Cook and Go

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On Saturday night, I used a Groupon to check out a class at Cook & Go, a culinary studio that started in France and found its way to the US a few years ago. The concept is that you cook the food in class and then take it home to reheat and eat. In the warmer months, they offer picnic-themed classes, too. Most of the food is actually prepared in foil carryout containers, which makes it so easy! Another plus: free wine for evening classes.

I did the Healthy Living menu, which included

  • Roasted eggplant with tomato and goat cheese relish
  • Apricot chicken with rice
  • Flourless chocolate cake with chantilly cream and berry coulis

What was neat was that each person made their own meal (aka no strangers touching your meat). The instructor passed ingredients around along with spoons we used to add the amount needed for one portion. It was very informal and low-stress. The recipes are very simple, so you can feel good about eating mostly whole foods and can use as little or as much salt as you like. The only thing I didn’t love was that we used Splenda in the chocolate cakes, but in the grand scheme of things, a couple teaspoons of the stuff isn’t a deal breaker for me.

One thing that I find odd about cooking classes, though, is that I’m usually the only person flying solo. Maybe I didn’t get the memo that cooking classes were a couples-only thing? Whoops. Not like that would stop me. Of course, there are those occasional funny/awkward moments. This class was no exception. It started in the first two minutes:

Instructor (to Jess, motioning to the empty space next to her): Are you waiting for someone?
Jess: (turns and waves to other 24 students) I’ll be your token bachelor for this evening
(room laughs)
Instructor: Don’t worry, there’s always someone like that. 

Hm. “Someone like that?” What does that even mean?

Throughout the class, we were instructed to share things like stalks of fresh herbs with our “partner.”  Several times I had to raise my hand to ask questions like, “What should we do if don’t have a partner to, uh, share an eggplant with?”

Share an eggplant. I guess that’s what the kids are calling it these days?

Anyway, my classmates actually were really nice and a fun bunch of work with—there was a lot of laughing. I also left with a pretty nice spread to enjoy at home: IMG_4581
Because I had enjoyed some wine at class, I ditched the rice, since I don’t really care about white rice, and I enjoyed the eggplant salad over some greens I needed to use up. Just to be fancy, I served the chicken in a fancy little cup, like, so: IMG_4580

There was nothing fancy about the cake. I just reheated it in the oven at 350 until it was warm and enjoyed it while catching up on the morning’s Times, like the eccentric middle-aged couple I am.

I heard that we’re getting some low, low temps in the U.S. Coldest in decades. Guess I’d better get on that whole “someone to share an eggplant with” thing, if only for the body heat. Or I could just keep hamming it up in cooking classes and blogging about it and just, you know, wear a lot of sweaters.

Have you ever taken a cooking class? Does your partner like eggplant? 

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12 thoughts on “Cook and Go

    kjsmith2000 said:
    January 6, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Can I just say. THANK YOU! And thanks for making me laugh on an ugly Monday morning. I noticed that our local Chef Central offers classes for couples when they specifically want that. I think it makes sense to be specific if that’s what you expect. And bravo to you for having the confidence to go by yourself. A lot of people lack that confidence completely.

      Jess responded:
      January 7, 2014 at 1:00 am

      Haha glad you got a good laugh out of it too! Totally agree that being specific would make things a little easier!

        Jess responded:
        January 7, 2014 at 1:02 am

        It WAS a good time! I’m sorry your crew wasn’t as much fun. Yeah, it’s amazing how many things are unofficially “couples only.” Life’s too short to give a crap about that.

    Kaitlin said:
    January 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    I’ve actually done this cooking class but yours seemed to be much more fun. I think I missed the memo on the couples-thing for a lot of activities. I don’t mind flying solo but it can be weird at times. Sounds like a good time to me.

      Jess responded:
      January 7, 2014 at 1:02 am

      It WAS a good time! I’m sorry your crew wasn’t as much fun. Yeah, it’s amazing how many things are unofficially “couples only.” Life’s too short to give a crap about that.

    llanderson said:
    January 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I love a good token bachelor. When I was single, a VP at our company was trying to convince us all to take this financial freedom course to work on eliminating stuff. He talked on and on about how married couples could use it and then stopped and said “even someone like Laura could get something out of it”. Thanks, buddy, you know how to make a girl feel welcome.

    I vote you keep the ham and sweaters and don’t worry about that extra body heat!

      Jess responded:
      January 7, 2014 at 1:03 am

      Hah! Seriously! I felt like I was in a Nora Ephron movie or something.

    jeri said:
    January 8, 2014 at 12:41 am

    I’ve never taken a cooking class, but I would have thought it would be more of a singles thing. I live in NY too, and these classes are usually expensive. I’d rather we go to two different classes and learn twice as much. And, plus, the leftovers!

    Melissa said:
    January 12, 2014 at 6:16 am

    I haven’t heard of Cook and Go before; I’m going to look them up. Love how you made the best of a potentially awkward situation- I thought more singles would go to a class as well. Fun post!

      Jess responded:
      January 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Definitely a fun class to try. I learned a long time ago that laughing through the awkward and just living my life the way I want to regardless of my relationship status, is the best approach 🙂

    What I Ate Wednesday #146 « Keeping It Real Food said:
    January 22, 2014 at 10:40 am

    […] that a few of the other RDs also packed their lunches so I didn’t feel like the weird kid. Not that this has ever stopped me from doing things […]

    Plum-Tahini Oatmeal « Keeping It Real Food said:
    February 11, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    […] Good morning! How’s your week so far? After spending yesterday working on a writing project, catching up on laundry, and taking care of some other day-to-day things, I’m heading into the hospital for a few hours to finish up some training and then heading out to NJ to give a presentation on nutrition and skin health as part of a fun fitness event! Typical of me, I’m more nervous about what to wear than about the presentation itself—I’m of those weirdos who likes speaking in front of big groups, even though I do blush if called on in cooking classes and the like. […]

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