Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Long Weekend in Vermont: Vegan Cooking Class, The Kitchen at the Store - Part 8 - Waitsfield, Vermont, USA

If there was such a thing as the "main event" for this long weekend in Vermont, this was it: a vegan cooking class on Saturday evening at the Kitchen at the Store in Waitsfield. And what a class it was! Had I been given a magic wand to create any kind of class I could imagine, nothing I could dream of would have been any better that the experience that Chef John Lumbra (front center above) and our group managed to create for ourselves. And I am not much of a cook in real life.

Before we got started, Chef John (at right) discusses an important rule: no drinking wine until AFTER all the chopping/sharp knife work is complete! Smart rule.

Everyone donned a red striped apron and helped out as little or as much as desired.

Our menu:

Starter: Chilled Avocado and Tomatillo Soup
Bread: Naan (an Indian style bread)
Main course: Red Lentil Dal
Main course: Green Beans and Eggplant with Thai Red Curry
Dessert: Watermelon Soup

Chef John was always nearby guiding, demonstrating, and regaling us with tall tales of kitchen lore from his lifetime of food/restaurant experiences.

He was as much a lively entertainer as he was an excellent chef.

The purpose-built kitchen was the perfect laboratory for both participation and observation. Above, preparing to chill the avocado tomatillo soup.

Preparing the watermelon soup.

Eggplant ready for the sauté skillet.

Chef John discusses the secrets of cast iron skillet management. 

Pointing at something.......

........ and more pointing at something.

Browning the naan in the skillet before baking it in the oven.

And the eating begins.........

Chef John watches his students enjoy the feast.

Finishing up sautéing the eggplant, bean, and Thai red chili course.

Just about ready to serve the eggplant, bean, and Thai chili dish.

And yes, I can take a joke. (Photo courtesy: Amy Davies Photography).

Chef John ladles out the final dish, a dessert of watermelon soup.

This was one of those rare occasions in life where everything came together in perfect harmony - location, setting, people, conversation, food, and wine. A wonderful experience is all respects! I'd go to class again in an instant - but only with Chef John - he was the best!