Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cooking Class with Chef David Adjey

Have you ever gone to a cooking class before? Howard and I haven't. I'll tell you why. They're expensive. But nowadays, there are all these wonderful group deals and offers online that help lower the costs. So when we saw that there was a cooking class offering in Toronto, we jumped right on it.

Last Saturday night, Howard and I made our way to Dish Cooking Studio - where the cooking class was being held. These classes were actually being run by Chef David Adjey's group, so Dish was kindly lending them the space. If you're not familiar with Chef David Adjey, he's more recently known as being the Food Network's The Opener.

The space was quite nice and could accommodate 25 students. There were seats right up front and higher bar seating behind. You were able to get a good view wherever you sat, but as it was based on first come, first serve - we arrived early to get seats up front.

The first rounds of prep work was already completed and ready for us when we arrived. Chef Adjey told us that everything was bought from the St. Lawrence Market over at Front Street. It was fun as more students arrived and we all tried to guess what we would be making. The above image shows items from our flank steak entrée. From left to right: heavy cream, corn starch, buttermilk, green onions, lima beans, corn nibblets, white onion, sweet potato, bacon, collard greens, and flank steak.

All this heat was for the second entrée dish, featuring chicken. From left to right: red pepper, yellow pepper, orange pepper, white corn homeny, ancho chilli, and jalapeño.

What was more entertaining, Chef Adjey popped one of those in this mouth and we watched as he stood through the pain of having what felt like a hot sparkler jabbed into his cheek. Milk? Didn't work. Water and pop? Didn't work. He just had to wait it out.

Our last lesson of the day was with salmon, so all of those vegetables up there were used to accompany it. From left to right: lime, Tandoori paste, cauliflower, green bean, carrot, cilantro, and ginger.

Chef Adjey, working hard at cutting slices of steak. Look like he's left handed!

Image above: Chili Chopped Flank Steak

The class was centred around good food, company, and conversation. We were told by the Chef that we failed for the last part. We were a pretty shy bunch and was deemed the most quiet group he's had so far. The cooking parts were hands-on, so if you wanted to work on a certain part of the dish, you just had to volunteer for it. And if Chef Adjey saw no brave soul come up, he would pick one.

Image above: Achiote Chicken Breast

Howard got his turn when working on the chicken dish. Originally, he was supposed to work on the tortilla fries, but Chef Adjey's knife skills were beyond his. So he got transferred to cook, watch over, and plate the spicy vegetables. ;)

Image above: Tandoori Roasted Salmon

Don't let that chickpea tortilla fool you, it packed quite a punch. All three dishes were pretty good. We learned to crank up the temperature for everything we made. If we asked what to set the burner or oven to, Chef Adjey would always say 11 out of 10. To our surprise, not one was dry - in fact, the steak was medium rare even though it looked burnt, the chicken was ridiculous juicy, and the salmon was cooked to the right texture.

If you get squeamish from having other people touch and prepare you food, then this class is probably not for you. There is a lot of food handling from different people and everyone is talking, but we can't deny that it was a memorable experience. You'll be able to pick up tips and learn a few techniques. Chef Adjey was frank, candid, and unreserved in giving us lessons.

I think my favourite part was during each plating because you get to see the dish come together. Plus, at home, we would never get to line-up twenty five plates and methodically arrange all the food - so that part was fun. And I was telling Howard how I really liked the layout of this kitchen. I don't think I need a dining room anymore. Just turn my kitchen into a studio - it would be so much more fun to host dinner parties like this!


  1. This sounds amazing! I would love to do that!

  2. Margaret, oh you're quick! I highly recommend trying it out if you can find a good deal. And, we didn't have to bring anything but ourselves!

  3. I could liev in a kitchen like that.Amazing stuff amazing chef amazing dishes

  4. Looks delicious! I agree about the expensive pricing!
    I want to take a class at the Mission Hill Winery in West Kelowna but it is quite an ordeal. There is also a dinner/class but you need a minimum of 6 people and it is around 300 per person!

    The Wanderfull Traveler

  5. Dzoli, haha same here.

    Murissa Muarice, I can see why they charge a lot with food costs, equipment, gas, and electricity, but it is quite hefty for an evening event/lesson! I bet it's beautiful in West Kelowna right now. =)

  6. ALL WRONG - TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY. You mentioned you were a "quiet" group. David explained to us how much he hates "quiet" groups. He came right up to me and my sisters to chit chat from the beginning. We each volunteered for a meal. There were a couple of others who were chatty like us, which made the process more engaging. But really, David Adjey is an arrogant, self-obsessed lousy host. He embarrassed my sister twice by mocking her in front of the class and making sly remarks. Whatever. We could handle that. Then he started bashing other food network chefs. Not exactly "tips for how to be a Food Network Chef", as the description promised. And there were no "Chef David Adjey's signature cocktails available for purchase", as the description promised. Just Jackson Triggs Red & White at $8 for a half glass.
    But even still, we were making the best of it. David's assistants did most of the cooking, in addition to us "involved" audience members. Here's the best part: As he's talking to me and one of my sisters, making jokes to try to get a laugh out of the otherwise dry audience, we shrug it off and say "hey, it doesn't matter to us". About 5 minutes later, just before the third course, one of his assistants comes up behind us and says "we are free to leave if we don't want to be here". We are stunned and ask what the hell she is talking about. She says "David motioned to her that we may not be having fun and feel free to leave". Of course we stayed. I was shocked though. And it ruined the rest of our experience. He is making jokes with and at us all evening, and when we say something back, jokingly, he "motions" for his assistant to "confront" us. IT WAS A BUNCH OF BS. As she is passing by, she looks at us and says "don't shoot the messenger".
    After the class, we stood in the line up where ppl were gathering to take their picture with David. We stood patiently and when we got to the front, I begun to express my anger an disgust over being asked to leave, even though he had been using us as his entertainment puppets all night. He cuts me off and doesn't let me finish. His assistant says she is calling security. We expressed our outrage at and left. Outside, we saw a security guard poke his head out. We went up to him and told him what happened. Not only did he say that the assistant described us as obnoxious drunks (Two of us had one glass of wine and the other had nothing), but they say that we were out of control. He is laughing with us at this point, because we are a) not obnoxious drunks and b) he has heard this story before. DAVID IS A SELF-OBSESSED LOUSY HOST. HIS COOKING CLASS IS A HUGE WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY. I HAVE MORE FUN AND LEARN MORE FROM WATCHING THE FOOD NETWORK AT HOME. DAVID ADJEY IS A JOKE EXPERIENCE. :)

  7. I remember David from one of the courses at Dish Cooking Studio, he is an excellent cooker and instructor; generally, the classes at the Studio guarantee unforgettable experience. I got to know many other great people there and I really think it is worth to be listed as one of the best cooking schools in Toronto.