I recently participated in a cooking class with a judge from the Food Network TV show, Chopped, and my experience was far from the stressful situations on the show. There was no competition at this event, just fun times and gorgeous San Francisco Bay views while cooking with Chef Marcus Samuelsson at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. During this interactive lesson, as part of the Spectrum® Evolve Beyond Olive tour, participants created a dish using Spectrum® oils and also tasted a dish demonstrated by the chef. This was such a golden opportunity for me to meet a renowned chef and learn some tips from him. It’s not everyday you get to cook with a chef with such prestige! It’s even better that I brought my brother, a restaurant owner, along too!
The morning started off with rain, but that didn’t stop us from making a trek out to the city. Luckily, the rain stopped just before we arrived. After walking through the Farmers Market, we found the Spectrum® tent right on the waterfront. It was totally set up like a cooking class, with the main station where the Chef goes (complete with the mirror too!), and then cooking stations set up with all of our tools and different varieties of Spectrum® oils.
The best part of the set up was the view of the Bay Bridge in the background. You can’t beat cooking at the Farmers Market with a view like that! Wait- yes, you CAN beat that, and that’s by cooking with Chef Marcus Samuelsson- with a view of the Bay Bridge!
Chef Marcus started off by working us through an avocado toast recipe, which was the perfect Saturday morning breakfast and something that’s totally California. We mashed avocadoes together with a mix of blistered tomatoes and poblano peppers, and then added Spectrum® Avocado Oil to the bowl. After a seasoning with salt and pepper, we spread the avocado mix on a piece of thick toasted bread. Then Chef Marcus started to cook the eggs, in which he scrambled in some Spectrum® Organic Olive Oil. This resulted in extra flavorful eggs, which makes sense as the olives in their oils are taste-tested and hand-selected.
Next Chef Marcus demonstrated how to make his version of fried chicken. He battered chicken with panko bread crumbs and fried in Spectrum® Organic Coconut Oil. As he cooked, he kept the audience engaged with conversation. My favorite part was when he asked where the best pho was in the Bay Area, and I immediately answered with the name of my brother’s restaurant. We joked around a little but the best part was hearing my brother talk to a renowned chef about his dishes from his own restaurant. I hope Chef Marcus gets a chance to try it out one day.
The chicken was cooked fast as coconut oil has a high smoke point. The chef went around and served everyone the chicken on a bed of succotash with ingredients made fresh from the Farmers Market. His fried chicken was crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. Definitely a picture-worthy plate!
I love how Chef Marcus used oil to enhance the flavors and textures of his food, instead of simply using it as an ingredient or a tool. We were all sent home with a huge bag full of oils from the Spectrum® line. After the cooking class, we wandered around the farmers market, which is one of the top in the country. I was so inspired by the beautiful produce, and it had both my brother and I imagining all that we could do with our Spectrum® oils. Thanks to Spectrum® and Chef Marcus Samuelsson for one of the most memorable cooking experiences in San Francisco!
Don’t forget to enter our sweepstakes – it’s simple and you might win a cookbook signed by Marcus, an exclusive cooking apron and three bottles of of Spectrum oil to continue your culinary adventures at home. To enter, simply upload a photo or video from the event featuring Spectrum product and/or event signage to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #EvoliveSweeptsakes by November 24th. See here for the official rules: http://bit.ly/2hibNc8