Friday, November 8, 2013

Road Trip: Glendalia Boutique Hotel & Culinary Studio

Chef Michael Belanger and Owner Robin Thomas from the Glendalia Boutique Hotel and Cooking Studio recently invited a few bloggers to come in for their Low Country Cooking Class in Glendale, Oh. 

(L-R) Nathan Engels ( &, Andrea Broft (, Lacey Engels ( &, ME!, Adam Sandfoss (Guest contributor on
I love this photo of us all - it's great when we can get together in a group. I also have to recommend taking classes at the Studio with friends because it's just a blast! You get to mingle and hang out with each other (and drink - it's BYOB). How can you go wrong there?!

The Culinary Studio has a large semi-circle countertop that seats approx 12. Chef Belanger sets up the counters with stations and then you break up into groups for each station. Between all the stations - you make a whole big, beautiful, delicious meal!

Chef is also around to provide tips & tricks during the class. Rather than the demonstration classes I've been to before - this is completely 100% hands-on - which I loved 1000% more! Here he was giving Andi some tips on using a Chef's knife. (The Glendalia also has a couple of rooms where they sell cooks wares - affordably priced too!)

Once the evening was over - we had made a big dinner and a bunch of new friends. Even though I came with a group - the atmosphere is very conducive to meeting new people. We were chatting and laughing (and drinking) with everybody. I exchanged emails with a bunch of folks and found out that this lovely young lady works at another ad agency and knows my boss! #itsasmallworld

Our menu for the evening was:

  • Kale salad with pear
  • She Crab Soup
  • Shrimp & Grits
  • Frogmore Stew (Low Country Boil)
  • Huguenot Torte
Yeah - we were a happy group! 

Photo Courtesy of
For today - I'll share the She Crab soup recipe with you to entice you to sign up for classes with Chef Michael yourself! This soup was delicious! It was light and creamy with rich sweet crab meat. Pure heaven!

Photo Courtesy of The Glendalia
As the name says, they are also a Boutique Hotel with 6 rooms that range from $129-$169/night. The rooms are above the Culinary Studio and are beautifully decorated. The rooms are perfect for a girls night away or even a wedding party (there was one there on this night). 

Photo Courtesy of The Glendalia
Each room has either a kitchenette or full kitchen - which is great because you can whip up your own breakfast, lunch or dinner! There are also cute shops, restaurants and a wine shop about 20 steps from The Glendalia.

Photo Courtesy of The Glendalia
They also all have a living room space. I was so surprised at how spacious these rooms are for the price. I can imagine for a wedding party or the holidays - it's a great place to stay for someone that's in town for a few days because then it's like having your own furnished (and pretty) apartment. They also have a special with a room & two spots in a class for just $199! (That's a huge savings!)

So there you have it - this isn't a long road trip - but man is it a fun one! You can scroll through some of their classes here or if you'd like to host an event with your coworkers or friends (holiday party?!) - Chef Michael can whip up a custom menu for your event!

And speaking of Chef Michael - here is his recipe for our delightful She Crab Soup:

She Crab Soup


5 Tablespoons butter
5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 small onion, grated
1 stalk celery, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
2 quarts half & half
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 pound lump crabmeat
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1/2 cup sherry wine, warm


Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Stir in flour to make a smooth paste and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix in onion, celery and garlic; season with salt & pepper. Continue to cook and stir for about 4 minutes.

Gradually whisk in the half & half so that no lumps form. Stir in chicken broth and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and pour in half of the sherry. Season with dill, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until soup has reduced by 1/3. Add crabmeat and simmer for 10 minutes more.

Ladle soup into bowls and top off with a splash of the remaining sherry and a sprinkle of fresh chives.

Serves 8
Calories: You don't want to know
Fat: You REALLY don't want to know

And here's an inkling of how much fun we had:

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