A new series of chef demonstrations at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity (TVCOG) presents the kitchen as a “makerspace.”
TROY—“There’s a lot of science that goes into cooking, baking and creating food,” said Rhonda Rosenheck, a volunteer at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity. “So our kitchen is yet another zone in this makerspace that will be vibrant and will draw people in to make things.”
This September, Rosenheck is launching “Tech Valley Taste Makers,” a series of kitchen demonstration classes aimed at offering a unique taste experience for local foodies hoping to improve their culinary expertise. A portion of the proceeds from the series will go toward equipping and funding a kitchen that can accommodate things like cheesemaking, pasta making, and fermentation. Four classes have been confirmed to date, but Rosenheck plans to have the series run monthly for two years.
The demos will be taught by master chefs and artisan food makers and will follow a cooking show format, with different items presented at different stages of preparation and culminating in a tasting of all the final products. Each expert will demonstrate techniques for making the various specialties at home, educate about culinary art and science, and offer beverage pairings—either alcoholic (for those 21 and over) and/or custom-roasted coffees and imported teas provided by Liquid Assets Coffee, Tea & Spice Co. of Averill Park.
TVCOG members volunteer to be responsible for different areas, such as the 3D printer area, the fiber arts section, or the welding shop. When Rosenheck took over responsibility for the center’s community kitchen, she said she thought of it as more of a “member happiness space.” But with three ovens, two hooded ranges, three sinks and plenty of counter space, she realized that it has the potential to become a full teaching kitchen.
“These demonstration classes are geared towards people who appreciate good food, are trying different things, and are into—or getting into—cooking at home as a way to ensure that what they’re eating is nutritious,” Rosenheck said of the series. “Cooking for, or co-cooking with people you care about is an activity of love.”
Tech Valley Taste Makers will debut on Thursday, Sept. 29, with “Bring The Gastro-Pub Home,” led by Chef Rachel Mabb of The Ruck, winner of the Signature Chef Invitational at the 2016 Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival. Mabb will demonstrate how to create three types of savory gastro-pub specialties at home and pair them with just the right beer to achieve the perfect balance of flavors. Her menu will highlight vegetables, seafood and protein.
“These items are elevated pub grub hors d’oeuvres that you can serve at a party with craft beer,” said Mabb, who will talk about flavor profiles as she prepares her dishes, all the ingredients of which will be locally sourced. “We will have a specific brand of beer for the tasting but you can pair a different brand of the same style of beer and get the same flavor profile.”
The cost for the September demo is $42. Upcoming months are as follows:
Fall Foliage Picnic Feast, Wednesday, October 19, with Lucas Karasavidis, owner of Honeybee Farms in Cobleskill and From Our Farm to Your Table in Troy
Sides to be Thankful For, Wednesday, November 16, with Chef Ric Orlando, owner of New World Bistro Bar, Albany and New World Home Cooking, Saugerties. Chef Orlando has won Food Network competitions and the People’s Choice Best Chef, Capital Region, 2016
Holiday Cookies: Tradition with a Twist, Wednesday, December 7, with Chef/Baker Leah Stein of Leah’s Cakery (Round Lake)
Classes are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and ticket costs vary by the class, ranging from $37.50 to $57. A discounted season pass is available for $170. Proceeds, after expenses, are shared equally between the teacher and TVCOG’s fund to fully equip its teaching/making kitchen.
Purchase online tickets only at: http://www.tvcog.net/tech-valley-taste-makers/