Since I began writing for VanFoodies, I’ve attended a few cooking classes, dealing with different types of food in different environments.
I’m sorry to say this to all the ones I’ve taken before, this cooking class with Chef Bernie DesLauriers at Louis Gervais Fine Foods has been the best one so far. And here’s why.
I don’t think this is too much to ask for. I want to be relaxed but still energetic when I sit down for a meal. After a day of work and a 2-hour cooking class, it’s usually not the case. However, because some of the prep work had been completely by the staff, and the demonstration and the cooking sections were evenly spread out through the night, I didn’t feel all that tired by the time I sat down to eat.
Snacks before cooking
Imagine yourself cooking at 7pm. It’s been hours after lunch, you are hungry, and you know you won’t be eating for another hour. That’s not something you want to put yourself through, especially if you are paying for it. They had just what I needed to keep my hunger at bay: a few choices of bread, some cheese and preserved meats. Nothing to ruin your appetite over.
I can’t stress how important this is. Most amateur cooking class attendees are couples, if not then they are close friends or family. So the atmosphere should be casual. Having a chef that actively engages with us, telling a few personal stories and tips on how to pick out good salmon is much preferable than one that runs from a lesson plan.
Cooking with a set recipe gets boring; talking about a set recipe gets boring. Cooking is so much more than following instructions on a page. It’s deeply personal. Chef Bernie understands it, and teaches it. We were encouraged to get creative, to focus on the methodology, but play with the ingredients as we see fit.
Although this class is not as physically involved as some others, there are enough cooking elements to help you learn and make you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Mostly importantly, at the end of the lesson, I’m not sitting dead tired in my chair, having no appetite to eat the delicious food I’ve just made.
Now onto the food.
This was a pretty easy recipe that required no heating. The acidity from the lemon and limes would “cook” the scallops over time.
It was served with endives as scoops, which had a light sweetness that offset the sourness of the dish.
Stuffed Salmon with Dauphine Potatoes
The Dauphine Potatoes was very similar to gnocchi, except deep fried to create a crispy golden crust.
A large King Salmon was shared by the class. The chef had prepped the fish and all we had to do was to make the stuffing, stuff it, sear the salmon, and put it in the oven to finish. Like the potatoes, in the end we were left with a crispy outside and a soft flesh in the middle.
To finish it off we were served with a simple chocolate fondant made from dark chocolate, butter, eggs, and a bit of flour.
We were invited to attend this West Coast Seasfood cooking class, however, Louis Gervais offer classes that cover a variety of different topics. If you are interested, contact them with the information below. Classes start from $85 each.
107-850 Harbourside Drive
Enjoy the pictures: