Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Cooking School

Tonight was so much fun! Unfortunately it takes 45 minutes to go the 11 miles to Culver City in rush-hour traffic, but once I actually got there it was great. The first hour we sat classroom-style and listened to our fabulous instructor, May Parich, teach us about knife skills. I learned all the different types of knives and lots of ways to cut things — diced, julienne…okay I forget the rest. But I never really understood how people successfully dice things, and May taught us how to hold and cut a veggie to get a lovely diced shape. I know most of you are giggling right now, but this was huge for me.

The next hour and a half was spent cooking one of eight recipes in teams of two. We pulled the recipe out of a hat. My partner (my friend Nandita) and I chose California Chopped Salad. The instructor told as at the start that we had by far the hardest recipe, and that most of the other teams would probably finish first, so they would probably end up assigning some of them to help us finish. We, in all our type-A glory, took this as a direct challenge. We set to work.

We had to roast a beet (it wasn’t evil), grill green beans and asparagus (harder than you’d think — one or two good green men went overboard on the grill), dice just about every veggie imaginable, make a vinaigrette (whisking was involved), crumble bleu cheese, and toss, but we were so on top of it. By the time Miss May came around to check our progress and call in back-up, we were done. Never tell two MBAs they can’t finish a cooking task on deadline. May was way impressed. We rocked it.

The end of class was the best — we got to eat the food. Everyone had done a wonderful job with their recipes; we toasted to Miss May and our own culinary genius, and we chowed down. All in all, a marvelous evening which I am confident is my first step toward my appearance on Top Chef. Can’t wait to go back next week!

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