Monday, April 16, 2012

Making tapas with friends at ArtEpicure

We spent Saturday night cooking and eating with friends. It's not something we do very often. Eating, yes, but at-home entertaining happens less than we'd like, in part because our place isn't really set up for many hands in the kitchen.

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.

ArtEpicure class


ArtEpicure class


ArtEpicure class

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:

Mixing meatballs:


Chopping peppers:


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.

Eggplant ragout

The parsley starred in a light cucumber salad with sherry vinaigrette dressing:

Cucumber salad

The fruit became a refreshing and delicious watermelon gazpacho (with baked prosciutto garnish):

Watermelon gazpacho

The meatballs were paired with huge broad beans spiced with ras el-hanout:

Lamb meatballs, broad beans, cucumber salad

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.

ArtEpicure class

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.

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Blogger Maria said...

It looks like a really fun evening and I deeply love that kitchen!

12:58 PM  
Blogger sgoldman328 said...

This looks super fun! I'm about to graduate, but maybe this might be fun for my friends and I to try before we all leave Boston

9:42 AM  

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