Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Savory Spoon Cooking School and Marketplace

Morning sun illuminated whitewashed cabinets and gleaming stainless steel appliances as our press group of 15 people donned aprons and washed our hands. Dressed in chef whites and standing behind a butcher-block countertop owner, Janice Thomas, a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, gave us prep instructions for the morning. We divided into five small groups that each prepared a dish together, from
Swiss Chard and Black Olive Tart 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 savored our feast.

The Savory Spoon Cooking School and Marketplace, in Ellison Bay, Door County, Wisconsin, has offered cooking classes since 2003, often with a focus on locally produced foods such as cherries, cheese, and whitefish. Housed in a circa 1879 schoolhouse renovated by Thomas' husband, The Savory Spoon offers cooking classes from June through October. State-of-the-art kitchens feature SubZero/Wolf cooking and refrigeration appliances, plus the finest culinary tools and small appliances. 

“We’re a hands-on cooking school,” Thomas said during my August 2008 visit. “And August is a big month for local foods.” Other classes range from India’s Melting Pot to Truffles Galore and Timpano Delight. The school also hosts private events. The Marketplace offers kitchenwares, cookbooks, artisanal cheeses and cured meats, fresh baguettes/pastries, treats from in-house chocolatier, The Sweet Spot, and specialty foods, from quiche to sticky buns.

When The Savory Spoon is closed, Thomas leads annual culinary trips to France, Italy, and China, with a new Mexican destination added for 2010.
Whether you want to hone your own cooking skills or explore the cuisine of other cultures, check out Door County's The Savory Spoon Cooking School and Marketplace.