Friday, June 13, 2014

WORKSHOP | Trinity Bellwoods Market Class with Chef Cristophe at Le Dolci for a farm-to-table French Cuisine

It’s difficult to truly appreciate a meal until you personally prepare a meal from start to finish and that’s exactly what Le Dolci is offering with their new summer market classes.  What originally started as part of a foodie trip to France or Italy is now a great chance for Torontonians to experience a market class right in the heart of Trinity Bellwoods.

For the past three years, Le Dolci’s owner Lisa Sanguedolce has been taking culinary enthusiasts to week long trips in France and Northern Italy to enjoy walks, talks, daily culinary classes, wine tastings and more. Foodie trips take its guests behind the scenes and into the kitchens to meet local producers and suppliers and the entire experience is very hands on. 

One of the most well received classes of the trips is the Market class where the group heads over to one of the oldest street markets in Paris to purchase groceries and come back to a fast paced kitchen environment to cook a three course meal. Farmers Markets are an abundance this time of year so it's perfect timing for the Market classes to be offered right here in Toronto.

As a group, we headed across the street with Chef Christophe Measson to the TrinityBellwoods Farmers’ Market to gather local ingredients to create our meal for the night. As with any Farmers’ Market, the saying “the early bird gets the worm” is always true and since we were there later in the evening, the options became slightly limited. 

With Chef Christophe’s expertise, we were able to improvise on the spot with the available ingredients at the Trinity Bellwoods Farmers' Market and purchased an assortment of fresh vegetables, herbs and rainbow trout as our main protein for the night.

After our mini field trip to the farmers’ market, we headed back to Le Dolci to divide and conquer the tasks in teams of two. Our task for the night was to prepare the trout, boil the eggs and prepare the mushrooms. At first glance, these tasks seemed easy enough but as we started to cook, we realized just how much work went into each and every component of the dishes we enjoyed that night. 

The most difficult tasks of everything we had to do was definitely preparing and de-boning the fish. Long story short, there is no short cut to de-boning a fish and we had to pull out each and every bone individually with tweezers. So much more appreciation for that fish you order at a restaurant!

We also learned that in order to prepare the perfect soft boiled egg, you want to bring a pot of water to a boil and then put in the eggs for exactly 7 minutes (no more and no less).

We prepared the trouts with extra virgin olive oi, thyme, lovage, and of course, salt & pepper for seasoning. Into the oven they went!

As you can see, we were all hard at work on our given tasks but having fun at the same time. Preparing a three-course dinner for 12 is not easy!

Our other foodie friends working hard on the dessert! 

Voila, take a look at our finished products below:

Monteforte Ash Rinded Water Buffalo Milk Cheese
atop St. John’s sourdough bread with baby kale

The water buffalo milk cheese was full of flavour and had an extremely creamy texture and consistency.  It paired extremely well with the St. John’s sourdough.

Asparagus with hollandaise sauce, seasoned St. John’s rye bread croutons with soft boiled eggs

Rainbow Trout seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh lovage and thyme

Roasted Foraged Baby Potatoes with olive oil and fresh herbs

Sauteed shitake mushrooms with fresh ramps
 This was our first time having ramps. They are sometimes considered a wild leek and its flavours fall in between that of an onion and a garlic. It really brought out the earthy tones of the mushrooms.

Almond Cacquoise with pickled Meyer lemons
This was one of the dishes that had to be improvised as the market was out of fresh rhubarb. The great thing about improvising on the spot is that you can end with dishes that turn out so well! This was no exception and the acidity of the pickled lemons really cut through the richness of the cream. 

Check out our VLOG of our full Le Dolci Market Class experience:

Overall, we enjoyed our market class experience and learning more about all the different components to cooking a meal! Although the meal looks fancy, each step was easily manageable and it's definitely a great idea for anyone who wants to learn how to start cooking! 

Check out the classes that are available this year here!

-The meal was complimentary but opinions are our own.-

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