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Friday, February 25, 2011

What Chefs Do On Vacation... Chefmaker's!

If you're ever wondered what chefs do when they're on vacation.... now you will know: they take cooking classes!
As readers of this blog know, whenever we travel and have the chance to take a cooking class, we do so- most notably in Vietnam. So when Chef Dan & I had a chance to get away this winter & booked a cruise, we had the opportunity to take 2 cooking classes, including a truly excellent one with Chefmaker's on board our ship, & our experience with Chefmaker's was truly great! We had THE best Instructor- Michael Gusman- and we learned to make (and then got to enjoy- with wine!) a truly fabulous meal- the best meal we had aboard ship! We started by making a Caramelized Onion Pizzaladiere- a totally delectable puff-pastry, gourmet "pizza"- and then followed it with Mini Beef Wellingtons in puff pastry- RARE, thanks to Gusman's secret instructions!- served on a creamy Leek Fondue, a totally luscious Shrimp Scampi on Grilled Romaine (which Chef Dan has already adopted...), and finally, a Key Lime Pie with Vanilla Bean Cream! And if that doesn't make you want to do a Chefmaker's class, nothing will! (They had a "small bites" class w/baby lamb chops that we Badly wanted to do, too, but the timing wouldn't let us!)
The fun of Chefmaker's aboard ship was that Chef Dan got to work in a "real" kitchen, and I, the Elkhorn Inn's resident foodie (& Chef Dan's 'official food tester' LOL), got to do it all, too! In addition to everything else, I even learned how to properly squeeze a lime (& Michael, you know what I mean!) & separate an egg! (Don't laugh- even after 9 years with an Inn, you can still learn things that will turn your life around!)  

Dan & Michael, preparing Beef Wellingtons

Chefmaker's Instructor Michael Gusman
Learning to deal with puff-pastry...

Chef Dan & Chefmaker's Instructor Gusman














Chefmaker's Instructor Gusman & Dan, separating eggs...


Chef Dan, sauteeing shrimp...


Dan & Elisse, beater in hand!


















The instruction we got was excellent- Chef Dan LEARNED real professional kitchen stuff that he's already started using at the Elkhorn Inn!- AND we had a Wonderful time, and the final result- dinner!- was superb!



Chef Dan & Elisse beating & whipping...

Chefmaker's Gusman & Dan, Separating The Egg...

Chef Dan, sauteing...

Elisse & Dan, blending & squeezing!

Elisse & Dan, Livin' Large!

Elisse, preparing a Mini Beef Wellington


Instructor Gusman & Dan, popping the Wellingtons into the oven...


Chef Dan, searing the Romaine...












Elisse & Dan enjoying the fruits of their labor!

MWAH! & thank you to Chefmaker's and Michael Gusman, for THE best "foodie" experience on the high seas!
XOXOXOX
Chef Dan & Foodie Elisse


2 comments:

Michael Quick said...

You went to Vietnam to take cooking lessons? :-O

My next question is, "Do you serve Vietnamese dishes?" If so, I'm gonna be beating a path down in to the County soon! A bowl of Pho bo (know I probably spelled that wrong) would be great! OK, while I'm at it...a seafood hot pot?

I spent a month over there in '08 walking up highway 1. I had the pleasure of sampling their food from HCMC to DaNang. 'Even got fairly good with chopsticks, although everyone thought it was weird that I ate left handed...LOL.

Elisse Jo Goldstein-Clark said...

Dear Michael,
Yes, Chef Dan does make Vietnamese dishes at the Elkhorn Inn! He does a number of them, including a wonderful Clay-Pot Ginger Chicken, and an amazing, spicy Garlic-Tumeric Marinated Pork Chop! You can book dinners with your guest room (we do dinners by reservation only), so call us at 304-862-2031 or 1-800-708-2040 when you feel like making a trip to West Virginia and eating Vietnamese food!
We were in Vietnam in March-April, 2008 for our belated Honeymoon, and basically ate and drank our merry way across the country! Photos of our cooking classes in in Hoi An & Saigon are on the blog: posts after April 2008. Dan spent several years in Vietnam back in the 1960s-70s...