March 8, 2013

Culture.licious Cooking Studio

Last Weekend I was invited to the Culture.licious Cooking Studio for their Balkan Cuisine Winter Comfort Cooking class with their Master Cook Alexandra. Culture.licious is the brain child of Wendy Chung who was born in Taiwan, raised in South Africa and now residing in Toronto. It was her vision to "discover the world, one kitchen at a time". She achieves this by obtaining a roster of skilled home cooks, inviting you into her cooking studio, and teaching you authentic home cooking. Knowing absolutely nothing about Balkan Cuisine, I knew I was in for a real treat! 
According to Alex, our Master Cook, Balkan cuisine is a mixture of flavours from Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Poland and much more! On the menu for this class was Serbian Sour Soup, Prebranac with Cornbread and Apple Cinnamon Strudel.
During the class Alex shared stories of her childhood while Wendy was her trusty sous chef. The cooking studio was adorned with food and travel pictures from Wendy's adventures throughout the world making the environment very warm and welcoming. It was easy to open up to strangers and share some of our own foodie adventures during the three hour cooking class.
After all that hard work, we sat down to a warm bowl of Serbian sour soup. This soup blew me away, with a few simple root vegetables and some chunks of beef we whipped up this flavourful and hardy dish that could be easily duplicated in any of our kitchens. But the work wasn't done yet! Alex whipped  out the dough for the strudel and definitely brought out what I like to call the "WOW" factor of the class. 
As a group, Alex taught us to stretch out the dough delicately with our hands to make the base of the strudel where the filling would go. The more layers the strudel has, the flakier it gets! We were all completely blown away when we stepped back and realized we had stretched a ball of dough so thin I could see straight through and so large it was practically overflowing on the kitchen table! Then Alex very gracefully, layered the apple, cinnamon and butter filling and then rolled the dough into a long cigar. 

At the end of the class it was very rewarding to be able to sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labour! The strudel came out beautifully and the Prebranac was melt in your mouth. In the beginning we were all strangers but by the end, we all gathered around a table and found common ground amongst the stories we shared and the food we had prepared. We talked, and laughed, and one of us even cried! It was a fabulous way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 
Culture.licious also has partnered up with Whole Foods cooking studios in both Oakville and Mississauga and offer corporate team buidling events, as well as couples date night and singles only cooking classes. 


No comments:

Post a Comment