Alibi V.12 No.50 • Dec 11-17, 2003 

Food Article

Cooking Classes

Because you can never be too hot in the kitchen

Giving the gift of cooking classes does not say to the recipient, “The last time I came to your house for dinner the food was so bad I spit it all into my napkin and got a Whopper on the way home.” It does say, “I care about you, dear friend. I know you have a passion for fine food and a desire to hone your already sharp skills. Please cook for me again sometime soon.” Of course, you don't have to use our cheesy lines. You can write whatever you want on the gift card. Here are some of the many options Albuquerque has to offer.

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Food Article

Food Lovers' Stocking Stuffers

Nibbles and gadgets for your favorite foodies

Drop a few of these goodies in your honey's furry red sock and your taste buds will thank you later.

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Food Article

In some ways it's lucky for us cooks that Christmas falls so close to Thanksgiving this year. First and foremost, it's easy to make a wish list so soon after the biggest cooking and eating day of the year. For example, it's fresh in my mind that my meat thermometer sucks and I need a newer, much more high-tech model. That crappy old one is solely responsible for the dry-as-a-bone turkey breast I served two Thursdays ago. The remote, remote possibility that user error could have contributed to my cardboard-flavored bird could be addressed with a “Roasting 101” cooking class or two. And in the meantime, I'd like to drown my sorrows in a beer or two. Thus, the inspiration for some of our Last Minute Gift Guide suggestions. Perhaps somebody you love would like a book on how to bake pies? Is there a dear, dear friend who could really use a lesson on wine and food pairing? Check out this week's suggestions for cooking classes and stocking stuffers. There's got to be something here for the cook in your life.

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Food Article

Blue Plate Special's core strength is creating personalized, hands-on cooking experiences that are custom-fit to the clients and what they want to accomplish. That means you could plan a team-building relleno-making office party or set up a one-on-one lesson at home to master pastry crust. Prices start at $25 per person per hour and you'll probably want to invest in at least three hours (and some groceries). Pick Blue Plate for the most intensive experience.

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Food Article

Rio Grande Brewing Co.'s annual holiday beer is a full, rich, dark brew that would warm Mr. Scrooge's bones.

Perfect for taking to holiday parties or keeping in the fridge for your house/pet/baby-sitters.

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Food Article

La Piazza offers low-key demonstration classes on gourmet Italian cooking every other Sunday. La Piazza focuses on a different region of Italy every quarter; individual classes select seasonal themes that reflect those tastes. Invite some girlfriends to join you, kick back, sip some vino and soak it all in as the pros share recipes and techniques. Expect to pay about $45 plus tax and tip. You won't walk out feeling like a master chef but you'll be relaxed, refreshed and a little more knowledgeable about Italian food.

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Food Article

These big, beautiful bars are made by a luxury chocolatier and were inspired by the flavor combinations of their chocolate truffles. We absolutely love the Pearl Bar: velvety dark chocolate with crunches of black sesame seeds and subtle hints of ginger and wasabi. The Red Fire Bar incorporates chile powder and cinnamon. Avoid the curry-flavored Naga bar—one person we gave some to said it tasted like a Hershey bar that had been found in the back of a taxi.

Perfect for chocoholics, ingredient snobs.

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Food Article

Taking a cooking class at Le Café Miche is similar to dining experiences you've probably had there—it's intimate, manageable and romantic. The entertaining and informative Chef Claus Hjortkjaer demonstrates impressive but surprisingly simple dishes that flow together as a dinner menu. Classes are presented every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. and are typically in the $25-$35 range. The wine list is impressive and there's plenty of room for questions, so come curious. These classes make good gifts for a couple who can enjoy the experience like a date.

Le Café Miche also offers food and wine pairing classes one or two Wednesdays a month. Informal and casual, at around $15 they're a real bargain.

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Food Article

These bright, sugary syrups inject kitschy colors and flavors into boring beverages. There are four varieties to choose from— the green "cream soda," clear "mali" (a jasmine or honeysuckle-like flavor), yellow "pineapple," and red "sala" (with kind of a generic red candy taste). We like the cream soda and mali best of all. Try mixing a little syrup with water (plain or seltzer) or Sprite and serving it over ice. Also good as an ingredient in cocktails or with milk.

Perfect for booze-hounds, Asian ingredient freaks, children.

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Food Article

Foodies know that Now We're Cooking is the place to go for kitchen gadgets and specialty items in the far North East Heights. What they may not be aware of is that NWC also hosts cooking demonstrations in the back of the store for $30 a pop. Many of the classes are taught by guest chefs from celebrated local restaurants like Seasons, Scalo and Jennifer James. So if you've ever wondered how your favorite place makes the soup so delightfully smooth, NWC is a great opportunity to find out first hand. They even offer hands-on cooking classes for kids in the summer (which should keep them occupied for at least a few hours). Be sure to ask about store discounts for class participants.

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Food Article

Take a walk down Memory Lane at the In Crowd's candy display and choose from a selection of Big Hunk, Boston Baked Beans, candy cigarette packs, candy cigars, candy necklaces/bracelets (some with candy crucifixes,) giant old-fashioned taffy, Lemonheads, Lucy's Predic-a-Mints, Necco Wafers (chocolate), NikLNips, Redhots and jumbo Sugardaddies.

Perfect for stuck-in-the-good-old-days friends with dental insurance.

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Food Article

Soiree is a husband and wife team of culinary school graduates who teach classes in the demonstration kitchen at National Restaurant Supply. The classes range from ethnic cuisines to fish to butchering meat. Prices vary but are usually very affordable, about $20. The instructors are young, enthusiastic and well-versed in their trade. As caterers for intimate dinner parties, they can offer lots of help for people who want to perfect their entertaining expertise.

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Food Article

This gizmo does double duty as a thermometer and timer, showing proper cooking times and internal temperatures for all your meaty creations. It's got a three-foot sensor cord with which you skewer your roast while the magnetized digital display chills on the outside of your oven door. Your goose is cooked when the super-loud alert sound goes off.

Perfect for anyone who might have tragically overcooked a turkey two weeks ago.

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Food Article

The Specialty Shop is home to just about every kind of cake, cookie and candy making product you can think of. None of which will do you any good unless you know how to use them, of course. With that in mind, the shop features a stable of hands-on classes designed to get you familiar with the methods, equipment and ingredients of all things confectionary. Topics cover cookie painting and bouquets, hard candy, chocolates, gingerbread houses, pies and cake decoration. They've even got a wedding cake class for the truly intrepid—or insane. Classes range from $25-$50 and can be a one-day deal or a part of a weekly series.

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Food Article

Cookin' On the Go is the ultimate accessory for the techno-geek chef on your list. It works with handheld Palm Pilot modules, allowing you to download and e-mail recipes and shopping lists, add an unlimited amount of your own recipes, search your database by keyword or ingredient and even perform nutritional analysis. Now if only it could do the dishes.

Perfect for gadget fiends, cooks with overflowing recipe boxes and organizational problems.

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Food Article

If you're really hungry for culinary aptitude, you might consider enrolling in TVI's Culinary Arts program. Sure, you could run off to a fancy big-name school like the CIA, but since TVI's program is nationally accredited by the same institution (the American Culinary Foundation, or ACF), you'd be getting a top-notch education here at home for about $30,000 less. Work weekdays? TVI offers nighttime, weekend and online courses to boot. The associate's degree program covers professional cooking, baking and pastry, sanitation, nutrition, equipment use, human relations, supervisory skills, dining room skills, business practices and more. You can complete it as a full-time student in four terms (about a year and a half). If that seems like a lot to put on your plate, go for a professional cooking or baking and pastry certificate—it's like getting half the degree in half the time.

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Food Article

Yeah, it seems like a lot of money to spend on a pastry and basting brush but remember how that crappy boar-bristle brush hemorrhaged bristles all over the pie crust last time? These skinny silicone fingers won't melt and the whole thing (unlike boar-bristle brushes) is dishwasher safe.

Perfect as a compliment to the digital thermometer.

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Vanessa Partricks

EVENT HORIZON ()

Drag Yourself to Brunch

Legs and Eggs: A Drag Brunch Extravaganza

Enjoy a special, elegantly curated brunch menu featuring comedy and musical performances by Albuquerque's finest drag entertainers. Reservations recommended.
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EVENT HORIZON ()

Rebel Donut Beer Pairing

Featuring four of Rebel Donuts' most famous recipes paired with some favorite beers on tap.
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