Or maybe you’ve heard of quinoa, but aren’t sure what to do with it.
Worry not. Chef John Wilson is back with a new set of cooking classes and these and other culinary conundrums will be answered as students work alongside him in the kitchen of Roswell’s antebellum Barrington Hall.
A certified chef and graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Wilson’s enthusiasm for his topics makes the food preparation entertaining as well as informative.
He is the owner of Culinary Vacations, Inc., and has appeared in Atlanta on local news shows including: Noonday Atlanta, Good Morning Atlanta, Good Day Atlanta and CNN Healthwatch.
When not in Europe, Wilson is the Culinary Director for Perimeter College in Atlanta.
The classes, held once a month on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., are based on classic European cuisine and cooking skills.
“I love teaching at Barrington Hall because it has a great kitchen in which to work and it is close to my home,” said Wilson, a Roswell resident. “We have been offering classes there twice a month for five years. This January starts our sixth year.”
A basic knowledge of the kitchen is best for taking the classes, according to the chef.
“But I teach at all skills levels within each class. Because we have a wide range of individuals whose knowledge in the kitchen varies in each class, everyone learns something in class, some more then others.”
Up first on Jan. 22 is a low fat, low calorie menu that begins with sweet potato and carrot soup and continues with broiled salmon and wilted spinach, both with ginger lime sauce, and ends with cocoa fudge cookies.
Country French cooking is on tap for Feb. 6 with a three cheese spread with tomatoes and olive oil, coq au vin with buttered noodles and spicy zucchini bake. Ending the meal is a pear clafouti, which essentially is a baked dessert of fresh fruit in a pudding-like batter.
On Feb. 19, the California Cooking class includes stuffed and baked poblano peppers and roasted Gilroy garlic mashed potatoes.
Growing and Cooking with Fresh Herbs on March 5 is likely to be a series highlight. It’s proven very popular every time it’s been offered, Wilson said. “We cook using herbs fresh from the garden.”
In addition to herb-stuffed baked tomatoes and Asian noodles with seasoned chicken breast, Wilson will show students how to combine parsley, mint and quinoa, which is a grain-like seed with a nutty, mild flavor.
Irish stew is a main course for the St. Patty’s Day Dinner Party class on March 12, and leg of lamb with fresh mint sauce and a polenta and sausage casserole star in the March 19 Easter Brunch edition.
On April 9, it’s Spring in Italy, with pork loin stuffed with rosemary, thyme and garlic and pasta with broccoli rave, spicy oil and Parmesan cheese.
Finishing the series is another popular class, Couples Grilling, on April 23. Two items on this menu are mojito-marinated grilled chicken breast and grilled corn salad with black beans and jicama.
All classes are hands on and at $50 per person, include the meal students cooked and a complimentary glass of wine.
Reservations are required and space is limited.
For information or reservations, call (770) 640-3855.