Looking for a pleasant diversion; perhaps, something you could do with your spouse, or alone?
“ Why don’t we take a cooking class? “, she said.
“We?” I thought.
Neither of us like to cook. Both of us had been single parents, having to provide healthy basic nourishment for our children; but, to choose to do it, voluntarily ?
As it turned out, I was in the local plaza, and I saw a sign in the window of a shop selling Royal Prestige kitchenware. It announced a series of cooking classes, focusing on different ethnic cuisines.
Jumping on the bandwagon, I took a brochure with me to score points with my lady. Of course, on seeing what was offered, she headed, with me in tow, to sign up for the next class – Comida (Food) Peruana (Peruvian).
The Wednesday, 11 Am – 2 PM, class was held around a stove and counter at the back of the store. With copious light shining on all the new pots and pans, and the sparkling new white and black décor, the setting was inviting. Keeping with what may seem a tradition, we arrived late. Eight fellow students we sitting around a bar, overlooking the work area. Each had on a black chef’s hat, looks like a stove pipe on one’s head, and black apron.
I sat at one end, directly beside the chopping block where I could see, very closely, what ingredients were being used. As everything was in Spanish, I was afraid that I would not understand new Spanish cooking vocabulary. This was not a problem. Everything was clearly evident, and the two, male, chefs, from the store were fabulous hosts and teachers. They each had assigned portions of the meal to prepare and moved about, taking turns presenting as if choreographed. More smoothly, it could not have been. Students watched enthusiastically, asking questions, writing notes and smiling through every moment.
As each dish was prepared, it was decoratively presented for enthusiastic consumption.
Without writing recipes, Let me just tell you that there
- To start, a Pisco Sour (alcoholic beverage) to stimulate the palate. Then for the main items.
- Cebiche, Peruana, Tradicional, using Pescado Blanco (White Fish)
- Lomo (Beef) Salteado, made in a wok, with Roti de Papa a la Huancairia
(shredded boiled potato, made into patties and fried
- For dessert, Suspiro a la Limena. I liken it to a compote (cream pudding) served in a fruit bowel. This one was unique in that it included a liquor for flavour and aroma. Choose your preference.
I noted that the fish and lomo saltado appeared more Asian than what I thought was South American. The reason, I was told, was that Peru has a very large Asian, particularly Japanese, population that has had a strong influence on the country’s culture and cuisine.
As the group wrapped up, there was a remarkably short presentation to state that customers could depend on ongoing support, including one meal cooked in their homes by a store chef each year.
Everything from our initial enquiry through to our parting was incredibly hospitable and professional.
I was first in line to sign up for the next class, - Chilean cuisine. And, I am looking forward to it with enthusiasm !
For those in the Quito area, the Clases de Cocina, by Royal Prestige, take place in the Centro Comercial Plaza del Rancho, near the urbanizacion San Francisco in Tanda / Merivalle.
Telephone 095419585 or 1 800 894 1012
The website is www.royalprestige.com.ec
I had a fantastic time; learned a few intriguing things about cooking, ate some delicious new foods and was left looking forward to another cooking experience.
I recommend that you consider a cooking class as a fun way to spice up your life.
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