Baltimore Chef Shop Cooking Extravaganza
Last week, we had the best experience ever! Before I dive into all of the excitement, I want to give a little background. For Christmas this year, Shawn and I decided to gift new experiences to people instead of good ol' presents. We thought it would be fun to spend time together, rather than just give something that may be forgotten about and left in a closet. For Shawn's family, we wanted to do something that would bring us together and bond us in a new way. It wasn't easy finding something that we thought everyone would love, but when I discovered the Baltimore Chef Shop and all of the classes they offer, it just kind of clicked.
The Baltimore Chef Shop
The owner of the shop, Scott, actually created this space for the every day person. He wanted to give people the chance to learn how to create meals that were sustainable and they could be proud of. There is a class for everyone at the Baltimore Chef Shop. From artisan chocolate to Thai street food, there are no limits to what you can learn.
Bonus points for also needing no experience. Shawn has never had the chance to flex his cooking chops at home. I'm too much of a food control freak, so he has about 5 xp in that skill. However, he did an amazing job, and I don't think there was a single point where he felt he couldn't do what was asked. It was awesome to see :D!
What did we make?
For our adventure into the food world, we did homemade pasta. We had Joseph and Travis as our leaders, and they just made everything so smooth and easy. Joseph gave us tons of technique lessons and tips in order to make us feel more comfy in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Travis prepared everything for us and helped set us up for success. They both are awesome dudes that I really hope we get to interact with in the future!
Now, on to the actual cooking. I feel fairly confident in the kitchen, but there's nothing like a time sensitive dish to completely destroy your know how. We started with making our dough for our pasta, which I never realized was so easy to make. Seriously, it's just oil, salt, flour, and two eggs. I mean, it takes a lot of muscle, but I was expecting a two page list of ingredients. We also had directions for broccoli rabe (which I learned is pronounced "Rob"), an amazing ginormous salad, and crunchy bruschetta. Each one of us had a hand in the different dishes, adding to the awesome collaboration that created one giant family meal at the end of the day.
Two thumbs up!
After our class we got the chance to wander around 36th Street together, which capped off the entire day. We got hot chocolate from a cute little coffee shop and then hit up Charm City Chocolate for an extra boost of sugar. The whole day was such a fun family moment that I will hold on to forever. Since I am still relatively new to the family, doing activities like this really help me connect on a deeper level. It's the laughing, talking, and just getting flour everywhere that makes a very loving and lasting impression. I'm looking forward to the next family outing!
"I don't want to take my family, can I still do this?"
100% yes! We did a private class that was just the 6 of us, but the Baltimore Chef Shop actually has a whole calendar of events. Every class has a group of students that work together in creating a cohesive dish. You can either sign up for a class and go solo, making new friends in the process, or you can do one of the couples cooking classes with your significant other. They also have awesome things for kids and teens such as summer camps and "Parent and Me" events. I really, really love anything that gets younger people out and doing something fun, so I'm definitely cheering them on with those feats :P!
The bottom line is: cooking is for everyone. You can learn something new, or you can strengthen the skills you already have. Everything you make is shared, including the prep, the food, and the experience. There is no reason to go into the shop thinking you need to be the best. Just have fun!
A new perspective
I always look at our tiny apartment and think of what I'll be able to do when we have a larger space. One of the things that the Baltimore Chef Shop showed all of us is that we don't need a bigger work area. We can be culinary wizards with just two eggs, a bowl of flour, and some olive oil :).