The joke at cooking class was that it would be worth it to sleep with your butcher to get as good a cut of beef as we were having this evening. Although it was a very exceptional cut, I would have to disagree and that was the only thing I would disagree with for the evening.

Cook’s Pots & Tabletops served up another outstanding cooking class this evening, “Seasonal Italian Cooking ala Nostrana!”, taught by Chef Cathy Whims and it really was a sensational class and evening. The instruction was great, the food was absolutely beautiful in flavor and presentation and I’m not really sure if I believe it, but it was said that meat this good could be a good reason to sleep with your butcher. The evening was enjoyable, Chef Cathy Whims made the evening light and pleasant, the instruction was first rate and the food exceeded everything else.

Yes, this is the cut of meat that puts the smile on the butchers face!

The dinner menu for the class.

I always enjoy watching the hands of someone who works with their hands. It’s amazing the amount of knowledge and skill that is silently expressed by the hands of talent.

The radicchio and smoked fish salad served with polenta crustini was an enjoyable start to the evening.

The gnocchi production was in full swing and Cathy Whims was in full stride providing fun and informative instruction, along with a slightly ribald sense of humor. Her smile was the constant of the evening.

Bruce Aidell’s Rosa di Parma, a whole beef filet stuffed with prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh out of the oven and doing the mandatory 10 minute finishing.

The dish was so nice I had to show it twice!!

A dessert to die for (slight exaggeration of course!)

The L’Auberge Poached Lemon Cheesecake was an amazing treat!!

When the dessert was done it brought out the cameras and the food paparazzi went wild!

The “HERO SHOT” … A great picture to end the post. I am a new fan of Cathy Whims and I can’t wait to go to Portland to visit and enjoy the food at Nostrana.

As I have said any times, if you have not yet taken a cooking class at Cook’s Pots & Tabletops, I highly encourage you to do so. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed by the quality of the classes, the first rate facility and hospitality, and most of all to experience and learn something that you can take away with you and share with people you care about. Bon apetite!


Donald R. Dexter, Jr., DMD