No, this is not turning into a food blog.
I had the pleasure of taking a cooking class the other night at a Different Drummer’s Kitchen. Â First of all, I didn’t even know they moved into a new location! Â I went to their last location in Stuyvesant Plaza, and was like, wait a minute… aÂ Chipotle?!? Â Ugh. Â I guess I won’t be sleeping tonight.
But after taking a little loop of the shopping center, I saw that they moved down to the far end of the Plaza in a beautiful new space.
In addition to their many kitchen items for sale, they Â also have a classroom set up with tables, televisions, and a gigantic kitchen for cooking classes. Â It looks like something you would find on the Food Network (or so I hear). Â It’s gorgeous.
Never having attended a cooking class before, I had no clue what to expect. Â The class was taught by Jaime Ortiz, Executive Chef for Angelo Mazzone at 677P rime, and Steve Barnes, Executive Blogger at the Times Union. Â ***Fun fact, today is Steve Barnes birthday!! Â So, go say Happy Birthday to him over on his blog.
The class was called Â ”Deconstructing Three Main Ingredients”, which, to me isÂ a loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stick of butter. Â However, when the class was about to start, Jamie and Steve informed us that they were going to teach us how to cook Chicken Parm in 3 different ways.
Being italian, I was excited to hear that. Â And having just cooked chicken on my very prestigious cooking show, “Cooking with Matt” (9pm Thursdays on BET), I was very familiar with the intricacies and challenges with preparing chicken. Â So I was excited.
Let me first say this, Jaime Ortiz is very smart. Â He schooled the class on the many uses of gelatin, was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and he knew everything about each ingredient. Â It was really impressive. Â He lost me, though, when he started talking about something called “tapioca maltodextrin” and “agar-agar”.
We all know that Steve Barnes is smart. Â I mean, just once, I would kill to see him write the following on his blog: Â “If your looking for a chef who knows how to cook good, try AppleBee’s.” Â Steve knows everything about food, and is a fantastic chef, himself. Â So, with Jaime and Steve leading the class, you can imagine how knowledgeable and professional these guys were as teachers.
Now, I’m not gonna go into the different ways they prepared the chicken parm, because frankly, it would sound like my 5 year old niece trying to explain Stem Cell Research. Â But I will say that I plan on taking more cooking classes at a Different Drummer’s Kitchen. Â It was a lot of fun and very educational.
(more photos of the class after the jump)