Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fall Harvest Cooking Class at Millennium

Photo from one o'clock: Sunchoke & Smoked Portobello Gallette; Yuba Roll with Chard Florentine, Tempeh Sausage, and Rice; Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower with Smoked Tofu, Miso, and Orange; Chipotle-Glazed Georgia Candy Roasting Squash with Greens and Pumpkin Seed Brittle; Rich Mushroom Reduction with Fresh Italian Beans.

This weekend I enjoyed the "In the Dirt" themed Fall Harvest Cooking Class at Millennium, San Francisco's finest Vegan Restaurant. Millenium and Executive Chef, Eric Tucker, were featured today in a NY Times Article on Expanding the Frontiers of the Vegetarian Plate. And I quote:

"Eric highly regarded for a polyglot style that marries ingredients and techniques from diverse cuisines with a sense of how best to celebrate Northern California's vegetable bounty....Such is Mr Tucker's skill that the food at Millennium attains a gustatory cohesion not suggested by the eclectic ingredients."

Polyglot? Well, it's, perhaps, more poetic to say, he's a translator of cultural approaches and interpretations of the best available local ingredients. And, when you attend one of his classes (this is my third), you realize, he's a kick-ass chef who wants to teach people how to work creatively with ingredients rather than to sheepishly follow a recipe.

And, if you haven't eaten at the restaurant, regardless of you meat-eating orientation, any food-loving person owes it to themselves to enjoy a meal here. I've taken hearty, meat-eating food bloggers here and they've been totally satisfied.

So the weekend starts off with a foraging visit to the San Francisco Ferry Building's Saturday Farmers Market.

Far West Funghi is always an interesting place to visit:

We picked up some Cauliflower Mushrooms...

Which ended up as a deep-fried, tempura-battered garnish in a delicious cauliflower bisque, with a rich shallot oil and a spicy chili oil garnish:

We used the unique tasting Matzutake mushrooms to create a delicious Matzutake Pho with Pumpkin Gnocchi, fresh mint and Thai basil, smoked tofu, paper-thin Matzutakes, bean sprouts, and lime wedges. The pho broth was created with a serious mushroom base, with shallots, ginger, lemongrass, spices, and oils:

Chef Tucker picked up a Georgia Candy Roasting Squash:

The squash was roasted and served with a rich sweet chipolte dressing and a delicious salad with bitter greens and pumpkin seed brittle:

Probably, my favorite thing today was the amazing cauliflower, charred over gutsy hot heat, with smoked tofu, miso and orange juice:

I love cauliflower, but I don't think I've ever loved it quite this much. I could easily have eaten the entire plate!

The Brussels got the same treatment:

And, these yuba (tofu-skin) rolls stuffed with chard florentine (made with cashew cream), tofu, and tempeh sausage, topped with smoked paprika were so out-of this-world:

And, we also made these awesome gallettes with a filling of pureed sunchoke, topped with rich portobello mushrooms:

The pastry crust was made with ground,toasted walnuts, flour and palm shortening and was rich and tender.

I can't tell you how lucky I feel to be a local able to enjoy these cooking classes. The class is totally hands-on, the instruction, clear and flexible, and, the level of comraderie is high. Attending the Farmers Market foragaing event is also a wonderful learning experience and a treat not to be missed.

Previously attended classes:

  • Millennium Tomatoes Class

  • Millennium Chile Class

    Blogger Jan Scholl said...

    Yuba rolls-must have recipe PLEASE!!!!

    10:12 PM  
    Blogger Christine said...

    I'm sending this post link to my vegan son and daughter-in-law who, although they live in LA, love eating at Millenium whenever they're in the Bay Area.

    10:58 AM  
    Blogger bazu said...

    Oh my gosh, mushroom heaven!! You have singlehandedly convinced me that I must take a Millenium cooking class when I'm in S.F... now I just wonder if they are offering anything the first week of January...

    9:08 AM  
    Blogger Sam said...

    now i am bummed i didn't join you - though i couldn't have anyway, but next year, next year....

    10:11 AM  
    Blogger Melody Polakow said...

    Wow!! I love these posts.. I am drooling over the food and even more, the experience. What an amazing time you must have had.

    10:57 AM  
    Blogger Rachel said...

    Oh, these look fabulous!

    Are you allowed to post recipes?

    Hi, by the way. I've been enjoying your blog a lot recently, especially the English food recipes.

    8:01 AM  
    Blogger Joe Mama said...

    You should be a food photographer. The pictures are as beautiful as the food is delicious(I bet).

    9:45 AM  
    Anonymous Tara said...

    Dear Catherine,
    Greetings from Asia!
    The pictures look amazing! Would you mind sharing the recipes for the following: 1) squash salad 2) charred cauliflower, 3) brussel sprouts and 4) yuba.
    Many thanks in advance!

    10:31 PM  

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