Knife Skills

Being a self taught cook, my techniques are a little rough around the edges. Especially in the knife skills department. Lets just say, I'm lucky to still have all my fingers. I've watched many YouTube videos that demonstrate proper knife techniques, but it wasn't enough. After my recent Pizza Workshop at the Saute Culinary Academy I was excited to learn that they also offered a Knife Skills class.

Having no formal training in the kitchen, I have always been slightly afraid of using large sharp knives. This is mostly because I'm a bit clumsy and can't be trusted with sharp objects. Also being a vegetarian, I didn't think it was important that I learn these fundamental skills. I want to be a great cook, and after taking this workshop I now realize how necessary it is to learn the basics.

In just a few hours we learned how to chop, slice, julienne and dice vegetables quickly and efficiently. We explored the more complicated Brunoise, Paysanne, Batonnet and Tourne knife cuts that can be used to create variety in my dishes.

During class we also cooked some of the vegetables that we cut. This was an unexpected treat. Each student learned how to make Pommes Anna, a simple classic French dish. It turned out perfectly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. It's a new favorite. I was so excited to eat my Pommes Anna that I forgot to take a picture of it when it came out of the oven. It was golden and beautiful. The ultra thin potato layers that we cut made this dish unbelievable.

I'm assuming it will take me years of practice before I can go ninja style on my vegetables, but I now have a strong foundation to build on. I've gained a lot of   confidence that I can safely bring into my own kitchen. Next step, practice, practice, practice.

The class ended with us carving a swan out of an apple! What? That was another unexpected surprise. I had a great time and learned so much. Here is a link to the Saute Culinary Academy website

"Be a fearless cook! Try out new ideas and new recipes, but always 
buy the freshest and finest ingredients, whatever they may be. Furnish 
your kitchen with the most solid and workmanlike equipment you can find.
Keep your knives ever sharp and -- toujours bon appetit!" 

-Julia Child

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