Monday, February 21, 2011

Cooking At Four Seasons Boston

We headed up the grand staircase of the elegant Four Seasons Hotel in Boston last week with a group of fellow food bloggers and writers for a very special cooking class with Executive Chef Brooke Vosika. This was an absolutely thrilling look inside the kitchens and some of their famous dishes as the staff and kitchen treated us like royalty. The classes are held monthly and are open to the public. I highly recommend this hidden gem of an evening for any food lover looking to see what it's really like to be in the kitchen at one of the finest hotels anywhere. We'll be running several posts this week, along with exclusive videos, focusing on each of the dishes we prepared, along with the recipes and tips on technique and preparation.

The impressive,gracious spread of drinks and appetizers that awaited us upon arrival.

The class began with glasses of wine for everyone as Chef Vosika explained our menu for the evening and the ingredients we'd be using. The Four Seasons really pulled out all the stops for this event, making it one of the most organized, impressive cooking classes we have ever taken in the Boston area.

With our aprons donned, cameras and notebooks in hand, we entered into the kitchen with Chef Vosika.

The scallops were meticulously cleaned and all of the vegetables finely diced. The quality is always in the details.

A steady stream of appetizers and tastes such as these fried brussels sprouts served with a blue cheese sauce were provided to the class throughout the evening.

Bay scallops cook very quickly and, therefore, are the very last ingredient added. The chowder was perfect and so easy to make.

Chef Vosika offers some tips to save time and effort on this already fairly simple, but delicious, recipe.

The finished product is creamy and perfectly flavored. The gin used in the recipe burns off completely but leaves an unmistakable hint of juniper flavor.

The class enjoying their taste of the chowder.

Bay Scallop Chowder
by Executive Chef Brooke Vosika
Four Seasons Hotel Boston

1/2 lb. carrots diced fine
1/2 lb. celery diced fine
1 lb. onions diced fine
6 oz. butter
6 oz. flour
16 oz. half and half
8 oz. cream
18 oz. clam juice
3 cloves garlic chopped fine
4 oz. gin
2 lemons juiced
1 lb. Bay Scallops
Sea salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot melt butter over medium heat, add the carrots, celery and onions. Saute the vegetable until translucent.

Add the garlic and flour and stir, making a roux. Cook five minutes, stirring constantly, making sure not to color the flour.

Reduce heat to low. Whisk in the half and half and cream until no lumps are visible.

Simmer 20 minutes. Add clam juice, thyme, lemon juice and gin. Simmer another 20 minutes.

Add Bay Scallops and season with sea salt and pepper.

Yield: 8 portions.