This past Friday night I had the pleasure of attending a hands-on cooking class at the Glendalia Boutique Hotel and Culinary Studio. Let me tell you, if you’ve never been, you’re seriously missing out.
You’ll find the studio in Glendale (hence the name) which, if you’re not knowledgable of Cincinnati neighborhoods, is a northern suburb of Cincinnati about 16 miles north of downtown. I think it’s pretty easy and common for us Cincinnatians to stay in our own neighborhoods for all of our entertainment needs, but, my friends, that is a serious mistake! Get up to Glendale, enjoy this peaceful, quant neighborhood and then check out a cooking class. The Glendalia Culinary Studio makes a great date night or girls night out.
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Here’s what to expect at a Glendalia Culinary Studio cooking class:
Class begins with an introduction from the teacher and all the “students.” You can book private classes with a group or just sign up and enjoy the evening with other friends and couples. I believe a class maxes out at 12 people. Then the teacher, Rachel, will talk through the entire meal course-by-course. I really enjoyed hearing her advice and tips for preparing each course of the meal.
Did you know, you can actually freeze goat cheese, then slice off just the section that you need and it will then naturally crumble as it thaws?! Pretty cool and a definitely more frugal than purchasing the containers of crumbled goat cheese.
And she explained that it’s best to allow your meat to come to room temperature before cooking. This will lead to a more tender, juicy steak when cooked. I’ve read that before, but it was reaffirming to hear it again from a professional.
Our class prepared a New York inspired meal. The chef shared that her father owned some New York cookbooks and she took inspiration from it for our dishes. Our meal was as follows:
Grilled Kale and Flageolet Bruschetta
Watermelon, Arugula and Pecan Salad
Flat Iron Steak with a Berry Port Wine Reduction
Sauteed Caramel Nut Tart
After talking us through the courses it was time to get cooking. We split into couples and each worked on one of the courses. Ryan and I made the Bruschetta appetizer. A copy of the recipe is printed out for you while cooking so you can really just run with it, but the chef is also available the entire time giving pointers, tips and preventing any mistakes. I’ve never made anything similar to my dish before (other than the toasted baguette) so I really appreciated the assistance.
Our dish consisted of a toasted baguette, roasted tomato, grilled kale and flageolet, which is essentially a mixture of beans with carrots, onion, garlic, wine and seasoning. What was really cool about the bean mixture is we added a “bouquet” of fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley sprigs that were picked fresh from The Glendalia garden and wrapped together with twine. This was dipped in the mixture to infuse even more flavor and was removed just before serving.
While the bean mixture cooked, we prepared the grilled kale, roasted tomato and toasted baguette slices. After the baguettes were lightly toasted from the oven, we rubbed them with cut garlic cloves to infuse a great garlic flavor. I’ll definitely be repeating this technique at home. As the ingredients would finish cooking we’d prepare them to be assembled.
Our teacher and her concierge plated and served the dishes to the students course by course. Our group gathered around the table to enjoy our meal. It was great to rest and enjoy the dishes we all worked hard to prepare.
First was the bruschetta:
This turned out amazing! The flavors combined actually reminded me of a great marinara or pizza sauce. (I know, I’m pizza crazy.) But it was really a hearty, flavorful dish that could’ve been my entire meal. And I was so proud to see everyone enjoying the dish too.
Then we enjoyed the Watermelon, Arugula and Pecan Salad:
I was so excited to see watermelon on the menu. I’ve never had watermelon as part of a dish, because it’s so good on it’s own. The dish had a great presentation and I loved combining all of the ingredients into one bite.
Next was the main dish, the Flat Iron Steak with Berry Port Wine Reduction Sauce:
This was definitely my boyfriend’s favorite dish, because steak. I really enjoyed it too, and while the steak was tender and juicy, the berry port wine reduction was the star of the dish. I’m saving that recipe too.
Lastly, we each enjoyed a slice of Sautéed Caramel Nut Tart with Whipped Cream:
This is my kind of dessert and very similar to pecan pie. I’m not sure how I even had room for dessert after the steak, salad and bruschetta, so it’s a testament to just how good it was that I made room.
After dessert, Chef Rachel offered us coffee and sat down at the table for some conversation going over the meal and even giving praise on our dishes. We ended the night just around three hours after starting and it was a perfect way to spend an evening.
A few more details about The Glendalia Culinary Studio:
– A variety of classes are available throughout the week. There are knife skills classes and classes for children too. You can see the full class calendar here.
– As I mentioned above, private and group classes are available. But you should be open to taking a public class. Our group had a great time getting to know each other.
– Classes are BYOB. Bring your wine or favorite cocktail to enjoy during the class or dinner.
– There is so much space in the studio! My kitchen at home is pretty small, so it was great to use this space and all of the tools available.
– The Glendalia is also home to a boutique hotel. You can easily take a Cincinnati staycation and enjoy the weekend in Glendale.
Have you ever been to The Glendalia? Or tried a cooking class? What’s your favorite place to visit for a night out in Cincinnati? Let me know below!
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The Glendalia Culinary Studio offered me a free cooking class in exchange for my honest review. All my opinions are 100% my own.
Some of the food sounds really good. Looks like a great experience.
THE FOOD ON HERE SOUNDS REALLY DELICIOUS
These pictures are making me hungry.