Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Eating Los Angeles: South Bay School of Cooking

Delicious rewards from knife skill class

Eating Los Angeles

I went to L.A. recently. What a food city!

My friend and client Chef Annette Gallardo invited myself and another friend, Andrea, to the Knife Skills class at the South Bay School of Cooking in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

I have been to other recreational cooking schools but what I like about the South Bay School of Cooking is that everyone participates making the same recipe.

According to Chef Annette, people only need three knives — a paring knife, a long serrated knife, and a cleaver-like knife.  Another important cutting edge bit of need-to-know info is that knives need to be sharp. A dull knife makes you work harder and really, who needs that? With a dull knife, you have a greater chance of cutting yourself. If you go to her class, she lets you bring one knife which she sharpens free.

At this particular class there were 11 of us, mostly repeat students, some mothers and daughters, and one man with our knives (providing by the school) and a cutting board.

Being a visual person, I appreciated the opportunity to watch Chef Annette show us the shortcuts for slicing avocados (that damn big stone always gets in my way), make a pretty mango (again that damn big stone needs to be overcome), instantly juice a lime (I was always cutting the lime the wrong way), peel an orange that is free from pith like a professional, and more.

The class gained confidence as the evening went on.

Our delicious rewards along with our new talents were, of course, eating the food — roasted vegetable quesadillas,  a beautiful vegetable salad, and tropical fruit salad (see photo).

After helping Chef Annette and her assistant clean up, we headed over to Andrea’s Mediterranean garden (her backyard) and drank a bottle of DeLoach zinfandel under the stars along with Wally.  While it was 108 in Tucson, that night in Manhattan Beach it was a cool 68.

  1. Chef Annette is a wonderful teacher and has a great depth of knowledge. And she’s entertaining and fun as well! I love taking her classes.

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