This past Tuesday, Henry’s at the Farm kicked off their first cooking class. And, what better way to kick-start our new blog than to do a mini-exposé on our newly established cooking classes! It’s something that has been in the works for awhile and is something we’re really proud of, and we’re very excited to present it to the public. So, let’s take a closer look…
Before we take a peek at the class, let’s start with the kitchen itself. To put it bluntly, our kitchen rocks. We have a huge, beautiful industrial kitchen that we are just itching to show off to guests. It’s got everything a successful modern kitchen should have: a huge combi, convection and deck oven, range and grill for our experienced line cooks; along with plenty of working space (which is a real rarity in a restaurant kitchen) and a stunning marble top counter space for the garde manger, for preparing our artisanal salads and desserts, as well as personal pizzas. Yum!
The restaurant and kitchen are more or less brand new and built from the ground up, so as such, we had poetic license to design the kitchen as we saw fit. Along with the purely functioning elements of the kitchen, we placed an emphasis on aesthetic design. We wanted the “look” of the kitchen, so to speak, to match the “feel” of the kitchen, which again is a rarity in the biz. How did we accomplish this? Well, we included charming French door entrances, a rustic (and huge) solid wood chef’s table, which is reserved for restaurant patrons, and floor-to-ceiling windows offering a stunning view of our swan pond. All of this, again along with all the extra working space. Trust us when we say that it feels pretty luxurious.
But, enough about us. So, we have all this wonderful space, state-of-the-art cooking equipment and plenty of good cooking class ideas, along with plenty of people to attend and learn. Our main, relatively broad goal is to offer alternatives to the common cooking class. We aim to design inventive and entertaining recipes which will inspire our culinary enthusiasts to recreate the dishes at home. But, can we find the right person to lead such a class, to create the perfect, fun, relaxed atmosphere for such a task? No small feat, indeed.
Enter Kyle Bernstein.
Kyle has had a wide and varied ride in the chef world, starting at a Burger King at 16 and nearly burning her face off from a mix up with a fryer. After that harrowing experience, she decided she’s got what it takes to try and make it in the chef world, and eventually attended the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan and graduated with a Grande Diplome. She moved on to work at big names in the restaurant world such as Le Cirque 2000, and later started working at Sony’s (yeah, THAT Sony) Executive Dining Room. Kyle currently works for Petrossian’s wholesale as sales manager, peddling various world class caviar and smoked fish products to restaurants and caterers. Kyle extends her DIY punk ethos first cultivated in her formative years to now, making her own cheeses, beer, wine, and other hand crafted goods, even making three quarts of honey from a time when a colony of bees invaded her farmhouse. Along with her extensive pedigree, she is a nutrition expert and loves to share her wealth of knowledge and love of food through published books and a personal blog which she maintains. Her fearless, high energy attitude makes our classes fun and exciting, and we hope you’ll enjoy our classes as much as we enjoy hosting them.
So, let’s take a look at our first cooking class. The title of the class was “Healthy Redux,” where we focused on providing healthy alternatives to classic meat n’ potatoes American dinner recipes. With a focus on fresh, healthy and locally-sourced ingredients, replacing many of the less healthy options usually offered in these dishes that are normally starch, sugar and fat heavy, the class focused on recreating these dishes in a new, fresh way.
When I peeked my head in, the first thing I noticed was how much fun the class seemed to be having. Seemingly the entire class was laughing, smiling, joking, and creating lots of positive energy. I’m sure the half -drunk glasses of wine a few of the members were holding had at least a little to do with it…but I digress. The second thing I noticed was, well, how informative the class was. As an innkeeper here, I have to know quite a bit about the local cuisine here in the Hudson Valley, in order to keep up with our well-informed clientele, and to recommend the best of the best restaurants that the area has to offer (and as the locals know, it’s quite a few) for our guests here. Chef Bernstein was leading the crew and schooling me in a couple of topics which I thought I was pretty informed on. It was a humbling experience, to be sure. Well anyway, check out one of our recipes, a delicious vegetarian “meatless” meatloaf, and some pictures from the event, below!
Until next time,
Start to finish: 1 Hour
1 Cup Dry Lentils; cooked 25-30 minutes in 2 cups water, drained, and cooled
1 Small Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cup Oats
¾ Cup Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
4 ½ oz Stewed fresh or San Marzano Tomatoes, seasoned
1 Tbsp Basil, chopped
1 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp Oregano, chopped
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Nonstick Cooking Spray
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Generously coat a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Partially mash lentils in a large mixing bowl and scrape down sides with a rubber spatula.
Stir in onion, garlic, oats, and cheese and combine well.
Using gloved hands, mix in egg, tomatoes, basil, parsley, and oregano.
Season well with salt and freshly-ground black pepper and mix until completely combined.
Form into a loaf and place in prepared pan.
Bake uncovered 30-45 minutes, until top is dry, firm, and golden brown.
Cool loaf in pan on rack for 10 minutes before serving.
Run knife around pans edge and unmold on platter to serve.