The kids had a bunch of days off, so we headed up to Boston to visit with the cousins (or so they thought). The real reason? To attend a cooking demonstration at Stir with Megan. I could gush for hours about this place, it was incredible. This is it: You walk into a tiny space dominated by a huge island. 3 sides are for sitting (seating 10), 1 side has burners and cutting surfaces. Then. Two amazing chefs cook you a five course meal and as they cook they talk about techniques and recipes. (Each person was given a recipe booklet that included the evening's recipes and space to take notes.) And we got to talk to them. About anything. Some topics that came up:
"What got you into food?"
"What do you think about molecular gastronomy?"
"Where do you buy duck fat?"
"What's the difference between Australian lamb and Colorado lamb?"
The conversation was so esoteric, I loved it. The most incredible part was these two super talented amazing chefs. Stir was started by Barbara Lynch, who owns 5 restaurants/markets in the Boston area. Joining her was her executive chef, Colin Lynch (no relation). They both seemed to have impeccable taste and style. Every bite of the food was amazing. The topic of our class was "Beyond Corned Beef and Cabbage: The Cuisine of Ireland." This is what we ate (I don't have the exact menu in front of me so I'm paraphrasing):
Oysters on the half shell with migonette and cocktail sauce
Irish Soda Bread with homemade butter, sea salt and Vermont honey
Olive oil poached salmon, fingerling potato salad
Warm napa cabbage salad with caraway and bacon
Rack of lamb, braised kale, champ
Caramelized pears on custard soaked brioche
A few pictures from the camera phone. They don't really convey the awesomeness, but you get an idea:
The view from my seat. You can see the hand of the chef on the right. This was taken after dinner so the food has been taken away. Dang! why didn't I take pictures of the food? Oh yeah, because the 9 other people I was eating with would think I'm cuckoo.
The white board on the upper right had the menu written on it. This was a menu just for that night. The wall on the left was floor to ceiling cookbooks and books about food. Behind me was the door to the street. Cozy. 300 sq. feet of cozy. But it was enough. I hope I get to go back someday. If you are ever in the Boston area, go, go, go.