Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sur la Table Cooking Class

Last week, I got an email from Sur la Table promoting its sale on cooking classes.  Mr. 3 and I have been dying to take a cooking class and even discussed finding one for our anniversary.  However, we haven't been able to find any that we felt we could afford (D.C. classes start at $70 per person for a really simple class).  I popped on over to the website and looked up the schedules for the classes near me.  I couldn't believe the prices!  $33.96 per person for a 2 hour cooking class!??!?  Not only was that cheaper than any other class I had seen in D.C, BUT it was a steal of a deal for a Sur la Table class that is usually priced at $69.  So, we skipped our usual date night at a restaurant to spend the money on this cooking class which was conveniently scheduled during dinnertime on Sunday night.

This was a first time cooking class for both of us, so we didn't know what to expect.  LUCKILY, Sur la Table makes the class both easy and informative.  We went to the Date Night: Night of Romance class at the Pentagon City location.  The menu included Spinach and Pancetta Salad with Dried Cherry and Port Dressing, Spice-Crusted Sea Scallops with Blood Orange Beurre Blanc, Smashed Roasted Garlic Fingerling Potatoes, and Vanilla Pots De Crème with Chocolate and Almonds.  Mr. 3 and I have had issues getting our scallops just right in the past so we were up for attending this class!

The kitchen set up at Sur la Table is amazing, but not quite what I expected.  Instead of each couple preparing each recipe, the cooking class is split into two groups which work as a team to create the dish.  For example, I chopped garlic while another couple sliced shallots.  Sur la Table does most of the prep work for you (i.e. measuring out the ingredients and washing all the produce)...they also do 100% of the cleaning!  



What we didn't like about our cooking class:
1. Mr. 3 wasn't a super big fan of the Buerre Blanc sauce (but that could have been because our group didn't get the temperature right when cooking the sauce orrrr the fact that a regular naval orange was substituted in because blood oranges are out of season).

2. We didn't make the dessert.  Post-sampling of the scallops and smashed potatoes, I turned around to make myself a decaf latte to go with the dessert I thought we were making.  By the time I got done, the chef had already read through the recipe for the dessert and served up a sample for us to try.  I was very disappointed because this is one of the items on the menu I have absolutely no knowledge of how to make and I was really looking forward to seeing how it was done.  I feel like this was a big let down for a cooking class!

What we liked about our cooking class: 
1. We were offered a choice of filtered water, a fruity drink using carbonated water from a Soda Stream, a latte or espresso from a Nespresso machine, or a coffee from the new Nespresso VertuoLine.

2. The chef was very helpful in explaining the process, offering tips, and taking over when things got a bit hairy in the kitchen.  We also received a packet with all the recipes to take home with us and recreate (for when you need an extra fancy pants dinner!).

3. We received a 10% off coupon for Sur la Table...which we used to pick up a few Christmas gifts!

4. We finally learned how to properly cook scallops! Check back this afternoon for the tips we picked up!

5. The end product!  We each tried a side salad, four scallops, a scoop of mashed potatoes, and a little pot de crème.  Mr. 3 was still a bit hungry afterwards, but it was plenty for me!

Overall Assessment:
I think the Sur la Table cooking class was tons of fun and worth going to, but if I had any suggestion it would be to make sure that you like ALL of the menu being served.  I had the option of another course that had a great dessert and meat, but it involved fennel which I cannot stand.  Now knowing that you may not even get to make the dessert, I would have been really upset to find out I paid to practice making an item I wouldn't want to ever eat.  Otherwise, I really enjoyed the set up of the kitchen and that we got to try several products like the Soda Stream.  If you decide to book a class, be sure to check out Ebates or Top Cash Back as you can get the classes even cheaper when you take into account the cash back that those companies offer.  I think our classes wound up being closer to $30 with Top Cash Back rebates.  Also, sign up for Sur la Table to get alerts on when they have a sale on cooking classes!

***This post was not sponsored by Sur la Table.  I simply had a great experience and wanted to share with others!***