Chef Michael Belanger – who is also our Cincinnati Dishcrawl Ambassador – is now the head Chef and teacher at Glendalia. He’s got a great attitude and a real knack for this gig. He’s a born talker and just goes with the flow – which helps in a “live” situation where things can be a little whackadoo!
Chef Michael also shared with us different wines that went well with the meal he was preparing. We also got a tutorial on dicing onions. He’s a wealth of knowledge and is really fun. We all got to take part.
One very unique characteristic of the Glendalia cooking studio is that 90% of the classes are hands on vs. demonstration. This class was a special demo during the Food & Wine festival – but can’t wait to go back for a hands-on class!
Chef Michael cooked up a seared salmon with a dill cream sauce and turned someone that doesn’t like salmon around! She said “Wow – that’s actually good!” It was so moist and cooked perfectly. He cooked it to a perfect medium rare – then a couple folks wanted it more done and he obliged but said they really should try it the right way. I couldn’t agree more.
I knew I liked salmon – but the zucchini pasta was the real surprise! I mean – zapping it for 90 seconds and it was tender and delicious. A tiny bit of butter and salt – blammo perfect side dish!
The Glendalia also has a small shop that features some of the cooking tools they use in the classes. I have to say – that Art & Cuisine cookware is AWESOME! I was seriously drooling and dropping hints to Larry about how much I needed some new pans.
And let me tell you about that Pecan Pie – it’s a mix they sell – you add a couple of ingredients and pop it in pie crust. Best. Pecan. Pie. Ever.
We tried lots of different kinds of beer & wine – sangria, local vineyard Bent Tree, some funked up chocolate stout (yuck!) and an awesome Zombie Killer Cherry Beer – these were just a few of the ones we tried.
Besides the drinking (which I did PLENTY of) – there were vendors and stores open. Neusole Glassworks was doing glass blowing demonstrations – it was so cool! I bought that pink heart for my desk and Larry did a special order Colts horseshoe for his basement.
Here’s the Neusole guys at work – it was so cool seeing the glass turn from a blog into something beautiful!
There was also a cider table – all ciders and I tried them all! Blueberry, raspberry, pear, apple – YUM! This was my favorite table. And I don’t really drink – like seriously – I drink maybe 1-2x a year and this was one of them! Five drink tickets later – I was feeling good!
I tried to get Larry to try other kinds of beer – and he did indulge me for a couple of tickets – but then – he caved and went to love – Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale – the fact that it was on draft – he can’t turn that down. It’s his favorite and I have to agree – on tap – it’s sweeter. If you like beer and you like bourbon – you gotta try this. I visited their brewery/distillery earlier this year and loved the tour!
Then I found out the lemonade stand was selling these GINORMOUS sweet potatoes. Holy wow. I seriously made a random stranger stop and let me take a picture of her food.
And if you like wine and dogs – stop at Piccolo – they have TWO dogs and LOTS of wine! Look at this boy! He and his brother just hang out at the store. I was in heaven!