Have you noticed that there are a ton of cooking classes offered in Salt Lake, but not as many in Utah County? Well, there’s a new spot in Provo offering up a variety of cooking classes. It’s called The Kitchen and is located near downtown in the showroom of Carriage House Cabinets at 560 S 100 W.
Nesha, the pilot of the whole idea, invited us to attend one of their classes for free to help get the word out. The Kitchen is just getting started with their classes, but they already have some great chefs lined up to teach a wide variety of classes once or twice a week through March, everything from Meatless Meals to French Macarons and even A Menu for the Man in the Kitchen. I’m especially interested in the Winter Island Getaway and French Macarons classes in addition to the one I chose to go to: the Exotic Indian Feast class, taught by Felix Tai.
Felix is originally from Malaysia, but has traveled all over the world and speaks eight (yes, eight!) languages. He works in Park City as a private and event chef and specializes in Indian and Asian cooking. Felix had a comfortable, casual teaching style and was open to any question and added plenty of fun and humor to his teaching. For this class, he shared his great-grandmother’s recipes for four Northern Indian dishes: Sambar, Chicken 65, Kachumber, & Ghee Rice. Felix said these dishes are a bit harder to find in Indian restaurants around here since they mostly feature Southern Indian dishes.
With all those delicious smells wafting through the room, it was so hard to wait to eat, but sooo worth it! The food was delicious, especially the Chicken 65. It was very flavorful!
Here are 8 things I learned:
1. Cucumber tones down spiciness, so Kachumber (which is served throughout the Middle East) is a great dish to serve alongside anything with a bit of heat.
2. Different lentils have varying amounts of starch. For Sambar, Felix likes to use a starchy yellow lentil.
3. Cilantro roots have lots of flavor & you can throw the entire cilantro plant into your dish if you like.
4. Chef Felix likes to use spices whole; he says they have more flavor that way.
5. To juice a lime (or other citrus) without the seeds getting in the way, half it and cut out the middle that has the seeds in it before you squeeze it.
6. Fresh curry leaves are the key to any curry, but are sometimes hard to find.
7. Ghee is a kind of clarified butter that you can use in place of vegetable oil in Indian dishes.
8. You can find Indian specialty ingredients at Asian markets (like Asian Market in Provo), Indian markets (like Cash & Carry in Sandy & Bollywood Market in Orem. You can also get ingredients (including Felix’s favorite Baba’s Curry Powder) online at Asian Supermarket 365.
If you’re interested in attending a class at The Kitchen, check out their current lineup. You can reserve your easily online or even buy a gift certificate for someone. Classes cost $38/person, but you can attend one at a discount when you purchase a certificate from Groupon available today! The cost through Groupon is $19 for one person, $35 for two, or $69 for four! Groupons are available for purchase through Monday, Jan. 14, 2013.
I attended a complimentary class from The Kitchen, but all opinions are my own.