Staff outing

October 26, 2011 at 12:03 AM Leave a comment

I just had a fantastic day with the staff from City Centre today. We went downtown Toronto to learn how to cook at the St. Lawrence Market cooking school.

Our adventure began when we all met at the GO station in Meadowvale. We jumped on a GO bus and headed to Union Station. There were 11 of us in all. What a great team. So much fun and we all got along and enjoyed each others’ company. I have never been on such a great staff where everyone truly cared about each other, looked out for each there and sincerely loved each other. I am so very thankful!

We arrived a bit early so we sat down for a coffee before our class started at 11am. And of course, I didn’t have coffee, I had a delicious white hot chocolate. After we finished our drinks and hanging out we head back to the St. Lawrence Market for our cooking class.

When we arrived we met both of our instructors: Gabriele (head chef) and Alison (another chef). They were both so patient with us and very knowledgeable. We first went for a tour of the Market and Gabriele showed each of the places in the Market where she purchased our ingredients for our lunch. I almost forgot, what we cooked that morning was going to be our lunch. And if you know anything about me, you know I don’t know how to cook so I was very worried I would be eating KD!

After the tour we came back to the kitchen above the Market and we were split into two groups. Half of us made the dessert and the other half made the salad. After we completed those tasks we were split up again to make the filet mignon and risotto.

Pear, banana and chocolate crumble: I got to help make the dessert. I cut up bananas and pears and chopped up the chocolate. I learned how to use a knife to cut items effectively. Then we cooked the fruit with the chocolate in a pan with a cinnamon spice. It smelt amazing. Then of course we dumped it into a class container with brown sugar and roasted oats the chopped up chocolate. Then we put it into the oven for 30 minutes.

Roasted beet, arugula and blue cheese salad: the other team worked on the salad. I can’t comment on how it was prepared because I wasn’t in this group, but I can say it was delicious.

Coffee-rubbed filet mignon with grilled peppers: after we were done the dessert we moved onto the main course. My group got to prepare the filet mignon and the peppers. While Max and Aaron worked on the coffee-rub Donnette, Deric and I peeled away the skin from the peppers and got rid of all the inside “stuff.” It was an interesting task but we got it done. Then we put the rub on the filet mignon and put it on the grill. Oh ya, even though I didn’t make a fuss about the rub having coffee in it, one of my co-workers spoke up on my behalf and asked if I could have another topping on my steak. So the chef’s put some special salt, seasoning and paprika on my steak. I thought it was cool that my co-worker was looking out for me. I wasn’t going to say anything and just grin and bear it. I learned that while growing up…always finish everything on your plate! haha.

Mushroom risotto: even though I wasn’t on the team that made the risotto, I took note of what they were doing. They stared with rice in a pan, stirred in parmesan cheese and butter, then added the mushrooms. We used lobster mushrooms. I never heard of them before. They smelled and had the same colouring of a lobster. There was a lot of stirring, they added some more ingredients until the rice was cooked and the broth was added. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the risotto was, considering I can’t stand the taste of sea food.

Once everything was all cooked or prepared we all sat down to a delicious meal. Everything was so good and filling. I especially enjoyed the filet mignon and the dessert. Soooo good!

After we had finished our meal we thanked the two ladies who helped us all morning, took some pictures (see below) and head downstairs for an hour or so of hunting for bargains in the booths at the St. Lawrence Market. Of course I bought some goodies for my family. For the kids I got Halloween cookies (jack-o-laterns and ghosts) and for De-Ann I got chocolate covered strawberries. Both items the vendor gave me a deal.

After a while we headed back to Union Station to take another GO bus back to Meadowvale and then on to home. What an amazing day and I learned a lot. Thanks especially to Aaron for such a great idea. Hopefully in the future we can do more fun staff outing just like this.

Check out the pictures below of the fun we had and the finished products, the last picture is of the two lady chefs that instructed us all morning (left: Gabriele, right: Alison).

Entry filed under: City Centre, Friends. Tags: , , , , , .

Strabismus Crazy week

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