When asked what kind of material we cover at Park City Culinary Institute, one of the instructors, Adam Kreisel, jokingly answered, ‘Sometimes we just cover ourselves in butter all day.’ Well, this week we really did. At the end of class Tuesday I was literally covered in butter- buttercream in my hair, fingernails, smeared across my chefs coat, and up my arm. We mastered the art of Swiss buttercream that day. We also learned all about making perfectly creamy sweet or savory custards and experimented with a variety of creme brûlées and quiche. We folded fluffy chocolate mousse and filled puffy pate a choux, and, it was all marvelous.
My favorite part of the week was getting a little artsy with our fruit tarts. Our instructor, Mary Cech, said a finished fruit tart should look like a well planted garden, with a variety of color, sizes and textures, sprouting up all over the well groomed tart surface. My tart ended up more like a French garden, a little wild and insubordinate, but lovely none the less.
We did get out of the kitchen one day this week and took in several great experiences while we did. We visited a local farm practicing biodynamic methods way above organic standards, tasted bean to bar, single origin, chocolate at Ritual Chocolate, and sipped wine made by a local winemaker at Cognition Winery, who brings in grapes from California. Oh, and we had a picnic to trump picnics- as it should be if your picnicking with culinary students.
Our week ended as we cracked a new confidence with shellfish. We musseled our way into oysters and made sauces to pair, bathed our fresh lobster in a beautiful poaching liquid, and steamed mussels in a aromatic broth reminiscent of Thailand. Needless to say, we ate like kings for lunch that day.
While Park City Culinary Institute is less traditional than most culinary schools (hence the covering ourselves in butter comment), we are definitely hitting all of the foundations while also demystifying many of the more meticulous culinary arts. And, we’re enjoying ourselves along the journey.
Another week gone and more and more knowledge gained. Here are some of the best tips from the week-
We also learned how to beautifully slice fruit,
And beautifully finished our cakes.
If you’re interested in taking on a culinary school journey like this one, now is the time to enroll! If you sign up for Park City Culinary Institute’s summer program now, you can earn a free dinner for two at French Laundry or another fabulous restaurant, plus two nights in a great hotel so you can enjoy it.