When Culinary Local offered the opportunity to attend a Valentine’s Day cooking class, as part of its Ambassador Program, I was the first to raise my hand. Hal’s Kitchen is a cooking school in Brookhaven a city that borders north of Atlanta. That’s not quite right. Hal’s Kitchen also offers corporate team building classes. That’s still not quite right. What’s missing in my description is — it’s Cyndi’s warmth, caring and enthusiasm that makes Hal’s Kitchen a magical and special experience.
If cooking classes are meant to have fun while you learn a new skill or two, Cyndi and her staff exceeded expectations. Cyndi graciously welcomed each and every guest.
With a glass of wine in hand and nibbling on some light appetizers strangers soon became friends. Cyndi’s fiancé was even on hand to lend a hand and play host.
In anticipation of taking an active role in preparing the meal, Cyndi demonstrated a few knife safety techniques.
Hal’s Kitchen Valentine’s Day Menu
Tarte Flambee with Cashel Blue Cheese and Figs
Raviolo with Ricotta Cream in Pancetta Brodo
Arugula and Lobster Salad
Entree of Coffee Rubbed Beef Tenderloin Aux Poivre, Roasted Asparagus, and Potato Tartiflette
Nutella Lava Cakes with Kerrygold Irish Cream Gelato
With help from Cyndi, Chef Juan Carlos, the staff and each other (!) guests formed teams that would each create a part of the meal.
Each course was paired with a perfect wine accompaniment. The Tarte Flambee with Cashel Blue Cheese and Figs was amazing. The pastry was flaky, the melted blue cheese added a wonderful foil to the sweet figs.
I was curious to taste the Raviolo with Ricotta Cream in Pancetta Brodo. Chef carefully adds the yolk of a quail egg to the pasta. So good!
Although all the dishes were tasty my OMG was the Nutella Lava Cakes with Kerrygold Irish Cream Gelato. I wish you could have been there when the Lava Cakes came out of the oven. The chocolate aroma was heavenly. There was a perfect liquid chocolate to cake ratio and the gelato added the over the top touch. Don’t tell anyone, but it was a feat in discipline not to lick the plate clean. Divalicious!
One might say that Hal’s Kitchen, named after Cyndi’s dad, is an on-going tribute to a father-daughter Valentine.
IRT – Hal’s Kitchen is located in the SR Appliance Depot building at 2710 Apple Valley Road NE Brookhaven, GA 30319
The class was complementary as part of a blogger influence program affiliated with the Culinary Local. All opinions are those of the author.