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Archive for the ‘Classes’ Category

Myers and Chang Dumpling Class

Pot stickers, shumai, mandu, momos, pierogi, tortelli, ravioli, even tamales – dumplings come in lots of different shapes and sizes, all of them delicious. That’s why I was so excited this spring when we hosted Karen Akunowicz, executive chef at Myers + Chang, to talk about the art of crafting the perfect dumpling here in the Formaggio Kitchen classroom. (more…)

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Clams on the Grill with Chris Schlesinger

We are devotees of legendary grillmaster and renowned chef, Chris Schlesinger. We were fortunate to have Chris as a guest in our classroom in July and he has kindly given us permission to share a couple of his wonderful recipes – the first was for “Grilled Mussels with Mango Curry Sauce.” Sticking with the crustaceans, this recipe features another local delicacy: littleneck clams. (more…)

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Chris Schlesinger's Grilled Mussels with Mango Curry Sauce

In July, we were very lucky to welcome Chef Chris Schlesinger to our classroom not once, but twice! First up, he taught an amazing “Seafood Grilling” class and was behind the grill a second time for “Grilling 101.” Chef Schlesinger, of East Coast Grill fame, is co-author – along with John “Doc” Willoughby – of several grilling classics and is Valerie’s annual challenger in The Great Westport Paella Tournament. This year (the fifth that the tourney has been in existence), Valerie let Chris win for the first time ever (sorry, Chef!). Friendly rivalry aside, we are big fans of Chris’ food – he works the grill with hard-won experience and a natural intuition. The below recipe appears in Chris and John’s book, Grill It! and was one Chris used in his “Seafood Grilling” class – he kindly gave us permission to share this glorious recipe as we savor the last days of summer! (more…)

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Hulled Barley - Four Star Farms

Hulled Barley – Four Star Farms

From the banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates, to the coast of the Mediterranean and down into Egypt stretches the Fertile Crescent. Aptly known as the “cradle of civilization,” this land bore witness to many of the earliest human settlements. Historians have documented the development of basic architecture, tools, weapons, agriculture and a reliance upon the foods grown in cultivated fields to as far back as 9,000 B.C.E. Cereals, grasses and grains were among the first crops to be harvested and prepared, usually by grinding them into meal and cooking them over a fire. Grains were also ground into flour for bread, or fermented and brewed into beer. (more…)

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There was a bit of initial confusion.  What would we call “the new space?”

Until recently, “the new space” was how we referred to our new warehouse and classroom facility in West Cambridge.  Several names were bandied about in the shop, including FKO (in longform – Formaggio Kitchen Online), Formaggio Kitchen Mail Order, even Le Nouvel Espace, in keeping with our European roots.  Eventually, however, FKA (Formaggio Kitchen Annex) or, as staff have come to style it, simply “The Annex,” won out.

Staff gathering at the Formaggio Kitchen Annex

Staff gathering at “The Annex” (before it’s all set up!)

The Annex will accommodate our growing demand for classes and events, and allow us to further develop our mail order business. (more…)

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Cheese plate (left to right): Colston Bassett Stilton, dried Turkish figs, Roquefort Vieux Berger, Carlisle wildflower honey, Manchego Añejo, Marcona almonds and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Cheese plate (left to right): Colston Bassett Stilton, dried Turkish figs, Roquefort Vieux Berger, Carlisle wildflower honey, Manchego Añejo, Marcona almonds and Parmigiano-Reggiano

We love teaching our customers about cheese. We love teaching them about wine. About jams and honeys. About our charcuterie. Really, about any kind of food! As a result, it seemed like a no-brainer for us to begin offering tasting classes on Sundays (and occasionally on Wednesday and Saturday nights), giving our customers a more in-depth look at how cheese is made and who is making it.

Thrilled by the positive feedback we had from folks who were keen to learn more about cheese and about food in general, we have been steadily expanding our course offerings. In addition to the ever-popular Cheese 101, we now have a vast array of classes focusing on topics such as Piedmontese wines, American beers, pizza-making or barbecuing! After folks take Cheese 101, they often return for more specialized cheese classes, such as the one we had on Alpine cheeses or one that focused predominantly on blue cheeses. (more…)

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On Wednesday evening, I had the good fortune to be able to sit in on a pig butchering demo here at the shop.  The demo was conducted by Julie, our in-house charcutière, and Jason, the chef at our South End location.  What a pair they made!  Jason did the butchering and Julie spoke about how she uses different parts of the pig to create her delicious porky products.

Getting started!

This demo (and the one happening this coming Wednesday) were a first for Formaggio Kitchen, inspired by Cochon 555 a pig-themed event that is happening in Boston today.  It turns out that there are a lot of fellow pork lovers out there and we were overwhelmed by the response to the first demo we scheduled – so much so that we scheduled a second and still had a lengthy waiting list!  Hopefully we will get to do this again soon!  I even hear some buzz that we may do a similar type of demo with spring lamb…  Stay tuned!

Setting the stage!

A lot of careful preparation went into the class.  I happened to be working on the Sunday three weeks ago when Julie and Jason broke down a small pig from Falter Farm, MA in order to figure out how they wanted to organize their presentation.  (more…)

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