Sunday, May 12, 2019

Chef Nite

Chef Rashaad Shears was lured to Central Florida by Disney. They were looking for talented chefs for their themed restaurants. For a time, it was a dream job, but eventually things changed. Rashaad set out on his own, setting up Chef Nite in a warehouse (3477 Parkway Ctr Ct, Bldg 608 Orlando, Florida) which he converted into a kitchen and teaching space. Now, he works on his own introducing couples and groups to the pleasures of cooking, while also catering custom meals and offering personal chef experiences.

Pam is a fine chef herself, cooking each weekend by taste and experimentation. She arranged for us to take this cooking course together. Finding the workshop was an adventure in and of itself. It was at the end of row of warehouses. It reminded me of a scene in Good Fellas, where the wife of a mobster was encouraged to walk into a dark alley to get some free clothes. Inside burly men loomed in the dark. She got spooked and drove off. We weren't spooked, and when we got inside we found a warm inviting kitchen space. The converted warehouse space allows for individualized cooking stations and prep areas. All the food items, appliances, tools, equipment, and knives were provided. Outside the entry was a home-grown herb garden.

The longest lesson was on using a knife. We would be dicing all the vegetables for our creations. As he put it, boys know from adolescence how to firmly grip a long, firm handle. He demonstrated the rocking motion needed for quickly slicing the vegetables and demonstrated ways to avoid also slicing off a finger in the process. Safety was repeatedly stressed, with a sense of humor.

There were four couples taking the class. The next step was to mix a bowl of spices for our personal creation. Pam has a refined palette so she mixed our spices. There was no step-by-step process, each couple was free to blend to their own tastes. One couple was snuggling the whole time, which was mildly distracting, but also a little adorable.

This was a different kind of date that gave us a shared memory. We already worked well together in the kitchen, but this was also a way to mix and mingle with a larger group as we created. When our dishes were finished, we shared our dish with others and they tasted our creation. I might be biased, but I think that what Pam and I cooked that night was pretty spectacular.

Should you want a unique date night contact Rashaad Shears at Chef Nite.

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