Last week I took advantage of a wonderful 30th birthday present that I hadn't used yet - a class of my choice at the Cook Street School of Fine Cooking. I've taken a few cooking classes before (including at Stir in Boston, which I'd highly recommend), but rather than learning how to merely follow a recipe and pick up a few techniques, I wanted to take a skills class... and knife skills seemed like something I'd use all the time.
We cooked a three course meal that included Spanish garlic soup, pan roasted striped bass with warm bacon vinaigrette and citrus-dressed micro greens and strawberry crostada with fresh whipped cream. Each course emphasized the use of a different knife and a new skill with the knife. We fileted a full fish (see the fish head shot below for evidence) and had plenty of opportunities to practice slicing and dicing foods in different sizes and thicknesses. One of the best aspects of the class was that we each had our own cutting board, set of knives and food items to work with - there was no partnering so I really felt like I was able to practice the new skills I learned and work through the use of each knife on my own. We also cooked our own fish and each helped with the soup and vinaigrette preparation.
If you are interested and live in Denver, the recreational class list is available here. I have my eye on a sushi-making class. You can purchase gift cards to Cook Street School and, speaking from experience, this is an awesome present! Thanks, Rick!