Culinary school is expensive. And for most of us, Mommy and Daddy laughed their heads off when we said we wanted to pursue a career in the industry. Rude. So we became lawyers. And bankers. And writers. Still, every now and then, we dream of what could've been had we gotten a little proper training.
Enter the team behind Edge Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons.
The bunch, helmed by executive chef Aaron Brooks, is holding a monthly pop-up cooking class so you can get a taste of what it's like to work in a small classroom-like setting in the kitchen.
Guests are welcomed on the terrace at Edge with a cocktail and charcuterie. Think of it as homeroom the first day of school. Everyone works to introduce themselves and mingle before they have to get to class -- with a drink in hand.
The day we attended a cooking class, the setting was on the patio in front of the herb garden. Each class will take place in a different part of the hotel. Your class might be in the kitchen or on the terrace.
Students get their own workstation (including knives and cutting boards) and are served red or white wine immediately upon entering class. Best day of school EVER.
Each class was originally capped at 18 people. However, our group was a particularly small bunch of just 11, and we thought it was the perfect size for the three chefs to give everyone attention and help. Edge has confirmed that class size will now be capped at 12 people. Yippee!
Our menu was composed of Brooks's Sunday roast, heirloom tomato gazpacho, grilled butternut squash salad, and a caramel apple crumble.
Brooks instructs the students to be nice to their neighbors, chop the tomatos, pick herbs from the garden, taste everything as they work, wash it all down with wine, and so on. During our class, he taught us his secret to trussing a roast -- which is no easy feat, so we won't try to explain.
Like TV magic, a finished product emerges from the kitchen as soon as everything's nipped, tucked, basted, and trussed. This, of course, is because classes are two hours long and not enough time to cook the roast (or bake the crumble) that students put together.
However, Edge guests that evening undoubtedly gave compliments to the chefs (read: students) for their fantastic Saturday-night special.
Excepting the crumble and the roast, students ate what they made, and it seemed all were beyond pleased with the outcome.
Classes cost $75 per person, and the next three will be held April 20 (Florida's Finest Catch with champagne and oysters), May 18 (Beer and Bites), and June 22 (Bubbles and Brunch). For the rest of the year, mark your calendars on these dates: July 20 (Thai Inspired), August 24 (DIY Pasta), September 21 (Tailgating Cookout), October 19 (Journey to India), November 23 (Thanksgiving Specialties), and December 21 (Festivus Mixology & Entertaining Eats).
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And for those of you who cringe at $75 a head (like we did), keep in mind the cost includes your "homeroom" cocktail, a bottomless glass of wine (really, never saw the bottom of ours), a three-course meal, and take-home gift bag with goodies including recipes for all the dishes and things to eat.
To reserve your spot in class, visit edgerestaurantmiami.com.
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.