Celebrity Chef Maneet Chauhan Cooking School Review
Recently I had the chance to partner with celebrity Chef Maneet Chauhan to offer an exclusive package for a St. Jude event last month. Check out my blog from that fundraising dinner here. The package included a cooking class with me at Chauhan Ale and Masala House. This past weekend I had the opportunity to meet the amazingly generous winning bidders and participate in the cooking class.
Chef Chauhan is all over Nashville, the Food Network, and everywhere else it seems. She is as approachable, funny, and personable as you'd want her to be. If you have not had a chance to check out her restaurants, you should. Her establishments have really added some much needed diversity to the high end culinary scene in Nashville with Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Tánsuŏ and the soon to be opened The Mockingbird.
As the class began, we sat at two large tables and met our neighbors while sipping on champagne. Chef Chauhan then opened things up and walked us through the events. There were even some great tips that she shared including how best to add spices when you multiply the recipe. Hint, you still start with the original amount and slowly add more.
Our large group was then split into seven smaller groups and each of us tackled one portion of the meal being prepared. I was in the sides group. After we prepped our dishes, we had the opportunity to walk around and see the work the other groups did.
The class is a great size because all groups got some individual time with the Chef. Our group got a personal lesson on fennel and apple brunoise and toasting spices.
After all the plating was complete, we sat down family style to sample all our hard work. I left more full than I thought I would be.
Our ambitious menu consisted of 7 samplings. This journey took us from drinks to desserts. Our menu was:
Drinks - Strawberry Pepper Lassi & Rose Tropical Mind Sangria
Appetizers - Makki Tikki with Blueberry Chutney
Indian Street Food - Sharkandi Chaat
Party Favorite - Grilled Malai Shrimp Kebabs
Entree - Kerala Chicken Curry with butternut squash, potato and served with basmati rice
Side 1 - Apple Fennel Raita with apples, fennel and fennel fonds in a yogurt cumin sauce
Side 2 - Beetroot Curry Salad with assorted seasonal roasted beets with a tempering of mustard seeds and channa daal
Dessert - Date and Nut Spiced Bread Pudding
Once all the food was finished and before dessert came out, Chef Chauhan took photographs with everyone and signed cookbooks. It was really nice and something she didn't have to do, but you could tell she enjoyed making it special for everyone.
Another great feature of this class is that they send you home with all the recipes of the foods you tried. It’s a fun experience trying them at home as well and quite impressive. Cooking doesn’t have to be intimidating. Many times it’s really simple and all you have to do is try. It often is much more approachable than you think.
If you have not had the opportunity to attend a cooking school/class, you are missing out. It is a fantastic outing for a date or time with friends or family. Not to mention you get some personal time chef time and an amazing meal to boot. Step your home cooking game up by attending Cooking School!