Note: This dinner was fully sponsored by the Dirty Apron, but opinions expressed are entirely my own
The Dirty Apron Cooking School bills itself as Canada’s most exciting culinary playground, with its renowned cooking school and popular deli. I jumped at the chance to try out the Italian Demo & Dine session with my mom and friend/wife (haha). It turned out to be really interactive and informative – an intimate evening of culinary education, delicious Italian food, champagne and vino! The four course tasting meal was prepared right in front of the group of around 15 people as we sat back, laughed, chatted, relaxed and learned through observing, listening and tasting. Everyone was really jovial and friendly, and it was great to try new dishes and mingle with people!
Our instructing chef was extremely engaging and friendly, taking us through each of the 4 courses in detail, as well as sharing tips and tricks. We were able to ask questions about how the food is prepared. As well, we were offered very generous portions for sharing, and indulged in the food with champagne and wine pairings (choice of white or red vino, yum!)
First up was the Orecchiette (literally ears!) pasta with parmigiana reggiano.
This really set the standard high for the lineup of Italian dishes and was so tasty and flavorful!
House-made burrata and prosciutto pizza also hit the mark with its oven-fired taste and thin crust.
Burrata (Italian milk cheese) has a very short shelf life of around 2 days. It is mozzarella that is formed into a pouch and then filled with soft, stringy curd and cream. The chef engaged in a rolling pin demonstration. She also emphasized the importance of using a really hot oven to ensure that the pizza is golden brown and crispy.
Osso buco Milanese with roasted garlic and asiago polenta was an interesting dish that came in 3 parts: flavorful veal, buttery polenta and broccolini (way more edible version of broccoli!)
Rounding off the night was pistachio ice cream with biscotti. I thought that the ice cream was smooth in texture but a tad too sweet and lacking that grounded taste which typically gives pistachio real oomph. The freshly baked white chocolate biscotti hit the spot though.
Overall, I think this is the perfect experience for anyone interested in delving more deeply into a particular food theme, or who just wants to enjoy an educational and fun evening tasting delicious food in an intimate setting.
At the end, you will be given a folder which details recipes of the various courses which you have tasted, which will hopefully encourage you to cook more! For more, definitely check out www.dirtyapron.com.