american pie (SYTYCB Part 3)
O HAI PEOPLE!
I just came back from my 3rd course organised by PA. After going for an exercise class and a make-up class, this time, I opted to go for a cooking demo class! This time, it was Gourmet Cooking with Chef Yong at Serangoon CC which is in Ang Mo Kio.
As can be expected, it was a really popular class and the majority of participants were women, but I did spy two men as well.
However, I have to say that it was a really enjoyable class due to the friendly and patient Chef Eric Low aka Chef Yong, who answers every single question (and believe me, there were many!) and took time to impart handy tips while he prepared the dishes.
Because it was a cooking demo class, it was like attending a live taping of a cooking show, complete with pre-prepped ingredients! However, the cooking was mostly done live. The difference was that you could stop Chef Yong at any point to ask him a question.
At one point, he recounted his experience cooking for an Arab family, when someone asked him if Muslims could consume red wine vinegar, and even talked about the difference between an Shiite and Sunni Muslim! This man is really knowledgeable.
On the menu for the day was Pulled Pork Sandwich, Cobb Sandwich and lastly, Walnut Pie. What I found really nice was that Chef Low apologised for not being able to offer me halal food. But he was very considerate to have prepared a portion of salad for me without the bacon! I was very impressed with his tact in handling the situation.
According to the chef, Cobb Salad is often a healthier alternative to Chef’s Salad which he says is just a salad made with leftover ingredients. In comparison, Cobb Salad uses vinagrette as a dressing, instead of the yucky, yucky, yucky Thousand Island dressing (which I think should be made a crime to consume!).
The class seemed more like a friendly cooking session at a friend’s house, as participants could just walk around near the Chef, stop him to ask questions and take photos while the class was in session! There was a very casual atmosphere and the participants were really friendly, stopping to ask me what I was taking photos for, and whether I enjoyed the class.
I also liked that tasting the dishes was part of the experience! According to Chef Low, tasting is strongly encouraged for a better understanding of the cuisine. Let’s just say that I got a good dinner out of the class 🙂 Some of the participants also brought tupperware to “tabao” the food home.
Overall, I felt that the class was really helpful to teach you some new recipes as well as to clarify with the Chef any questions that you might have. The friendly atmosphere is evident and some of the participants seemed to be good friends with the Chef!
He also gave handy practical tips such as where to get the best ingredients. He even shared that bottled bolognese sauce bought in the supermarkets usually only contain 30% beef! The rest is apparently just vegetable gluten, and hence he recommends making your own sauce.
And learning isn’t confined to the classroom either. The Chef encourages participants to email him if they have any questions, though during the class one of the ladies asked him to post it on his Facebook Page, hehe.
According to his file, Chef Yong has over 20 years of experience and used to be an Executive Sous Chef on the world’s largest privately owned luxurious super yachts. He’s even cooked for private parties and events attended by Sir Elton John, Sharon Stone, Denzel Washington and Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, to name a few. Impressive eh? He’s even trained at the Culinary Institute of America or more awesomely known as CIA hehe!
To find out more about this course or other courses available at the CCs, do check out PA’s new portal, Ourcommunity.sg. The portal is super easy to use and you can search for courses based on categories or by CC.
This entry is made as part of the So You Think You Can Blog challenge organised by the People’s Association. 6 bloggers, including me, are in this challenge and stand to win an Apple iPad for blogging about our adventures at courses and events organised by PA. I would be SUPER GRATEFUL if you could support me by leaving a comment, which earns me one point per person.
Do also support my friend Sherms, who went for a super cool mahjong class last week! Who knew that the PA offered mahjong courses?