What might it feel like to have personal chef? Quite wonderful and decadently delicious in fact! I have had the opportunity recently when I attended a cooking class demonstration with my daughter at Consiglio's Restaurant, Wooster Street, in New Haven.
In an intimate nook of this 75 year old family Italian restaurant,nine of us had a front row seat as Chef Scott Gordon prepared a four-cpourse feast. Gordon started out as a dishwasher, went on to the Culinary Institute of America and ran his own restaurant for a period. Over time, he has developed his own style of cooking, often referring to the hundreds of cookbooks in his home library as he tries out new recipes. A trio of chefs from his first restaurant, all CIA trained, are still his great friends and mentors today.
For the first course, Scott prepared pan friend sweet corn cakes, golden brown, crispy, warm and delicious and two in number, with a slice of fresh mozzarella in the middle and on top a scoop of arugula and tomato tapenade, diced fresh from the garden as dressing. He made the dish step by step, following the recipes we were given to add notes to and take home. The appetizer was yummy enough to be a meal all by itself.
The second course was a personal mini focaccia bread stuffed with red grapes, julienned slices of prosciutto, fresh rosemary and grated grana padana cheese. Scott shared his secrets of using King Arthur Flour and allowing the dough to "bloom" to activate the yeast. He also suggested using a wine bottle turned on its isde if a rolling pin is not available.
For the entree, he sauteed jumbo shrimp in a large pan, with pre-cooked Gemelli (twisted) pasta, roasted butternut squash, broccoli rabe and a sprinkling of gorgonzola cheese. In his dishes he uses a liberal amount of EVOO, which I learned quite quickly is Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As he was cooking, he also shared tips on how to cut and dice your butternut squash (without a sledge hammer) and how to make broccoli rabe unbitter. You'll have to go to class to learn those secrets.
To finish this unbelievable meal, Scott whipped up a lemon pound cake, smoutered with warm peaches and blackberries and topped with a dollop of Chambord cream. Each course is served after it is demonstrated, right from the kitchen. Consiglio's will even wrap up leftovers so you can enjoy the meal a second time around. This dinner will be repeated on Thursday, September 26.
October's menu will include roasted pumpkin bisque
on Thursdays, October 3, 10, 17 and 24. November's menu will include
For reservations ($65), call 203-865-4489 or online at www.consiglios.com. You can even book a private class for 10 people and design your own menu. What a great holiday party that would be! The fun begins at 6:30 p.m.
Let Consiglio's Restaurant and master chef Scott Gordon treat you to an elegant and delicious feast. Be their guest! Bon appetit!