Monday, June 4, 2012

Cooking Class with Asha Gomez

Asha Gomez Preparing Sweet Potato & Spinach Rice 

Scoutmob offered a deal a few months back for hands on cooking classes led by Chef Asha Gomez and featuring her signature Indian cuisine, a style influenced through her upbringing in the Kerala region of India. Wanting to learn more about crafting Indian dishes, I jumped on the deal! I had also just read rave reviews of Asha's Atlanta based restaurant Cardamom Hill, and how she was applauded for her use of in-season ingredients and a fresh take on traditional dishes.

Our class was Saturday morning at Cardamom Hill.....  We started in the Dining Room with a Chai Tea service and welcome from Asha. We then moved into the kitchen, where we watched Asha create the meal that we would be enjoying for lunch -- Kerala Vegetable Stew, Red Cabbage Thoran, Kerala Beef Curry, and Rice with Sweet Potato & Spinach. Asha not only discussed the steps to preparing each dish but also spoke of the importance of knowing the history of the ingredients.... particularly how the spice trade route played a role in the development of Kerala inspired cuisine.

Asha mentioned that there are 2 more Scoutmob/cooking class deals in the works....  One focused on Vegetarian cooking and one devoted to Lentils. She added upcoming news, that she is close to inking the deal on opening her own cooking school, a space that will accommodate a large & long table for students on one side and instructor on the other. Asha hopes that the interiors will feel less like a commercial kitchen and more like you are learning to prepare dishes in her home kitchen.

Asha beginning to prepare the Kerala Beef Curry with onions, garlic, and ginger. During each step, she invited students to come and look into the pots to see & smell what was happening.


Kerala Vegetable Stew -- with carrots, potato, and green beans


Kerala Beef Stew, Red Cabbage Thoran, and Rice with Sweet Potato & Spinach -- when all were ready, we served ourselves right out of the large pots and headed back into the Dining Room to savor and enjoy!


 My Dish....  Not ashamed to say we went back for seconds!



Asha's Collection of Spices
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