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Eat, Drink, Learn, Enjoy!

A little known secret of the best gift in town!

Best Deal in Town!

It’s the Holiday time of the year. Time to buy some presents! Sales abound! Decisions, decisions! Need help? Just remember the 4 C’s and you can’t go wrong.

I’ve recently moved here and have actively done every event and visited every place I can think of. The one thing that has really kept my attention is the Coastal Cupboard’s Cooking Classes. Yes, that’s right. Bet you weren’t expecting that!

First off, I’m a terrible cook, but always willing to experiment. Like most of you, I enjoy a good cooking show thinking that maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn one thing that will make me a star. If I were on Hell’s Kitchen I would be that guy who can’t make risotto.

The Discovery!

One day during my lunch hour I was walking around the Belle Hall shopping center and meandered in to Coastal Cupboard. Lots of cool gadgets to spark the imagination, at a fair price. In the back I noticed a kitchen area and just happened to spark up a conversation with a guy who turned out to be the Chef.  He introduced himself as Stephen and proceeded to tell me about the cooking classes they offer. Back when I lived in DC I had gone to a class at Sur la Table and remembered them being at least $70 per class, so I politely declined, not wanting to get sucked in to something so costly.

After I went home I checked things out on their website. Surprise, the classes were only $30-45 each. Not only that, I just happened to hit a time when they were half off. After work I stopped back in the store to sign up and Stephen remembered me by name. First sign of what a cool guy he is. I signed up for a happy hour class, and a Sushi class even though I don’t really dig Sushi.

The Class!

Now, at Sur la Table it is heavy student participation. But, you might get stuck cutting onions and miss the actual thing you came to learn. Oh, and no alcohol, just tea. Stephen’s classes are quite different. There are two rows of seats, with the back row being able to watch the overhead TV which shows a downward shot of the work he does.  I’ve been to 5 classes now, and the Sushi class was the only one where you actually had hands on experience. But, you do get to focus on each course that is being made so this is not a bad thing.

Each class has about 5 courses, of which each student gets a nice sampling to try. This gives you the opportunity to taste incredible food that would normally not be your first choice. Personally, when I go to an expensive restaurant, I stick with certain types of food to make sure I like it. I don’t experiment too much if it’s costly. Let me tell you my palate has been awakened since I started taking these classes! Everything is as if you were at the most expensive restaurant in town. As a bonus, there is also a glass of wine served with each course. The wine is paired to the food. By the end of the class people are quite chatty.

Throughout the class Stephen provides a running commentary both of the food he is preparing, and tips for the casual cook. He really encourages the students to ask questions. I’ve found this to lead to a great deal of useful information, as you are hearing from the non-professionals like myself who are also sharing their insights.

As another bonus, the classes usually have a theme product. If you are in the class then you are offered a discount on that product. You are invited to shop afterwards which leads to yet another treat; if you find a gadget you aren’t sure about, just ask Stephen. He might even demo it for you!

Makes a Great Date!

I just noticed they have another sale on classes where you get a discount if you bring someone with you. What better gift can you give then one you get to share in?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Patch.com December 12, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Sounds like a lot of fun, Joe. Thanks for sharing!

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