For anyone visiting Park City, The Next Course is an excellent opportunity to learn gourmet recipes and taste exceptional pairings of food and wine. Grab a friend, or make new ones, in a class that will get your taste buds working overtime!
Where – Mountain Town Olive Oil
What – The Next Course is a “tasting and pairing” class offered by Mountain Town Olive Oil. It’s important to know that participants do not cook during this class, but instead watch how each dish is made and taste each one with an optional wine pairing.
When – Thursdays at 1 PM
Who – Up to 16 people *Participants must RSVP 48 hours in advance.
As I entered the storefront of Mountain Town Olive Oil on Historic Main Street, I was quickly greeted by the friendly staff. After checking in, I was escorted to the tasting room in the back of the store. Instantly I noticed a pleasant aroma of herbs and spices from the food prepared for the class. Also, I really enjoyed how the classroom was set up, it had charming decor, was well lit, and had comfortable seating.
There were four other participants in my class, so we each were able to sit in the front row. At this point, I start to get excited because I honestly came with the intent of learning how to cook something delicious, and after sitting down, I quickly realized i would be able to see every detail. Additionally, at each seat, there was a print out of the menu with recipes for each dish that we were going to taste.
There were two hosts for the class, Jessica, the owner of Mountain Town Olive Oil, and Deanna, a private chef with who owns Deelicious Park City. After a friendly introduction, the class began with Deanna making the first of four dishes. The class operated like a well-planned cooking show, Deanna gave great instruction while preparing each dish, and Jessica poured the wine and served the plates. When it came time to put something in the oven, just like a show, a pre-made dish was ready for us to taste, which allowed for a nice pace and flow to the class. Also, after serving each dish, Jessica gave an excellent description of the wine and why it was selected as a pairing.
FOOD & WINE
Food - Sweat and Spicy Mixed Nuts
Wine Pairing - Bodegas Yuste “Aurora” Amontillado Sherry
Food - Chimichurri Steak Kabob with Sweet Potato
Wine Pairing - Chakana Maipe Malbec
Food - Wild Mushroom Puff Pastry
Wine Pairing - Primarius Pinot Noir 2015
Food - Pear & Camembert Crostini
Wine Pairing - Chateau Tour D'Auron 2015 Bordeaux Superieur
Deanna was an excellent instructor, well-spoken, informative and had some serious knife skills. In addition to instructing, she shared personal tips and techniques on how to cook each dish. For example, our plates were “Seasonal Appetizers & Small Bites” and intended for dinner parties. I doubt I’ll attempt to make all four of these dishes for the same event (due to my ability in the kitchen), but it was nice that she shared advice on how to do so. Pointing out what could be prepped a day before and which did not need to be served right away.
HIGHLIGHTS (in addition to the food)
It’s always memorable when you have a fantastic pairing of food and wine. The first pairing kick-started this experience, Bodegas Yuste “Aurora” Amontillado Sherry and the Sweet and Spicy Nuts was a brilliant pairing and completely unexpected. From then on, each pairing after continued to impress.
In addition to the fantastic aroma of the room, throughout the class, we were able to individually smell the fresh ingredients, including many varieties of olive oil. This may not seem important to some, but for me, it was very enjoyable to take a moment to appreciate the main ingredients.
Not only did the pace of the class flow well, but it quickly became conversational, and it was easy to ask questions. Both Jessica and Deanna were very helpful and incredibly knowledgeable.
The Olive Oil
In addition to smelling and tasting excellent olive oil, this experience also showed me how much of a difference a quality fused/infused olive oil can add to a dish. My two personal favorites were Chipotle and Herbs de Provence.