March 29, 2010

Training: Chef's Training at Sur La Table

Post By Helen Ungerman

What great fun it was to have experienced An evening of Hors D’oeuvres with the Junior League’s very own culinary extraordinaire, Chef Laura Neufeld! Held in the perfect location, Sur La Table at Town and Country Village, 17 eager to learn Leaguers set off to soak up the tricks of the trade. This wasn’t just actives and provisionals, but Sustainers and newcomers also.

After being buttered up with wine and cheese & scoping out the stores merchandise (it is not advised to have a glass or two of wine and then walk through your favorite kitchen utility store!), we all broke out into small groups and each chose to work on the appetizer that caught our eye, or should I say tummy?! I fancied the Gruyere Gougeres...just saying this aloud makes me feel like I’m reading a Fancy Nancy book. The best part about this hors d’oeuvres was how easy it was to prepare and you can make it ahead and freeze until your special occasion...delicious and oh so elegant to boot! Some of my other favorites were the White button mushrooms stuffed with pancetta, shallots & sage and the avocado salsa with poached shrimp served inside toasted corn cups (ALL SUPER YUM!)...

After the controlled chaos in the kitchen, we all sat at a large table together and enjoyed our delicious treats together. Chef Laura came out to talk about all of the dishes...what worked, what didn’t and I must say, as cliché as this sounds, it was an incredible training event. One which reminded me again why I was in THIS League, and why I can’t wait for more to come! Kudos to the Enrichment Committee who made this event a seamless success...and thank you ladies for washing all those dirty dishes and Cuisinart bowls! Finally some appropriate words from world reknown master chef Julia Child...“Never apologize for your food before you serve it to guests! You are always your own harshest critic.” A motto to live by for sure!

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