I had the extreme pleasure last week of attending a cooking class at the Boston Four Seasons Hotel with a small group of fellow food bloggers.
The event was described as a cooking class, but it felt more like a birthday party. If you put a bunch of food-fanatic bloggers with six o’clock appetites in the kitchen of a fine hotel (then, just for good measure, give them wine and cheese) my friends, you will have yourself one happy bunch.
The evening’s menu consisted of Bay Scallop Chowder, Chicken and Truffle Dumplings, and Warm Chocolate Cake with Berries and Vanilla Ice Cream. As a vegetarian and mostly-baker, I was excited to have the opportunity to observe seafood and poultry preparation (and presentation!) in the literal hands of Executive Chef Brooke Vosika.
The Four Seasons provided us with refreshments and aprons, and Chef Vosika began by telling us about his background and entertaining us with tales about memorable moments in his culinary career. Chef Vosika has been with the Four Seasons since 1982 and is their most tenured chef. His experience, skill, enthusiasm, and personable approach makes him a wonderful teacher.
The aroma in the kitchen from the two main dishes was the very definition of “delicious home cooking done right”. We started with the Bay Scallop Chowder, which included a healthy dose of my favorite over-21 friend…gin!
The sprinkling of chives made for a lovely garnish. So did my tears at not being able to try it, because it smelled like heaven. Chef gave us some modifications for a meatless corn chowder version, so I am hoping to make a batch sometime over the next few weeks.
After the Bay Scallop Chowder it was onto the Chicken and Truffle Dumplings. Megan from Delicious Dishings volunteered to help break it down.
Behold the very essence of hearty home cooking in a bowl.
Not content to serve us merely what was on the menu, the Four Seasons staff kept our wine glasses and our bellies full with a selection of mini-tastes throughout the evening, including wine made by Chef Vosika himself!
Buffalo Brussel Sprouts with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
Seared Pork Belly served atop a Potato Pancake (not pictured)
Dry Aged Steak from their jaw-dropping in-house supply
In addition to these, we also snacked on crackers, assorted meats and cheeses…and beets!
I actually didn’t know there were yellow beets. I leaned over and whispered to Katie from The Small Boston Kitchen at one point “What are those yellow things?” All I could think was that they looked like enormous yellow cloves of garlic (this is a safe place to admit that faux pas, right?). She told me what they were sweet yellow beets and encouraged me to try one. I did. It was my first beet ever, and it was great. Sound the trumpets! Tell Dwight!
Then, in an act of hospitality and accommodation that proves the Four Seasons has more than earned its stellar reputation, a chef magically appeared by my side during the evening with a plate of Truffle Tortellini. This was completely unnecessary…but so very much appreciated and, of course, it was out-of-this-world delicious. What service!
Last but never least, Executive Pastry Chef Tim Fonesca showed us how to make individual warm chocolate cakes…the ones with the liquid chocolate centers…and we each got to try one with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and berries.
By this time I was already full, but I ate every bite…every berry. You just don’t walk away from a dessert like that.
In addition to Megan and Katie, it was also great to see familiar Boston food bloggers Fiona of A Boston Food Diary, Rachel of Fork It Over, Boston…and new faces like Michelle of Fun & Fearless in Beantown, Richard of The Passionate Foodie , Meghan of Travel, Wine, and Dine, Penny & Ed of BostonZest, and William of The Boston Foodie.
The Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons has a number of ongoing events and classes for all food lovers, whether you like being in the kitchen, at the table…or both.
Take a look!
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE. I am currently looking for a date to accompany me to the “Batter Up” Pancake Breakfast. Interested applicants have to be willing to ride on the T with me after I have eaten 6 pancakes when I should have stopped at 4 but couldn’t help myself. Doesn’t that sweeten the pot??
“Batter Up” Pancake Breakfast - Saturday, March 5 from 9:00 – 11:00 am
The Four Seasons Boston is kicking off National Pancake Week with all-you-can-eat pancakes! Our chefs will hit the griddle in the heart of the restaurant, whipping up favourites such as buttermilk pancakes and the famous lemon ricotta hotcakes, plus their newest creation, red velvet pancakes. Sample all sorts of combinations by adding whipped cream and fresh fruit … and then come back for more!
Just $20 per person, plus applicable taxes and gratuity, for unlimited pancakes!
Upcoming Cooking Classes
Perfect Pastas and Sauces – Tuesday, March 1, and Wednesday, May 11
A culinary journey through Italy starts with house-made ricotta and mushroom ravioli. Next, it’s mouth-watering orchietti with sweet peas, roasted peppers, basil and Parmesan, followed by classic fettuccine Alfredo. Chef Vosika may even divulge his secret bread recipe to accompany the meal.
Sushi and Sake for Couples – Wednesday, April 6
For those who like to entertain or have an adventurous streak, this is the perfect class. Learn the secrets to making delicious homemade rolls – and master just-right sushi rice and surprisingly simple ingredient-slicing techniques. And of course, sip sake along the way.
Summer Barbecue – Thursday, June 16
Well in time for the 4th of July, learn to grill like a pro. Our sizzling grill will have your mouth watering as you prepare savoury marinades and rubs for meats, as well as the perfect side dishes.
Classes are $140.00 per person, per class, including light fare and beverages, applicable taxes and gratuity.
Burgers and Burgundy – Wednesdays
Choose from four variations of our famous Bristol burger – original, montrachet, croque madame, and grand cru – paired with tastings of two Burgundian-style wines selected by our wine director. Offered on Wednesday evenings during dinner.
$35.00 per person, plus applicable taxes and gratuity.
Weekend Afternoon Tea - Saturdays and Sundays from 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
A Boston tradition served up every weekend! Enjoy your choice of Four Seasons tea or royal tea, served with a glass of kir royale.
Viennese Dessert Buffet – Saturdays from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight
A late-night dessert buffet (those two words alone are enough to convince you, right?) featuring cakes, cookies, bread pudding, crêpes and other sweet treats.
Are you hungry yet?
Thank you so much to the Four Seasons Boston and Chefs Vosika and Fonesca for a wonderful and delicious evening!