Fall feasting

Rhinebeck’s Country Cupboards & Warren Cutlery’s slate of seasonal cooking classes

by Ann Hutton
October 16, 2011 12:00 PM | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CIA Chef Rob Mullooly teaching “Preservin​g the Season” at Country Cupboards in September
CIA Chef Rob Mullooly teaching “Preservin​g the Season” at Country Cupboards in September
Crisp mornings and earlier sunsets contrive to get us all into the kitchen, where we can warm up as something gurgles on the stove or bakes in the oven. And with all our favorite holiday feasts just around the proverbial corner, it’s a perfect time to brush up on culinary skills and learn a new thing or two. Country Cupboards in Rhinebeck have opened their newly functional kitchen showroom to three of the region’s supreme chefs this season for cooking classes that will inspire any cook, serious or casual. Held conveniently from 6 to 8 p.m., each class includes recipe handouts, tastings and plenty of time for discussion of technique.

Chef Rob Mullooly is associate professor in Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), with experience at the French Culinary Institute and the Culinary Academy of New York. On Thursday, October 20, he’ll do a demonstration class on seasonal soups: cream, bisques and hearty vegetable soups. Students will learn how to make a proper stock as a good base for any soup, along with practical methods of preparing and thickening soups with starches and veggies.

On Thursday, November 10, Jessica Bard will teach us how to roast the perfect turkey and impart other great Thanksgiving Day tips. A 1996 graduate of the CIA and former staff member in their Cookbook Department, Bard is a cooking teacher, food stylist, food writer and professional recipe-tester and developer. She’ll have a turkey ready to pull out of the oven when this class starts, and will demonstrate how to make a great gravy, how to deal with stuffing and the best carving techniques. And while the class members taste the results, she will talk about brining, trussing and getting your bird into the oven in time for a memorable holiday dinner. As a contributing writer for Fine Cooking Magazine, Bard is privy to all the latest trends in the culinary arts.

“Five Fabulous Finger Foods” for holiday entertaining will be the focus of the class on Tuesday, November 15, when Maureen Luchejko wields the kitchen tools. Learn to make panko-crusted mini-crabcakes with wasabi aioli, chopped liver crostini with red onion jam, Caesar salad endive spears, rosemary/parmesan shortbread and bleu cheese popovers to go along with your favorite holiday cocktails. Luchejko’s expertise was honed as food stylist on Paula’s Best Dishes, Paula’s Home Cooking, Semi-Homemade, Food 911 and various other Food Network shows. Her work has appeared on Food Network’s website, and her recipes have been published in numerous cookbooks and consumer magazines.

Sauces take the stage on Thursday, November 17 when Chef Mullooly teaches how to make a variety of sauces properly: old-fashioned pan gravy for roasted chicken or turkey, a more elegant red wine sauce for roast beef and a delectable lemon butter sauce for fish. Understand how to thicken a sauce properly and how to hold the sauce hot while you entertain guests – a great tip for the holidays.

Bard will be back on Thursday, December 8, conducting a hands-on class on how to make your own Buche de Noël. Shaped and frosted to look like a veritable log with little meringue mushrooms growing out of its chocolate bark, this classic cake will wow your friends and family. From baking the chocolate spongecake to filling and rolling and decorating, Bard will patiently guide us through the process, and each student will take home the product.

Bard has been teaching for Warren Kitchen & Cutlery for six years, and organizes guest instructors to develop their own classes in the program. She says that a maximum of eight students works best for the hands-on classes, and up to 12 for demonstrations. “It’s never boring, even the demonstrations. After all these years, I still try and pack a lot into a class – almost too much, but we still get it done. The big change is that we’re doing them as partners with Country Cupboards. They have a really nice display kitchen with a great sit-around counter, so people can get up close and see everything that’s going on.”

Join the pros, chef Rob Mullooly, Maureen Luchejko and Jessica Bard, this autumn for some great culinary fun! All students will receive a ten-percent coupon for purchases made at Warren Kitchen & Cutlery. Classes cost $40, and advance registration and payment are required. Call (845) 876-6208 for reservations and information, and visit Country Cupboards are located at 6783 Route 9 in Rhinebeck. And check out

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Mrs. Johnson
October 17, 2011
Sounds like I can get a few cooking tips for the holidays and impress my guests.

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