parkes Hall, followed by a Chopped-style cooking social for our potential members to get familiar with the kitchen and with each other.

IMG_0022 IMG_0028 IMG_0454 IMG_0458

We have to admit it was daunting to supervise over 30 students in the kitchen, but it was worth every minute. Everyone made great use of the pantry and wow’d us with their beautifully delicious dishes! Take a look below at their creations!

IMG_0525 IMG_0526  IMG_0529  IMG_0533 IMG_0534 IMG_0536

Cookology wants to extend a special thanks to everyone who attended the event and to Northwestern Dining for providing us with the pantry and making all of this possible. We’re looking forward to seeing our members’ skills grow even stronger with the events we have planned for the rest of the quarter!