Chef Tony Mantuano and Cathy Mantuano at Terzo Piano
But the class itself was so good. Fantastic really. This month’s class was perfectly paired with the new Matisse exhibit and was focused around food and drink inspired by the regions where the artist spent time. There was even an Art Institute docent there who gave great insight into Matisse’s world- where he lived and traveled, and what inspired his painting. What a nice touch to incorporate the exhibit and artist into this cooking class – as probably 80-90% of the attending audience were museum members - whoever decided on the topic for the class hit the mark.
But I know you, dear readers, love to hear about the food. So I won’t drone on (anymore) about atmosphere or subject matter, but just know I give my highest praise!
If you read CGC (the blog acronym!) at all, you’ve probably gathered I love shellfish. (and if not, you can read about them here, or here, or here) So starting the class off with a Whispering Angel Rose wine, mussels, and then a pairing of Goose Island Matilda ale was already a homerun in my book. Attending with my mother, who is an art teacher and food lover extraordinaire, we were afraid we'd run out of mussels for our table of 6. As soon as the thought crossed our minds we were served a second round, which left the class very happy indeed.
Another cool thing about these classes which I’ve yet to find at another venue, is the entire time the class is enjoying their food and beverage, the chefs (Tony Mantuano, Meg Colleran) and beverage experts (Cathy Mantuano, Ryan Paykert) are expounding their words of wisdom. It’s really quite a comfortable, relaxed learning environment- a big part of the reason why these are so fun.
My favorite dish of the class was a braised chicken leg with Moroccan spices and Anise bread, served with veggies and crisped skin to perfection. During this portion of the class, samples of the spices used in the chicken recipe were passed around on a platter, and the challenge was on: Name as many of the spices by smelling and / or tasting them and write it all down for scoring. I believe I correctly identified all 8 spices, however I lost the 2nd part of the challenge which was to name 3 works of art that are in the Matisse exhibit currently. I looked to my art teacher mother for assistance, but neither of us had attended the exhibit (YET). Darn! Is this my 2nd or 3rd time not winning the Wine Bar Food cookbook?!
I love a great cooking class, and the classes at Terzo are the best I've been to. Terzo Piano cooking classes are a great way to spend an afternoon in the city, taking in the beautiful setting, location (next door to Millenium Park!), and of course, fantastic food and drink.
Happy Tasty Tuesday~