Friday, March 28, 2008


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.


LoGunns said...

So Awesome! I would love to do that! $$$$$?

daisy said...

What a perfect thing for YOU! I bet you had the best questions. Did you learn anything new? You already know everything about cooking, right? Or at least in my mind. Cool idea.

liz s said...

that is so awesome!!!next time i come to your house i want you to perform the whole thing for me. but in a costume of my choosing. do it.

PS love your potato soup. i've been obsessed about it lately.

robin k said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome. We have to take a cooking class together some day.

R-Eight said...

This is so cool. I can't believe you didn't tell me about it yesterday!

liz said...

wow. this would be like the equal of a spa for someone like you who loves to cook!

i think you would be good at a job like that- do you have room in your kitchen for a table like that? I would attend. but just for the food, I am a crap cook even with guidance. ;-)

Cafe Johnsonia said...


Macy said...

Thanks for posting this. I live in the Boston area and didn't know about it. I just checked out their website and I'm trying to choose which class I want to start with!

Mom in Mendon said...

What a great thing for you and Megan. Fun!

Carrie said...

Great sister bonding activity! I'm so not worthy of a class like that. All I can say is WOW!
ps congrats on the new nieces!

janika said...

Sounds like a great weekend! I also live near Boston and went to an awesome cooking class at the Boston Center for Adult Education in the Back Bay. It was taught by a chef from a South End restaurant and the best part was that I got to attend the class for almost nothing (it was just the cost of food, so something like $10)! The secret is that they are always looking for cooking assistants, so I volunteered and got to hang out before and after the class with the chef and help prepare and clean up (not that much, really). It was such a cool experience and I came away with some amazing recipes and some new French cooking terms. I highly recommend this to anyone on a budget who loves to cook! Also, the Culinary Institute of Boston in Cambridge also teaches such cool classes as "how to properly use knives," etc.