If you ask any Maui foodie for a dining recommendation on the West side, one of the first names to roll off their well-versed tongue will be David Paul’s Island Grill. So, you can imagine how excited I was to be invited, as a guest, to attend cooking class with Chef David Paul.
Well, to be honest, I was beyond excited until the morning of the class and then reality hit and I got nervous. Although I love and appreciate fine food and drink, I’m a bit kitchen challenged. I do have a fully stocked kitchen – Kitchen Aid mixer, food processor and good knives. The problem? I hardly use any of it. My active and very vivid imagination started to work overtime, I pictured all of us standing behind a stainless table with our own workstations, Top Chef style, executing instructions given by the chef…I couldn’t have been more wrong…
Cooking class in the kitchen at David Paul’s was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Our class was comprised of a wide range of skill levels and we all had a great time. You could jump in and participate in the prep or hang back and watch, listen and take notes. It was up to you. The structure of the class is less focused on its students being able to recreate the recipes presented and more about learning concepts and techniques you could apply in your own kitchen and great quality ingredients to stock.
The theme of our class was Cooking with Passion. This theme was evident throughout, from the Valentine’s Day menu to the passion for food (and life) which emanated from our chef instructor with every word, taste and technique demonstration. David Paul has a way with words and you can feel the love that he puts into every dish. You know how some women wish they could have a hair stylist at their vanity every morning? I wish David Paul would pop over to my kitchen every day, make me soup and talk about Paris.
As a novice cook, the most valuable information I walked away with is to be less focused on measurements and more focused on quality ingredients and tasting components of your dish as you prepare and how to adjust as needed considering the five basic tastes (bitterness, saltiness, sourness, sweetness and umami). I also picked up numerous tips (in some cases, figured out what I’ve been doing wrong!) on ensuring whipped cream holds its airy texture, how to improvise, an alternative use for my beloved San Pellegrino, how to make vanilla bean sugar and debone a duck. I’m now inspired to incorporate hearts of palm into my humble kitchen and to make my own roasted beet soup.
Once we were done in the kitchen, we all sat down and enjoyed the delicious dishes we prepared during the class along with wine pairings. Great company, food and drink, what more could you ask for…
- Fresh mataki oysters with lemoncello mignonette
- Roasted beet soup with cream fraiche and baby chives
- Orange glazed boneless duck rollad salad with hearts of palm and blood orange vinaigrette
- Pomme frittes with truffle ketchup
- Dark chocolate mousse
A Day in the Kitchen with Chef David Paul is back by popular demand and will be held on the second and fourth Sunday of the month. Spaces are limited, so reserve your space early for yourself or that special foodie or cook in your life.
If you’d like to see a pic of the roasted beet soup, check out Wednesday’s post.