The couple that learns to cook together, stays together, right? That line of thinking brought me to The Brooklyn Kitchen, which I found after scouring online reviews for cooking classes. With great reviews, one of the most varied course lists (from knife skills to whole fish butchery) and the most reasonable prices (our class was $75 per person), I quickly signed-up for the Chinese Takeout course, recommended for all cooking levels. The class featured Diana Kuan as the instructor chef, author of The Chinese Takeout Cookbook and a Chinese food blogger at Appetite for China.
On the menu was flaky scallion pancakes, Chinese BBQ ribs, cashew chicken, and sesame bok choy (the bok choy was left out for some reason that night), along with beer provided by the Brooklyn Brewery. There were 14 people in the class, pretty much all couples. The set-up was two tables of six in front of a large range and counter with all ingredients and tools. Each person was expected to fully participate – whether dicing scallions and onions, or kneading and rolling flour. We each made our own scallion pancake, and learned the special dough-rolling technique that makes the pancakes so flaky. We did not, however, get much hands-on time with the BBQ ribs, which were already prepared and put in the oven when we arrived – but we did learn the chef’s simple sauce recipe, which includes generous amounts of honey. Again, we didn’t get much hands-on time with the cashew chicken, but the chef did show us how to brine and brown the chicken to get a food flavor throughout.
While this certainly wasn’t a demonstration class, I was a little disappointed that this class wasn’t even more hands-on in all steps of the prep and cook process, but the handouts provided listing all ingredients and recipes were thoughtful and even included the best spots to find the ingredients. Plus, the chef started the class with some great insights on ideal cooking oils and sauces. As a recovering Chinese takeout eater, I can assure you this information on best ingredients will be put to good use. I now feel like I can cook “Chinese Takeout” at home and not feel like crap the next day, wondering what exactly I ate. I would definitely recommend The Brooklyn Kitchen for your next date or culinary learning adventure – I know I’ll be back!
The Brooklyn Kitchen
100 Frost Street
New York, NY 11211