I took myself down to the Sarasota County Technical Institute this afternoon for a programme at their Adult and Community Enrichment (ACE) programme.
I was there for a “Hands on Culinary Arts Lab” - i.e. a cooking lesson.
The facilitator was Chef Brian Knecht.
There were about sixteen of us in his “class”.
We students worked in pairs (my partner was Joyce – a very pleasant “snow bird” from Montreal, Quebec).
Chef Brian led us as we prepared two dishes –
Firstly: an entree (main course) dish called “Chicken Chorizo Basquaise” (from the Basque regions of France and Spain).
Secondly: “Toasted Israeli Couscous” (with Pine Nuts, Raisins and Parsley).
We were in a very hi-tech kitchen. Brian was a good instructor. Joyce was an extremely companionable partner.
And we got to take our dishes home!
We’ll all be together again next week for a second lesson in which we will prepare a vegetarian dish, and Baba Ghanoush.
I enjoyed the “buzz” of the class.
I learned some good skills from Chef Brian.
I liked my cooking partner.
The modest fee for the two classes (including all the ingredients) was $59.
The ACE programmes are a great example of our tax dollars at work (with a little help from our fees).
I had fun.
I cooked some "pretty good" food.
I experienced the fruits of local government at their best.