Strangely enough, I've lived in NYC for 13 years now and grew up only in Westchester fer gosh sakes, yet I never went to Macy's until recently to find a gift for a friend that I saw in InStyle magazine. But tonight I went again, and this time, not to shop, but to learn how to cook Asian cuisine, or at least to eat some. Akhtar Nawab, chef and owner of Elettaria, was the guest chef this evening at the De Gustibus Cooking School located on the 8th Floor at Macy's, right between coats and bathing suits.
I've never taken a class like this before. It was a new thing for me. It was enjoyable and I met a bunch of nice people who also took the class. If you are able to attend such a thing, it's a unique experience because you get to ask the chef how to prepare things, those steps that everyone watching cooking shows never gets to ask the person doing it with such ease. For them, it's such routine but for us laypeople, it's totally foreign at times. I got to ask the very complicated question of what the difference between a pressure cooker and a slow cooker was. I know, I know. You already know the answer. But I didn't know, really! Since you're judging me, Google it yourself suckas!
One of the most enjoyable parts was the host. She was a spitfire and delightful to listen to as she shooshed folks that were chatting and asked great questions at the perfect times. In defense of the chatty cats, there was quite a bit of alcohol served, so I can understand. But she was a hoot and a half. I liked the vibe in the room.
My favorite part was dessert, as always. The pineapple upside down cake, created by Elizabeth (what a lovely name), was delish. I ate it in about 2 seconds I think. So good. It was perfect. The dishes prior to dessert were extraordinary. I am always hesitant with tartar ever since Larry Santiago took me to Café Un Deux Trois before we went to see the Buddy Holly Story on Broadway in high school. I ordered the Steak Tartare because the word "steak" was the only thing I could understand on the menu. Little did I know that they'd bring me raw meat in a lump on my plate. I pretended it was what I wanted but really, I wanted to ask the waiter to take it back, slap it on the grill and get me a nice juicy burger. But Akhtar's tartare was SUPERB! I loved each bite. And then the scallops were perfect as usual and the pork was so crispy and full of yummy fat. I heart fat. Patrick was all cute being all stealth walking in here and there. Well done to the entire team. It made me want to go out and get some spices of my own. Oh wait, I have some and never use them. That must be why I just go to Elettaria instead of trying to do it myself. Much better...