Kendall College, a reputed culinary school from Chicago, Illinois, USA recently held a masterclass at JW Marriott Hotel, Pune; to generate awareness regarding options in culinary education, various cooking techniques and skills that come handy to cooks and regarding their strong sustainability philosophy while training students in the arts.
The masterclass was conducted by Chef Christopher Koetke, Vice-President of Kendall College, better known for his television show ‘Lets Dish’ and his award winning culinary instruction textbook ‘The Culinary Professional’ in the United States. Over the 90-minutes that the workshop lasted, the chef took us through a wonderful journey that a culinary-school student typically embarks on, right from first entering the kitchen and starts developing knife skills, to the time they graduate from school equipped to dish out gorgeous plated meals in limited time; all this while he created a wonderfully balanced dish consisting of nine different elements for participants of the masterclass to taste.
He shared useful tips regarding prepration of ingredients, different cutting and chopping techniques, cooking techniques; and the importance discipline and intensivity, along with your passion for cooking; while working in a commercial kitchen. More importantly, he also stressed on the need for practicing sustainable methods while involved in food production and described various methods to achieve those.
The dish he prepared for the class consisted of a salmon tournedo (a perfectly grilled roulade of salmon with parsley and chives), a salmon mousseline (a sausage with salmon, carrots and dill; I loved this element the most on this dish, I never imagined dill to shine so wonderfully with the fish), a traditional American Succotash salad (a native-american recipe, with local produce),merken cream (a condiment made with sour cream and merken peppers from Chile; which added that element of spice on the plate), a flavorful red-wine sauce and a flavorsome mushroom and snail ragout that bound all the elements of the dish together, and vegetable elements like boiled leeks and beans, baked winter squash that added both color and different textures to the final dish.
While I learnt several useful kitchen secrets and cooking techniques, I was more inspired by the insistence for cooking in a sustainable manner. And to achieve that truly, I think I should modify some of the recipes, using the techniques I learnt in the class, to create something with local ingredients. Will try and post soon…