Valentine's Cooking Class

For Valentines Day this year, Kevin made plans for us to go to a cooking class at one of our favorite restaurants in Baltimore: The Dogwood.  (See our other visits here and here.)

They "...cook with the seasons and feature the finest local and natural ingredients, sourcing from sustainable, artisanal, and organic producers whenever possible."  

The theme of this month's cooking class was
New Orleans.  I actually took a trip to New Orleans in college for the Marketing club.  I joined the club and became the "Secretary" so that I could go on this trip with my friends, who were President and Treasurer.  There was a national conference being held, but we were more interested in checking out the local culture (Bourbon Street).  ;)

Kevin and I arrived early and were lucky enough to grab seats front and center.  We started with a Brandy Milk Punch that was strong!  Not really my type of drink but I enjoyed tasting something different.
The featured wine was Bonterra Rousanne and I had never heard of this type of wine, but loved it.  I also loved how they kept re-filling our glasses every 5 mins or so. 
The first course was a Shrimp Remoulade.  We learned how to poach shrimp and make a spicy remoulade.  Chef Galen was streaming the olive oil into the other ingredients just like on the food network!
Can you believe how much shrimp there was on each plate?  Served over a bed of lettuce, this was a refreshing and flavorful dish. 
The next course was a Duck and Andouille Gumbo.  When we first arrived, Chef Galen discussed multiple roux techniques and started a roux that cooked for 30-40 mins with different volunteers stirring.  While we were enjoying our shrimp, he walked around to let us check out the mahogany color that had developed. 
Next, we each received a huge portion of the gumbo served over rice.  The flavor was rich and spicy.  I would most certainly order this if it was on the menu.
Saving the best for last is an understatement here.  Bananas Foster.  Brown sugar, butter, rum, bananas, vanilla ice cream.  
It really cant get much better than that.
This was Dogwood's second Monthly Cooking Class and they have plans to do one a month that features a different location where Chef Galen and his wife Bridget have traveled.  There are some great menus planned and I felt that I learned so much hearing Chef Galen talk through each recipe and technique.  
I would highly recommend this for anyone who loves food.  It was the best valentines ever.  
In other news, Kevin and I visited another possible wedding venue and loved it.  
Hope everyone had a great weekend!


Erica February 16, 2010 at 6:46 AM  

What a fun class! The dessert looks just amazing. Drool-worthy for sure! pretty venue! Glad you're finding multiple locations you like!! Any dress luck yet?

Jenngirl February 16, 2010 at 8:47 AM  

Oh a cooking class sounds like such a fun V-day date!! Love that it was New Orleans themed too :)

Beautiful possible wedding venue.

Nakiya @ Taste of Baltimore February 16, 2010 at 9:43 AM  

So much fun!!!! I had no idea that Dogwood offered cooking classes, I am so excited! I am going to write a post about this immediately, I'll credit you of course!

I Run for Fun February 16, 2010 at 9:45 AM  

Sounds like a fun and tasy experience. Makes me want to take a cooking class too!

That place looks beautiful, Lauren!

sunapeegirl February 16, 2010 at 7:06 PM  

Cool! I've always wanted to take a cooking class! I think they would be so much fun.
And, your possible wedding venue.. gorgeous!!

upfitcreek February 17, 2010 at 10:46 AM  

That shrimp looks really good. What a great idea for Valentine's Day!

feastytimes February 21, 2010 at 1:54 PM  

A cooking class is such a great Valentine's Day idea!

whatkateate February 21, 2010 at 7:02 PM  

i love to take cooking classes! so much fun! & that wedding venue is gorgeous!

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