Last night I checked out one of Price Chopper's new cooking classes at their Market Bistro location in Latham. I and a bunch of other area food bloggers received an invitation to attend the Two Guys and a Grill cooking demonstration led by Market Bistro Cooking Chef John Winnek and Chef Michael Ollier from Certified Angus Beef. As you can imagine, beef grilling techniques and recipes were front and center as our instructors led us through three different beef recipes with accompanying side dishes.
That's Chef John behind the red mixer and he was a delightful educator, mixing practical cooking information and techniques from his many years of restaurant experience in with the recipes. (He's a fellow Schuylerville resident, so he gets even more points for that!) He showed us how to make a delicious corn souffle (fresh corn kernels really add a nice brightness and crunch), roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, chimichurri sauce, and a wonderfully tasty potato gratin that starts out with baked russet potatoes grated on a box grater mixed up and baked with all kinds of wonderful ingredients.
Chef Michael was the beef master and imparted his kitchen wisdom -and lots of jokes- as he showed us how to properly cook London Broil (shown below the the two-layered corn souffle on the side), Petite Sirloin Steaks and New York Strip Steaks.
Everything was delicious and I particularly enjoyed having medium-rare meat cooked perfectly, since my Crispy Crew adheres to the well-done taste spectrum. My favorite item was the Chimichurri sauce adorning the tender grilled Strip Steaks. I never considered having such a gardeny-tasting sauce with beef, but it was the perfect accompaniment to cut some of the richness of the meat.
Overall, I was pleased with the amount of information and generous-sized tastings provided and it seems like the $20-$55 per person cooking class prices are similar to what someone would pay for a meal out at a sit-down restaurant, so having the added bonus of personalized kitchen instruction makes it a real value.
Price Chopper just started these Cooking School classes a couple of months ago, and it seems that they are really taking off. The June schedule for the Cooking School includes a nice variety of classes, many of them hands-on, including a tapas night, Chinese take-out, sushi-making, seafood grilling, and cooking classes for children. There's even a reprise of the Two Guys and a Grill class tonight at 6 pm ($40) if you would like to attend. See the Market Bistro Cooking School website for more details.
After the class I got my first look at the Market Bistro, which is like a regular Price Chopper supermarket on steroids. Every conceivable food item is on sale, from Dr. Ray's Cel-Ray celery tonic -the King of deli beverages- to an awesome array of gluten-free grocery items. I skipped over to the meat counter to get some of those strip steaks to reproduce that great recipe for my family this week and also picked up some unusual gluten-free crackers and cookies for my celiac sweetie.
**I received a complimentary invitation to attend this Market Bistro class, as well as a bag of Certified Angus Beef goodies (including an insert thermometer, which Chef Michael recommends inserting laterally through one's grilled steaks to achieve the correct internal temperature). However, I was not obligated to post a review of the Market Bistro class and, as always, my comments are completely my own.