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Monday, February 16, 2009

Peachy Recommends the Studio at South Gate Culinary Classes!!!

Executive Chef Kerry Heffernan, featured in a below article as a MOVER AND SHAKER by Whom You Know, and his team host a series of culinary classes at South Gate.

The Studio at South Gate offers a five week series of culinary classes, offering an inside look at the restaurant's unique epicurean elements. Most recently, Peachy Deegan attended the Cocoa Beans and coffee class which piqued her all of her senses and made her heart pound for Valentine's Day for both the chocolate and the coffee!

After Chef Heffernan's exciting introduction, Eric Case (seen in the third photo) of Valrhona began the session with a pod of cocoa beans displayed above that was taken off the tree in the Dominican Republic, South America two days prior. For every pod, there are 1,000 flowers. The tasting tray, top picture, was tasted from left to right and the audience learned the different components that each bean made, as well as the blends. Peachy noticed that this was not so different from the concept at a Scotch tasting with blended whiskeys... Case's presentation "From Planting to Production" ensured a high level of appreciation of the process of getting fine chocolate from nature to your mouth. Growing, fermenting, drying, sorting and selling all seem quite labor-intensive but oh so worth it to you when you sit at South Gate as the chocolate melts in your mouth during the tasting. Eric emphasized the importance of getting the science of chocolate right: science before art!

Next Johan Pesenti of La Colombe Coffee Roasters and Blenders introduced the guests to three types of medium roast coffee: Brazil Daterra Rainforest Alliance (South America), Ethiopian Harrar Longberry (East Africa) and Costa Rica Rainforest Alliance (Central America) which is pictured above. Peachy liked the Brazil Daterra the best as it had an amazing chocolate aftertaste.

Dessert made by Morgan Larsson (seen in fifth photo), executive pastry chef at the Jumeriah Essex House, was the finale of the event and also is the seventh and final photo above: Chocolate Pot De Creme!!! To describe it to Whom You Know's audience is painful if you cannot eat it, but at the risk of you starting to lick your computer screen, it was a fabulously high-end chocolate pudding with chocolate on top and cream to die for on top of that.

Whether you have a Valentine or you are your own Valentine, this experience was not one to miss and only adds to one's personal knowledge of the background behind fine dining at South Gate!

South Gate is located at 154 Central Park South

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