I confess I’m a Janos groupie. I love Janos – his cooking, his caring, his involvement in the greater community. Recently Janos fulfilled a dream of his by opening the Carriage House which is part restaurant chefs and bartending classes for the consumer like you and me, an event space for special occasions and fundraisers, and part locavore – embracing those Southwest ingredients that give Southern Arizona its own unique culinary twist (cholla buds, anyone?) and part of the reason Tucson received the World City of Gastronomy Award.
This past Saturday I joined 50 or more curious customers at Janos’ first cooking class at the Carriage House. Janos is a joy to watch because he’s so passionate about what he does and is humorous too. When you take a demonstration cooking class you can ask questions and eat the rewards. I may have met my new best friend who is an investigative reporter and has comic book hair like I do.
At the Feb. 27 event, Janos focused on indigenous ingredients like street vendor roasted corn, cholla bud/tepary bean/amaranth salad with local goat cheese and toasted pepitas, chorizo chilaquiles, and huitlacoche/corn/mushroom/chipotle/queso Oaxaca relleno with roasted corn vinaigrette and chiltepin salsa.
On Feb. 29, Circle of Food (Karyn Zoldan) attended a media event (lunch and learn) where Janos cooked and talked. Yes! The World City of Gastronomy Award is a really big deal for our culinary tourism. We ate the above cholla bud salad, chicken breast mousse which was a cross between mousse and an out of this world patty surrounded by two kinds of melt-in-your-mouth beans and Oaxacan bread pudding with mescal sauce and eggnog ice cream. I can almost cry remembering that flavors of this meal.
I urge you to check out the schedule of classes then sign up. Watch local chefs at work, learn time-saving cooking tips and then eat the rewards.
Starting March 6, a dim sum and then some brunch will be held at the Carriage House on Sundays. Patrons will sit at communal tables so if you don’t arrive with an entourage, be prepared to make some new friends.