Friday, November 02, 2007

Cooking with Jerry Traunfeld

Well, maybe not cooking exactly, as this was a demonstration class. Rather, it was having Chef Traunfeld, known for his 17 years running the kitchen at The Herbfarm, prepare a meal for 14 people while we watched, listened, and learned. The class was at Dish it Up!, a local kitchen store that has a very nice facility for cooking classes.

I've eaten at The Herbfarm several times, and meals there are always memorable. I loved standing at the counter where they plate the courses to talk to the chef about what he was doing (that kept me from drinking too much of the great wines Ron Zimmerman serves). Chef's last night there was last weekend, and he's getting ready to open his own place in Seattle, hopefully by the middle of next year. He does already have a name picked out: "Poppy," after his mother.

Anyway, the theme in this class was local and seasonal -- and around here that means lots of wild mushrooms and crab, among other things. Chef had some beautiful matsutake mushrooms, a huge cauliflower mushroom, immaculate porcinis, and the usual chanterelles and other fungi. He made a crab flan with a roasted slice of matsutake and greens that was delicate and delicious.

A great demo was making strudel dough for a lentil and goat cheese strudel. It actually looks like I can do it, and I plan to give it a try. And the strudel was good, I think that filling would be really good doing vegetables farcis, too.

This wild mushroom and farro risotto, I swear, had $100 worth of mushrooms in it. I don't think I'd had farro before, which is a pretty ancient grain. It's nutty flavor and chewiness was a good match for all those 'shrooms.

We ended the class with a fresh huckleberry cobbler with rose geranium ice cream. And espresso. I get so excited when I get to watch someone with Traunfeld's passion work. It was very inspiring. Definitely looking forward to his new place!

1 comment:

Vicki Z said...

You are slacking...I have been watching your blog ever since you posted the link on the Class of 76 site, & you are behind. (maybe due to the holidays) I don't usually post, but wanted to say hi, and I hope you are doing well. I can't pronounce half of these dishes you post about, but they look great! Take care...Vicki (Goodwin) Zumwalt write me sometime.