Tuesday, May 12, 2009

NEBS Cooking Class

Over the past two weekends I have been involved with two very different cooking classes. The first was at Lester's, a demo style class; the second was the NEBS hands on class this past weekend in Maynard, MA. Although you can learn lots of great info watching someone doing a demo style class, there is nothing like hands on. This is as close to a comp as you can get. The class started off with talks about food safety, demos on chicken, ribs, pork, brisket, searching the Internet for info, and judging procedures. Just when the students thought they would be sitting around all day, it was time to put them to work. Unload trucks, set up for a dinner service, set up cooking gear (theirs and ours), start prepping meats and get the cookers going. All this was done hands on. Right before we had our 9:30PM dinner, a massive rain storm moved through our area. My favorite part of the night was watching some of the students walk around asking:
"What do we do now?"
"We get wet..." I said "you didn't bring rain gear?"
Lessons like that can not be taught, they must be experienced.
After the rain cleared we split up the students into 4 teams and passed out meats. They even made up team names (my favorite was Meat Curtains). Each team was paired up with an experienced competition cook or two. We overlooked and made suggestions but the students did all the work. After the big meats were in the smoker, we sat around a blazing fire pit, and drank good beers into the early morning. With 3 hours sleep it was time to get the ribs ready. After breakfast, we had a quick demo on putting together turn in boxes. We passed out lettuce, parsley, and numbered boxes. We had everyone synchronize their clocks and had them get ready for actual turn in times. After all the food was turned in, and all other questions were answered, it was time to clean and pack up the gear. The students were wet, tiered, and some hungover. But after wrapping up the class and saying bye, I just knew that I would see all of them somewhere out on The Circuit this year.

More pics can be found here and here.

1 comment:

Ted Lorson said...

I think dinner was more like 11PM....but I enjoyed sharing the stage with you on the brisket demo!