Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Celebrity Kitchens

Back in the spring Tom's brother and girlfriend (now wife!) bought us gift certificates to a place called Celebrity Kitchens for our birthdays.

I had never heard of it before, but Celebrity Kitchens is basically like being on the set of a live cooking show. The chef prepares a meal, giving you tips along the way and then you get to eat. They also offer hands on classes where you actually get to prepare the meal with the chef. For someone like me, this ranks in my top 5 coolest things ever.

I looked on their calendar trying to find a hands on class on the weekend that I thought we both would enjoy. It turns out most of their hands on classes are during the week and I was worried we'd be too rushed after work to get there on time. I placed the gift certificate in the drawer and ended up forgetting about it for a while.

I was going through that drawer not too long ago and came across the certificate. I hopped on their website to see what meals they were offering. Magically they were offering an amazing sounding meal on a Saturday. I immediately made reservations.

So last Saturday Tom and I went there. I really wish I would have remembered my camera. Its a small room, about the size of your standard living room with an open kitchen and about 9 tables facing the kitchen. We had chef Scott Clarke. He's really entertaining, offers great tips and even cooks for the Philadelphia Eagles on a regular basis!

Our menu on Saturday consisted of:
Starter:
 Lobster Cakes with Champagne Butter Sauce
Salad Course:
 Autumn Salad with Roasted Pears and Walnuts
Main Course:
Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin stuffed with Wild Mushrooms
served with Asparagus with Roasted Shallot Pancetta Vinaigrette and Bleu Cheese Souffle
Dessert:
Individual Ricotta Cheesecakes with Chocolate Crumb Crust
The food was absolutely delicious! The lobster cake had crab meat and shrimp in it too and the sauce was lick-your-plate clean unbelievable. Tom doesn't even like salads but he managed to take a few bites of this one, mostly because of the roasted pears and caramel coated pecans. We also got to watch Chef Clarke make the vinaigrette for the salad by hand. I've never made my own salad dressing and it was definitely easier than I thought! Its impossible to mess up a filet but this was to die for. Chef Clarke used a whole tenderloin and pan seared it than roasted it in the oven for 3 hours at 200 degrees. I need to try this! There was a demi-glace on the beef which leaked onto the asparagus and get this...TOM ATE THEM! All 5 cute little asparagus stalks. I'm beyond impressed. Neither of us are big bleu cheese fans, but the souffle was great, the cheese flavor came through but wasn't overpowering at all. I've never had a cheesecake make with ricotta but I thought that was great as well. The ricotta really cuts down on the sweetness of the cream cheese and makes the cake fluffier instead of dense.

We were seated with a nice couple from PA who even asked for me for my blog site to check out my recipes! The best part about dinner...you get a packet of all of the recipes made that evening. I can't wait to try these out! 

I also can't wait to go back. It averages $50 per person which is slightly expensive, but considering you get 3 glasses of wine, it ends up pretty close to what you'd spend at a regular restaurant with drinks.

Disclaimer: Whatever wording you're supposed to put here that means I wasn't paid or asked to write this for Celebrity Kitchens and the comments above are solely my own.

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