What's cooking at Common Ground?
I started the "deep-dive" cooking classes at the Common Ground Food Co-op last fall with a series called "A Taste of China." This series of three classes was designed for serious foodies who want to explore ethnic cuisines in depth, so traveled through China region by region and cooked up a variety of Cantonese, Sichuan, and Shanghai dishes. This series sold out quickly, so we scheduled another one right away.
In spring 2023, we offered a series called "A Taste of Japan." This time, we explored three different categories of Japanese cuisine -- one at a time. First, we did a deep dive into noodles and cooked up my favorite ramen, udon, and soba dishes. Next, we explored Japanese-style barbecue and made yakitori, kushiyaki, and shioyaki. Finally, we hosted a make-your-own omakase feast with sushi, sashimi, chirashi, and makizushi.
French food is hard to find in our town, so we had to offer "A Taste of France" next. Like the Chinese "deep dive" series, we traveled through France and sampled regional dishes from the Basque region, Burgundy wine country, and the south of France (Provence). With this series, we started a new tradition and invited Matt Cho from Analog Wine Library to choose and pour specially selected wines for each course that we cooked up.
Everyone loved the wine pairing concept, so we continued the tradition this fall with "A Taste of the Mediterranean" where we cooked up an Italian pesto feast, a Greek meze dinner, and coming up next Tuesday, a tapas tasting menu (sorry, this class is already sold out). Once again, Matt Cho will be pairing wines for every dish that we cook up.
So what's next, you ask? In spring 2024, we're planning a "deep dive" into Russian culture as we sample a wide range of seasonal delights from a country with a fascinating history and even more fascinating cuisine. No, we won't be celebrating Putin, but we will be celebrating the Russian people who know how to live life to the fullest, embracing art, culture, and especially food -- from McDonalds to caviar. Registration will open in early December, but here's a preview of what we're planning: www.cooking-with-paul.com/common-ground-2024-spring-russia.html