My First Ever Cooking Demo

IMG_9065I’ve always loved cooking shows. My parents were not huge fans of television, but they always considered cooking shows educational. And, since they reaped some benefits (I cooked for them when I lived at home), how could they possibly say no?

I’ve never been to a cooking demo before, and I’m really not sure why. I guess I didn’t realize how accessible they are. Did you know Williams-Sonoma hosts free technique classes on a regular basis? Williams-Sonoma Lancaster (at Park City Mall) has recently teamed up with Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative. Robin Moser-Graber, a certified herbalist and the woman who stands behind the Lancaster Farm Fresh stand at Central Market, hosted a cooking demo at Williams-Sonoma for guests, and any shoppers who wanted to join in.

Not only did she pull from a basket of fresh, organic ingredients (like heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant) but she also infused the dishes with organic herbs. She made a lavender lemonade which was tart, sweet, and floral. Did you know lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory?

IMG_9071Then she used the Paderno spiralizer to make a fresh zucchini salad, with carrots, zucchini, onion, a variety of heirloom tomatoes, and tangerine lace. Tangerine lace is amazing! It is an herb which resembles parsley. The flavor begins as a burst of tangerine and rolls into several flavors, ending in mint heat. You can use it in sweet and savory dishes. Shoppers at Central Market are addicted to it! Robin made a simple vinaigrette for the salad.

IMG_9072Robin then demonstrated how to make zucchini and eggplant ribbons using a mandoline slicer. After making a simple béchamel sauce (a cheesy white sauce which begins with a roux), she layered the zucchini and eggplant ribbons with ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and the béchamel, creating a vegetable lasagna.

Lastly, Robin let us smell a bouquet of fresh, organic chamomile. She dries and grinds up the chamomile into a powder to use in baking. For the cooking demo, she made crispy, sugary chamomile cookies. Absolutely delicious!

My experience at the cooking demo was extremely fun. It was educational and I enjoyed seeing a “live cooking show.” I would definitely recommend checking out what other cooking classes and free technique classes the store has to offer!