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Napa: The Chefs

by Laura

I’ve got more for you today about my Napa adventure at Bush’s Beans Flavors from Around the World Event.   One entire day was spent at the Culinary Institute at Greystone.  You know if the Culinary Institute is involved, you are going to have good food.  We started our day there with breakfast.  It was divine!  Each of the Chefs contributed a dish to our breakfast with the exception of Jeffrey Saad.  We would get his dish later as a snack.

Daisy Martinez made Chili-Spiked Hot Chocolate which was delish.  It only included a pinch of ground chili along with cinnamon.  It was a perfect balance of spice along with the chocolate.  Michael Schulson provided us with an egg sandwich with crispy bacon and pickled shallots.  This was made on a french baguette and the pickled shallots were a surprisingly welcomed addition to this sandwich. Last was a dish from Connie Gutterson which was my favorite dish that morning.  Her recipe was a Fritta with kidney beans, roasted pepper, tomato and pepper.  The beans in the dish actually worked well.  You don’t usually think of eating eggs with beans.  The pesto and fresh herbs in this dish really gave it a nice fresh flavor.

My Breakfast!


After breakfast, the Chefs each introduced themselves to the group and then it was time to get to work.  Chef Andrew Wild gave us a run down of how the kitchen works and the rules.  I must say, at this point, I was feeling a little intimated about being in such an official kitchen.  We put on our aprons and headed into the kitchen.
We started with a demo from Jeffrey Saad.  He definitely has a passion for food that is very exciting and contagious.  He encouraged us to play with our food, everything that goes against what most of us are taught as young children.  He showed us how to use a chefs knife and asked for  a volunteer to give chopping some cabbage a try.  No one was volunteering, I think we were all feeling the pressure of doing such a task in front of an actual chef.  I ended up taking the opportunity.  It was fun and I got a chef’s knife of my own as a result.  That was definitely worth the slight feeling of embarrassment that I felt as I chopped that cabbage.

I'm chopping that cabbage!

Next up was Michael Schulson.  It was interested to see how each Chef’s approach to food and the kitchen varies just like a person’s personality.  Michael seemed very efficient and organized when it comes to his kitchen.  He showed us some fantastic kitchen tips.  My favorite tip was how to cut citrus for juicing.  You cut on the ends of your lime, lemon, etc. then stand it up on one end.  Then cut the citrus with three cut leaving a triangle in the center.  Discard the triangle, this will have all the seeds in it.  Then squeeze the remaining pieces to get the juice.  No need for a fancy juicer now!

The lemon instruction.

After the demos from Jeffrey and Michael, we were split into two groups.  One went with Jeffrey to make Seared Scallop Tacos with Black Bean Puree and Green Chile Chutney. The other group went with Michael to make Pinto Bean Falafel with Garbanzo Bean Hummus and Cilantro, Lemon Sour Cream. I was assigned to Jeffrey’s group which I was excited to be in, due to the fact that my family loves any type of Mexican cuisine.

Chef Michael Schulson instructing his group

The recipe looked long and complicated but turned out to be fun.  I learned how to cook scallops, which is something I have never done.  I love to eat them but I have never made them.  The great thing about this recipe is you can go all out and do the recipe as it is.  There are also some things you can do to simplify it.  We decided to forgo making the beans into a puree and just leave them chunky.  I love this and it added a nice texture to the taco with the whole beans.  Another great thing about this recipe is you can take elements of the dish and use them in a different way.  The beans would have been great to make as a side dish by themselves.

I'm cookin' scallops!

My group with Chef Jeffrey Saad


After this, it was time for lunch and we got to eat what we all made.  Plus, they had pre-made the dishes that Daisy and Connie were going to have us make after lunch.  We got to sample them all at one time.  It was delicious.  Michael’s falafel was fabulous.  I had never had falafel before but I am now a falafel fan.  His recipe also had pieces that could be taken from the dish and used other ways.

The Falafel


Now that we all stuffed ourselves with this yummy food, it was time to go back into the kitchen.  Daisy Martinez was up next for the demo.  She showed us how to prepare a tomato in order to stuff it.  After that, Connie Gutterson talked to us about how you can make food that is good for you and have it taste good too.

Daisy working on her stuffed tomatoes.

Then it was time to divide again into groups.  One group would work with Daisy making Rosemary Scented White Beans in Baked Tomato.  I never would have thought to stuff a tomato let alone stuff it with beans.  It was actually quite tasty.  The other group, which I was in, made Gigi Salad on Whole Wheat Pita Flatbread with White Bean and Artichoke Spread.  This was all fabulous.  The salad had a delicious dressing along with shrimp, oranges, jicama, pomegranate, and avocado.   The white pita bread was so tasty with the spread.  I love artichokes and I never would have thought to put them in a spread with white beans.
After all of this it was snack time.  This recipe was courtesy of Jeffrey Saad.  There is no pictures of this one because I think we all gobbled it up before anyone could take pictures.  We had Nutella Crepes. You know I love nutella but I have never had it on crepes.  Let me just say that even though we were all pretty full from the food from the day up to this point, I think those crepes were all gone in minutes.  The crepe was divine.  The crepe itself was perfection, not too thick and not to thin with the perfect amount of sponginess to them.  Then to be schmeared with nutella, rolled up and sprinkled with powdered sugar, it just melted in my mouth. I swear I need to make these again so I can stop dreaming about them each night.  I love a good crepe and this was the bomb.
I have one final post for you tomorrow to wrap up Napa and I will talk about the Culinary institute, so stay tuned.

Connie holding a platter of the GiGi Salad


All photos in today’s post, with the exception of my breakfast, was taken by photographer Faith Echtermeyer who can be found at www.FaithEchtermeyer.com.  Thanks for the beautiful photos Faith!

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24 comments

Lia West October 25, 2011 - 11:36 am

Wonderful recipe, i’ll do it along with my lady tonight. Hope i get it right! Cheers

Reply
Lia West October 25, 2011 - 11:36 am

Wonderful recipe, i’ll do it along with my lady tonight. Hope i get it right! Cheers

Reply
Nutella Crepes | Real Mom Kitchen December 13, 2010 - 6:15 am

[…] my trip to Napa, I kept thinking, ok let’s say dreaming, about the nutella crepes that Jeffrey Saad shared […]

Reply
Nutella Crepes | Real Mom Kitchen December 13, 2010 - 6:15 am

[…] my trip to Napa, I kept thinking, ok let’s say dreaming, about the nutella crepes that Jeffrey Saad shared […]

Reply
Gigi Salad on Whole Wheat Flatbread with Creamy White Bean and Artichoke Spread | Real Mom Kitchen December 10, 2010 - 8:04 am

[…] yummy dish from Napa!  This is an awesome and healthy salad served on a whole wheat pita with a hummus type spread. […]

Reply
Gigi Salad on Whole Wheat Flatbread with Creamy White Bean and Artichoke Spread | Real Mom Kitchen December 10, 2010 - 8:04 am

[…] yummy dish from Napa!  This is an awesome and healthy salad served on a whole wheat pita with a hummus type spread. […]

Reply
Pinto Bean Falafel with Garbanzo Bean Hummus and Cilantro Lemon Sour Cream | Real Mom Kitchen December 9, 2010 - 6:17 am

[…] pita chips and use the cilantro lemon sour cream on top of your favorite Mexican dish.  Thanks to Michael Schulson for this […]

Reply
Pinto Bean Falafel with Garbanzo Bean Hummus and Cilantro Lemon Sour Cream | Real Mom Kitchen December 9, 2010 - 6:17 am

[…] pita chips and use the cilantro lemon sour cream on top of your favorite Mexican dish.  Thanks to Michael Schulson for this […]

Reply
Frittata with Kidney Beans, Roasted Pepper, Tomato and Pesto | Real Mom Kitchen December 9, 2010 - 6:16 am

[…] LOVE IT.  The fresh herbs is the other thing that makes this taste so wonderful.  Thanks to Connie Gutterson for giving me this […]

Reply
Frittata with Kidney Beans, Roasted Pepper, Tomato and Pesto | Real Mom Kitchen December 9, 2010 - 6:16 am

[…] LOVE IT.  The fresh herbs is the other thing that makes this taste so wonderful.  Thanks to Connie Gutterson for giving me this […]

Reply
Chili-Spiked Hot Chocolate | Real Mom Kitchen December 7, 2010 - 6:17 am

[…] recipe is one I sampled as part of a breakfast I was served in Napa.  It comes from Daisy Martinez.  It was another one of my favorite recipes from my trip.  I […]

Reply
Chili-Spiked Hot Chocolate | Real Mom Kitchen December 7, 2010 - 6:17 am

[…] recipe is one I sampled as part of a breakfast I was served in Napa.  It comes from Daisy Martinez.  It was another one of my favorite recipes from my trip.  I […]

Reply
Seared Scallop Tacos with Black Beans and Green Chile Chutney | Real Mom Kitchen December 6, 2010 - 8:39 am

[…] am finally getting around to sharing some of the fabulous recipes I got when I went to Napa.  I saved them until now because most of the dishes would be excellent to serve company and would […]

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Seared Scallop Tacos with Black Beans and Green Chile Chutney | Real Mom Kitchen December 6, 2010 - 8:39 am

[…] am finally getting around to sharing some of the fabulous recipes I got when I went to Napa.  I saved them until now because most of the dishes would be excellent to serve company and would […]

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Beefy Nacho Soup | Real Mom Kitchen November 6, 2010 - 7:16 am

[…] I also have another giveaway starting today that involves RO*TEL.  Check out the giveaway page to enter.  I also have more info on my Napa trip over on my events page. […]

Reply
Beefy Nacho Soup | Real Mom Kitchen November 6, 2010 - 7:16 am

[…] I also have another giveaway starting today that involves RO*TEL.  Check out the giveaway page to enter.  I also have more info on my Napa trip over on my events page. […]

Reply
Kristen November 5, 2010 - 1:20 pm

IT’d be cool to scoot back for a WEEK or two, Amy 🙂 Great post Laura!

Reply
Kristen November 5, 2010 - 1:20 pm

IT’d be cool to scoot back for a WEEK or two, Amy 🙂 Great post Laura!

Reply
Jamie Cooks It Up! November 5, 2010 - 10:08 am

Looks like you had so much fun! I’m glad you got to go….hope things are going well with the cookbook. I’m sure you were thrilled to have a little break!

Reply
Jamie Cooks It Up! November 5, 2010 - 10:08 am

Looks like you had so much fun! I’m glad you got to go….hope things are going well with the cookbook. I’m sure you were thrilled to have a little break!

Reply
TidyMom November 5, 2010 - 7:49 am

ok, you’ve got me hungry for all of it again Laura!!

Reply
TidyMom November 5, 2010 - 7:49 am

ok, you’ve got me hungry for all of it again Laura!!

Reply
Amy from She Wears Many Hats November 5, 2010 - 7:41 am

Wouldn’t it be cool to scoot back for a day or two?

Reply
Amy from She Wears Many Hats November 5, 2010 - 7:41 am

Wouldn’t it be cool to scoot back for a day or two?

Reply

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