Cooking Among The Stars, Part I

Stepping up my cooking game!

I’ve been looking forward to Friday for about a week. Yet, in typical Jenn style, I started the day behind schedule. As I left the house I realized I only had half a tank of gas. For a hybrid, that’s plenty for a roundtrip to Four Seasons Hualalai. 😉

Beautiful drive over. If you look closely, you’ll see a military helicopter.

As I headed across Saddle I realized I hadn’t eaten any breakfast. Not to worry, though, I was on my way to experience something once-in-a-lifetime. An interactive cooking class with Naomi Pomeroy! Naomi is owner of Portland restaurant Beast, a James Beard award winner, Top Chef Masters contestant, writer of a cookbook coming out next year, and a judge on the ultimate cooking battle show “Knife Fight”.  Which is how I came to “know” and admire her.  While she may not have a degree, she has a working woman’s Ph.D. in cookology. She’s bad ass!

No better setting for today’s class! It’s where “Chuck D” makes good things happen. I have yet to have a meal here!

Upon arrival at the resort, I made my way to ‘Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge, where class would be held. Greeted by Naomi, I reminisced about Wednesday night when I got to meet her in person for the first time. I could have gone home at that point, but my main goal was to cook side by side with her.

Team Hula’s station. We got to keep the aprons that were provided by the resort. Very cool!

The class was divided into five stations for up to four people each.  I was in a group of three women and we called ourselves “Team Hula”.  Class commenced and we discovered our project would be a recipe from Naomi’s upcoming cookbook, “Oui”. A Spinach and Gruyère Soufflé, eek! Luckily, one of my teammates was French and has been making these quite often.

Turns out, we have mad souffle making skills! 😀

Naomi got right to it, mentioning a couple of important points to remember about what we were about to embark on:  1) No matter what, it will taste good because she wrote the recipe. Lol and 2)  It’s a versatile dish. Everything she shared with us today was easy to remember and made a lot of sense. After some chopping, lots of whisking, and frequent tasting it was time to fill our ramekins and bake our soufflés. While we waited the fifteen minutes needed for everything to cook, we had an opportunity to take photos with Naomi and even got our aprons signed. Before you know it, we all caught a whiff of something magical and eagerly watched Naomi remove the trays from the oven.  Just before the end of class we were able to enjoy the fruits of our labor, and, she was right…they were delicious!

Team Hula with Naomi Pomeroy. Most admirable about her is she is self taught! So grateful for the opportunity afforded me. Mahalo plenty, Chuck!

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