Knife Skills – Culinary Class
- posted on: May 25, 2013
- posted by: 21 Acres
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Chopping vegetables is usually one of those boring tasks you have to do. However, once you learn how to chop vegetables correctly, you begin to get a certain satisfaction from doing it right. Good knife skills also make you a more efficient cook and your food will look and taste better.I went along to Barb Sowatsky’s Knife Skills course last Saturday at 21 Acres, and have been happily practicing my new chopping skills ever since. We were each presented with a block of Wusthof knives, all perfectly sharpened.
A dull knife is a dangerous thing, and more likely to cause injury than a sharp one. We were shown how to hold a knife correctly, and had an interesting discussion about the various styles of knives. Barb teaches the basics and guides us through all the various shapes and sizes – julienne, batonnet, dice, brunoise etc. By the end of the class I was feeling like a pro with all this new terminology.It’s a hands on class, and a lot of fun -we laughed and we learned a lot. We started by chopping a combination of celery, carrots and onion, also known as a mirepoix- which is used as a base for a soup. We chopped the finest of seasonal produce, all plucked from 21 acres and local organic farms that morning.
We were also working with beautiful organic kale, squash, and asparagus – all locally grown and in season. Everything we chopped went into a large saucepan for delicious home-made minestrone and a plate of crudités with buttermilk dressing. All our vegetable peels went into a pot for compost and any vegetables trimmings went into another pot for stock -nothing is wasted at 21 Acres! At the end of the class we all sat down and enjoyed our delicious home cooked lunch that we had prepared together, and talked about knives and cooking. Not only did I learn knife skills, I also learned some interesting tips about buying and sharpening knives. Barb is a mine of information and the morning whizzed by. It’s a wonderful class and a great way to improve a vital kitchen skill.