The Art of Charcuterie is a MUST for Food Lovers Who Want a Hands On Meat Preserving Adventure Taught By Top Patina Group Chefs. Cafe Pinot, Downtown LA.
Cafe Pinot is a Los Angeles classic. Located next to another classic, Downtown's Central Library, this contemporary California-French restaurant not only offers some of the best in fine dining experienced within a sanctuary-like dining room and patio in the center of downtown L.A., it also offers hands-on classes.
Returning this fall season is Cafe Pinot's popular "The Art of Charcuterie: Life Lessons in Preserving Your Meat." If you're a crazy about charcuterie like I am, then you're going to want to investigate these upcoming, delicious and insightful clinics on mortadella, German cheese sausage, and lamb-chetta. You can peruse the official schedule here at the link.
I had the privilege of participating in the duck prosciutto and rillette classes back in early February when former Cafe Pinot exec chef Joe Vasiloff lead the program.
Within a span of 2 hours, we started from raw ingredients, in this case, duck breasts and legs, and finished with product to take home for further curing.
Chef Vasiloff walked us through ingredients for seasoning, prepping the meats, blending the seasoning, and processing the meats.
We even got a tour of Cafe Pinot from its various kitchens to food storage facilities. The spaces are tight but a lot of good food comes out of it.
Seasoning of course is key to charcuterie. Making and applying the curing mixture are the most fun.
We learned a lot about the magic of curing and why curing salt is pink—it's a warning, a red, er, pink flag, so to speak.
The toughest part about The Art of Charcuterie class is not eating the ingredients like the duck confit. It just looks so luscious and tempting. It's like the duck leg is saying EAT ME, Eddie.
If you're a curious culinarian or a hardcore foodie who wants to know and do everything food-related, you need to experience The Art of Charcuterie.
I'm particularly excited about one of this season's chef-instructors, Viet Pham. I'm a fan of the Pham man. He took over for Kris Morningstar at Ray's & Stark Bar early this year and will be doing double duty at Cafe Pinot as a charcuterie master. Pham's sous chef Jake Eaton will also be teaching classes this season.
Preserving meats is an ancient practice. It's good to know that it's being used and taught more than ever, even in the 21st century.
Once class is wrapped, you get to take home your meat masterpieces.
Isn't mine lovely? I probably put a little too much oil on top.
Class dismissed! Now, time to drink and eat some previously prepared duck prosciutto and rillette. Cafe Pinot's general manager Steve Meyer poured generously. The wine was the reward for toiling in the kitchen. Making charcuterie is a tough business.
Olives, cornichon, mustards: snacking with charcuterie.
What's a meat platter without a cheese platter? Nothin'!!!
Thanks, chef Vasiloff. You taught well. My duck rillette was ridic!
700 W. Fifth St.
Downtown Los Angeles
The Art of Charcuterie at Cafe Pinot continues this fall:
Mortadella and Homemade Sriracha
Kaese Krainerwurst (German cheese sausage) and Make Your Own Mustard
Lamb-chetta and Quick Pickled Fennel
NOON-2PM + 45 Minute Reception/$85 pp