I recently attended my second class at the Viking Cooking School and I have to say that the school and instructors have impressed me both times. The classes in their hands-on kitchen are both fun and informative. Clearly the design of the facility was well thought out, not just cobbled together by a crew of construction guys whose idea of a kitchen is a beer tap and a microwave. In the center of a large humidity-controlled "kitchen" is an island work surface, wide enough I can't reach the center and big enough to easily accommodate twelve students with good sized cutting boards. The two instructors I've met so far both had an easygoing demeanor but lead the class through the recipes and kept things moving at just the right pace so the time preparing the food seemed to vanish quickly. After talking with one of the instructors, I know I still have a lot to learn; yet seeing some of the other students unfamiliar with the simplest concepts around the kitchen is a reassurance I'm not reverting to my "culinary dark ages" either.
The class I just attended was one about holiday baking, all sweets and treats such as gingerbread scones and toffee almonds. I previously went to a class that was more of a meal, full of Italian dishes from a Roasted Red Peppers antipasti to the Chocolate gelato finish. The holiday baking class was little more fun as it let me participate in making every recipe, versus focusing on one dish and just stealing quick glances at others being prepared around the kitchen classroom. Besides, what's more fun than dipping sticky homemade marshmallows into delicious dark chocolate goodness? After attending the second class with friends, that's most definitely the way to go. Have a fun time cooking and enjoying the great food with great company makes the time zip by even quicker.
With the holidays coming up, if there's an aspiring chef or cook on the gift list and a Viking school nearby, a gift certificate for a class would make a great gift. Fun, educational, and an environment in which you're encouraged to play with all the fabulous Viking appliances? Here, twist my arm. Ok! I'll go for a class again... and again. Next up: The Steakhouse menu!