I’ve been to quite a few cooking classes in my relatively short life, but I have to say that my favorite classes have been at Southern Season in Mount Pleasant. Although the general formatting and price points of the classes don’t differ too much from Charleston Cooks!, the space couldn’t be more different. The seating area is much bigger, meaning you have more room to spread out. Walking in, you’re struck by how breathtaking the space is. Everything is clean and shiny, and the counters and drawers filled with every cooking tool, utensil, and accessory that you can think of. Basically, it’s a culinarian’s wet dream.
My favorite thing about Southern Season is that they offer a huge variety of classes that vary between demonstration and hands on, which isn’t available at, say, Coastal Cupboard. I tend to prefer the hands-on classes since I always learn better by doing. Despite the fact that I went to (one semester of) culinary school, I find that I always learn a new technique or way of doing things that makes cooking and prep work a lot easier.
The most recent class that I took was called “Sweet and Savory Strawberry Sensations” with personal chef Lisa Moore. The class started promptly, and we were quickly put to work, divided up between the different cooking stations. I opted to work on coring and slicing strawberries for the salad since this seemed like I would be less likely to make any “oopsies” there.
In total, we were preparing four dishes, although the salad had three separate components—strawberry and arugula salad with balsamic, avocado cream drizzle, served in a parmesan cheese cup—so I really think it should count as seven dishes. The parmesan cheese cups were really cool, and I’m tempted to make them for myself for snacktime, which is probably not a good idea since I’m trying to fit into a bridesmaid dress in a few months. The salad was delicious; it tasted like summertime. I’ll most likely be making this recipe at home a few times this summer, although I will also probably just sprinkle some shaved parmesan on the salad instead of making a cheese cup.
The main course was a grilled fish—wahoo in this case, but any mild white fish would do—topped with a spicy strawberry salsa. The fish grilled on a stovetop cook top, which I was really tempted to purchase until I was reminded that I have an actual grill. The salsa was a great complement to the mild fish, as it gave it a nice burst of freshness and a little kick. Since I rarely cook fish (it scares me, don’t judge), I was very interested in all the tips that chef Lisa Moore gave. When I finally get the courage up to make fish, I’ll definitely put these tips into practice.
The side dish was a cilantro rice pilau. It was super flavorful (although if you’re not a fan of cilantro, you probably wouldn’t have enjoyed 70 percent of the dishes we made) and had a great consistency—creamier than fried rice, but not nearly as creamy as a risotto.
For dessert, there was a strawberry sorbet made with a sweet red wine, topped with candied ginger. I had to physically remove myself from the ice-cream-maker aisle because that is too dangerous of a machine to have in my possession.
Looking over the calendar for the summer, I see a number of classes that I’d be really interested in taking. Southern Season has made that a lot easier for me by offering a “frequent cooks card,” which gives you $45 towards a cooking class for every 10 you take. Perfect for people who love to cook!