1730 Mission Hill Rd
West Kelowna, BC Canada V4T 2E4
Have you ever wanted to learn to cook like a restaurant chef?
I know I have.
So much so that if I ever won the Powerball, enrolling at The Culinary Institute of America is one of the first things I would do. Right after I booked a trip to the Greek Islands. The funny thing is I don’t want to be a working chef. I just want to learn to cook like one.
Hence, the reason why I signed up for the ‘Tricks of the Trade’ culinary workshop at Mission Hill Family Estate, a 3.5-hour cooking demonstration led by Chefs Adam Vaughan and Patrick Gayler.
During the evening, the chefs shared so many secrets that I wore the point off my pencil. And don’t think it was all about adding copious amounts of butter and salt (although there is that). Professional chefs understand how to build layers of flavour to create great tasting food – and doing so doesn’t have to be complicated.
When you make mashed potatoes, for instance, add the potato peelings to a pan of cream or half-and-half. Bring it to a boil then remove it from the heat and let it stand for 20 minutes before straining and discarding the peels.
When added to the spuds, the warm infused cream will boost the potato flavour.
Another simple trick – give your pasta dough a pinch. Now pinch your earlobe. If they don’t feel the same, knead your dough a little longer, until the consistency is right. Want more? Okay. The next time you braise beef (or any other meat) let it rest in the braising liquid so it doesn’t dry out. Don’t make the mistake of removing it from the pan to rest on a board.
Cooking a strip loin? Season it heavily with salt and pepper before searing it in garlic and herb-infused butter. Then put it in a 275F oven until it reaches a temperature of 131F. Depending on the size, this could take up to 4 hours! Cooking beef low and slow like this results in meat so tender you can cut it with a butter knife.
And as Ina would say, “Now how easy is that?”
By the way, culinary secrets and Shiraz weren’t the only things spilled during the workshop. Mission Hill will be opening a new winery in Kelowna this Spring. The latest addition to the von Mandl Family’s collection of estate vineyards and upscale wineries will sit behind Cedar Creek, and produce only the Martin’s Lane Pinot Noir and Riesling.
Tricks of the Trade Culinary Workshop $99
Check prices for wine tours in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley.
Need a place to stay during your visit to Okanagan Valley? Give the Predator Ridge Resort a try! The resort offers guests a plethora of activities ranging from golf to kayak rentals to yoga. The Range Lounge & Grill specializes in scratch cooking, highlighting fresh, local and whole ingredients with gorgeous views of the grounds.
Laura Goyer, CCTP
Digital Content Creator
Laura is a world traveler and culinary travel professional on a mission to help busy prime-time women find the best local food when they travel.