Click here to download my mini cookbook, The Grilling Experience.
Last summer I taught cooking classes for Goin Native. The classes centered on going from the garden to the grill. We wanted to give everyone a grilling experience that they wouldn’t soon forget. The menus I created were delicious, easy to make, and beautiful to look at. I have always believed that good food should be just that, as beautiful to look at as it is tasty to eat.
The inspiration for my first class came from the gardens at Goin Native and its beautiful herb gardens. We titled the class “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme, A Grilling Experience”. We centered each course on a different herb. Fresh herbs are a great way to add immense flavor and depth into a dish, without adding fat or calories. It amazes me how many people either don’t know how to use fresh herbs in cooking, or just resort to dried herbs and spices. There is a time and a place for dried herbs, but for the most part, fresh is best. Fresh herbs are easy to grow and don’t take much room. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than harvesting food you have grown and creating a yummy dish from it.
I wanted to take a moment to tell you about the cooking class that inspired this menu. My classes are interactive and participatory. Watching someone cook is okay, but there is nothing like grabbing a knife and jumping in. We would have about 40 people at our class, and we would go through the menu one course at a time. I would go over the ingredients and how they complimented each other. Then we would dive into the dish. I would teach them, step by step how to prepare the dish. You would be amazed how many people don’t know how to hold a knife properly, or even how to successfully grill a piece of meat. After we created the dish, we would sit, eat, and chat. I met so many new friends through these classes. Food, and more importantly creating a meal, is a means to people bonding. We came together as strangers, and left as friends. By the end of the 5 course meal, everyone learned the skills to replicate the meal. Included in the class was a mini cookbook from me with the recipes for the dishes.
I love to take everyday food and elevate it through flavor and presentation to something awesome. It takes a little bit of knowledge and tapping into your creative side, but the results can be stunning! Since summer has arrived, grilling outdoors is the go to way to cook. Although burgers and hot dogs are great, you can use the grill for so many great meals. Grilling foods can also be a way to decrease fat and calories because you are not sauteing or frying in oil. The clean up is great too!
I hope that you embrace the outdoor grill this summer and try some of the recipes from my mini cookbook. Invite some family and friends over and share a grilling experience, cooking and creating these inspired dishes. I promise you will love them as much as I do!