What an amazing night it was! I got the opportunity to participate in the food event called Food Lover’s Weekent at Tom Douglas’ Hot Stove Society on April 28th for the opening night as the Japanese cooking instructor featuring some Izakaya food.
In the demo sessions, I was next to Tom Douglas, and Thierry Rautureau(the chef in the hat)’s segments! Tom made a few Chinese dishes and Theirry demonstrated how to make Coq au Vin, but my heart was beating so fast that I couldn’t remember many details except that Thierry remained very cool when the pan caught a flame on the stove top. He was it was not unexpected and just needed to put it out. His professional demeanor kind of calmed me down, and I felt ready for my demos.
Now my turn – Chicken Karaage and Butcher’s Croquette in a paper bag. My cocktail partner is Nick Jarvis from Carlile Room. His presence gave me so much comfort and helped me grealy to maintain my composure, thanks Nick! But of course the big guy is standing in the audidenc with a microphone, as a facilitater, and he was always in my vision. Tom asked, “the audience is wondering how you could peel the skin of the super hot potatoes right out of the steamer with bear hands.” Well, I was screaming inside. I couldn’t find a towel but tried look calm! He asked more questions throughout my demos, but I got used to it and acutally appreciated him making the atmosphere more relaxed and intimate.
The second part was a hands-on session. There were 4 stations with different izkaya/street food themes – Takoyaki, Yakitori, Yaki Onigiri and Okonomiyaki. My station was Okonomiyaki. My friends know my relationship with Okonomiyaki. It’s not a good marriage. I don’t care for pancakes of any kind, okonomiyaki included. So I rarely make it at home. So this was a big assignment for me. I must say I am so glad I took the challenge. I have never eaten that many okonomiyaki pancakes in my life and am not so confident that I can teach making it again! Big thanks to my friend Yuta (the owner of Issian) for his consultation and hands-on training! And thank you my friend Yukari for bringing all the coold okonomiyaki gadgets from Japan!
Note: The okonomiyaki mentioned here is Kansai style (the cabbage mixed in the batter). To master Hiroshima style, I still have a long way to go but am optimistic now 🙂
Lastly, the Hot Stove Society crew was AMAZING. They were hard working and the critical part of the entire team. Outside the kitchen they went out and bought all the funky ingredients for my class that are usually not available in the kitchen. I couldn’t be more grateful for them being there to help me get through the evening.
Now I am ready for a couple of my classes coming up next month at Hot Stove Society!