Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cooking Class at Madeleine Bistro

This past Saturday, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a cooking class at Madeleine Bistro, taught by none other than Chef David Anderson, a 2007 VegNews Veggie Awards winner ! When I asked Dave if it would be ok for me to take photographs throughout the class for the blog, he readily agreed, but his wife and restaurant manager, Molly, was uncomfortable with me posting photos of him, so I will leave them off out of respect. I've also removed the photo that I previously posted of Dave and Molly when I wrote about the Vegan Meet-Up I attended in early January.

Although this was not a hands-on cooking class (with the exception of a small part of the dessert prep), this class was a lot of fun. Dave and Molly are good-natured, good-hearted people who were happy to answer questions and interact with the class. It started at 10 a.m. and they were kind enough to serve coffee and tea to us. They made us feel comfortable and at home.

I know how to cook, so I took this class for the chance to learn from a vegan master. I've always been more than happy to follow a recipe and am not one to create my own. More than anything, what I took from this class was the ability to use a recipe as a guideline. For example, Dave explained that practically any root or cruciferous vegetable could be substituted in equal quantity for the cauliflower in the soup we learned that morning. I'm sure I could've figured that out on my own, but I gained confidence hearing this from the master himself. I'm having difficulty expressing exactly what I mean on this point because I obviously modify recipes all the time to eliminate onions and their sibling offenders, but rest assured that I learned from this class! I also learned that, even if you're not necessarily a fan of wine, you just might love Braised Tempeh and Cabernet Sauce!

Cauliflower Soup garnished with Tempeh Bacon and Parsley Oil

Braised Tempeh and Cabernet Sauce with Mashed Potatoes

Chocolate Cake Charlotte filled with Chocolate Mousse and accompanied by Homemade Raspberry Sorbet

This was a gorgeous and delicious meal. The soup was creamy and flavorful, perfectly holding its texture and wonderfully accented by the smokiness of the tempeh bacon. I was skeptical about the tempeh dish because I'm not crazy about wine (although I'm learning, as a recent wine-tasting experience proves), but the Cabernet Sauvignon reduced to a richly-flavored sauce that both infused and coated the tempeh. I found myself adding more of this sauce to my plate! The mashed potatoes were the perfect consistency and flavor (I ate many bites of potato with some of the Cabernet sauce). Oh, and the dessert...a deep, rich, creamy mousse, ensconced in light, moist chocolate cake with a side of the most vibrant raspberry sorbet you've ever tasted. My goodness, this class was such a treat!

Dave and Molly are considering making these classes a twice-monthly event and I'm certainly looking forward to the next one!

P.S. As I'm a singer and always have a song running through my head and as someone who associates songs with all sorts of sounds, sights, words, activities, etc., raspberry sorbet obviously makes my mind burst into a rousing chorus of Prince's "Raspbery Beret" (with "beret" changed to "sorbet," of course!).


VeggieGirl said...

what an amazing opportunity, and fun-looking cooking class!! looks like a gorgeous, delicious meal, indeed!!

haha, I love the Raspberry Beret = Raspberry Sorbet" comment :0D

trina said...

What a great experience! It's so true that no matter how much you think you know you can always learn more.

Rural Vegan said...

That sounds like so much fun, I hope you attend the next class so we can read about it!

The Veggie Queen said...

That sounds like fun. Might you be interested in adding my cookbook The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment to your list of cookbooks?

How long was the class? And how much did it cost?

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Ohmigosh yum! The chocolate mousse looks divine (as does everything else, but as a chocolate-covered vegan, my eye naturally goes toward the chocolate first). Looke like a really fun cooking class.

Ruby Red Vegan said...

Oh, so that's what Prince was saying: "Raspberry Beret"! I always just mumbled that phrase in that part of the song... I heard "Brass, baby blue brass," or something close to that.

You are so lucky to live where you do! It's awesome you got to have such a treat, though, you deserve it!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I visited Madeline Bistro last week.
Do you knoe what the SOUFFLE is made out of?

Vegyogini said...

Anonymous: I've had the souffle several times and it's wonderful. I don't know what it's made of, as David keeps his meringue-type recipes (obviously, the base of the souffle has a similar base to that of meringue) quite close to the vest. I believe he'll eventually write a cookbook, although, if you have the Real Food Daily cookbook, about 95% of the recipes in there are his recipes.

Ruby Red: You're just like me! If I don't know the lyrics to a song, I'll make them up. I have a few from the past that have made my friends laugh hysterically! Glad to have cleared up "Raspberry Beret" for you.

CCV: That mousse is divine, absolutely!

Everyone else: Thank you for commenting! The cooking class was a lot of fun and I did learn a lot. I can't wait for the next one!

The Veggie Queen said...

If you want my cookbook The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment, you need to email me privately, at the email connected to my website I'll need your address. Thanks for sharing info about the class. That seems reasonable, especially for LA.

Liz² said...

oh, that class sounds like fun! I know what you mean about just wanting to learn more about cooking, even if it's something maybe you already knew, just hearing it again from a respected source makes it stick. and the food looks amazing! and ha ha, prince. :D

Vegan_Noodle said...

SO evil, now I will be dreaming of cake and sorbet to prince's tune....
Looks like a fun class. I hope you go to more and tell us all about them!

coulditbeseitan said...

ooh yum! and i love how prince keeps popping up in blogs - my boyfriend saw him the other night at a party!!