Making tapas with friends at ArtEpicure
So it was a special treat to have a private class at ArtEpicure in Somerville, where Mark DesLauriers has a fab and funky kitchen that he opens up to for people who want to make food and be social.
Sink with cat head!
Mark offers a variety of classes, from classic French to knife skills to working with octopus. We decided on the tapas workshop, so after a short introduction and a chance to open some wine, Mark set us to work.
Prepping watermelon and citrus:
Displaying newly learned knife skeelz on the parsley:
Peeling asparagus for roasting:
The pace was easy and the work was fun. Mark was a great host, giving instruction where needed and keeping things moving without pressure. He was a quiet force in the background, keeping track of the steps needed for each dish and assigning tasks accordingly, so that the meal started to come together almost imperceptibly: First there was eggplant, sliced and salted, and then there were tomatoes, roasted, out of the oven, and suddenly there was a soft, scented eggplant ragout.
The parsley starred in a light cucumber salad with sherry vinaigrette dressing:
The fruit became a refreshing and delicious watermelon gazpacho (with baked prosciutto garnish):
The meatballs were paired with huge broad beans spiced with ras el-hanout:
There was also a fabulous traditional paella, for which I chopped the chorizo but missed the construction of the rest:
Once the food was ready, we gathered around the table to talk and eat (of course) until late in the evening.
As well as private group events, Mark holds open cooking classes (but they fill up quickly, so plan ahead). You should go.
Meanwhile, Mark gave us the recipes for everything we made. I expect the gazpacho to be a mainstay this summer.