Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cooking Lesson at the Savory Spoon

Morning sun illuminates whitewashed cabinets and gleaming stainless steel appliances as our group of 15 people dons aprons and washes our hands, Dressed in chef whites and standing behind a butcher-block countertop, owner Janice Thomas, describes prep instructions for the morning as we arrange the dining room.

"We're a hands-on cooking school," says Thomas, a Wisconsin native who also lived in Tucson. "And August is a big food month for local foods." Open from June through October and housed in a renovated schoolhouse, Savory Spoon Cooking School, in Door County, Wis., has offered cooking classes since 2003, often with a focus on indigenous foods - including cherries, mouthwatering cheeses and whitefish.

Today, each of five small groups prepares a dish together, from Swiss Chard and Olive Tart (see photo), to Roasted Apple, Pecan, Cherry and Black River Blue Salad, Green Beans with Orange and Toasted Maple Pecans, Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Cherry Sauce and Fresh Blueberry Tart. An hour later we savor our handiwork, and wish for more of everything.

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