Even though I’ve taken cooking classes around the world from Hong Kong to Bangkok, from Santa Fe to the South Pacific, on a bright Sunday morning, after driving through Picton, Ontario, Canada, only 2 to-2 1/2 hours from Montreal and the same from Toronto, I went to the cooking class at Waring House (Picton) where I had pre-enrolled in a three hour cooking class.
This grand property also has a hotel with 49 luxury rooms and suites a, conference centre, the well established Amelia’s restaurant and pub and a banquet hall.
Our class took place in the spotless stainless steel kitchen of banquet hall where the young 35 year old, Chef Kelly, gave the 6 pre enrolled students different recipes while he oversaw our hands-on preparation. Kelly was born in Picton but had spent the past 11 years in ‘kitchens’ out west where he learned to use local produce and in the Far East which gave him an opportunity to learn about fusion cooking and an insight into food and preparation of various cultures -his favourite being Japanese.
Since this was only his third class, he didn’t stray from his predecessors recipes but intends to plan his own in the near future. The theme was Nordic starting with Pea Soup with fresh mint picked by us in the hotel’s large herb garden. This was followed by a Cobb Salad with smoked apples, pan seared salmon and crumbled goat cheese then after preparation of the Scandinavian gravlax which needed a few days in the frig before eating, the fish was securely wrapped for us to take home. My contribution was Finnish Cardamom Tea Loaf topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
This was certainly one of the best and a wonderful way to spend a morning. And the highlight was eating our output on the long verandah overlooking the in full bloom, colourful floral gardens and the vegetable and herb garden where we had picked our beets, carrots, parsley, dill, mint and whatever the recipes called for.