Sur La Table cooking class review
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This year after sitting through countless hours of Bake Off, Top Chef, and Guy’s Grocery Games with me- my parents decided to gift me with a set of Sur La Table cooking classes to further my culinary pursuits. 

I fancy myself as a home cook and aspiring foodie, and have been learning from YouTube slowly but surely. I’ve expanded my culinary horizons recently and have tried things like chicken liver pate (which was actually really tasty). I’m always up for a challenge when it comes to new recipes, but there are certain things that scare me. Namely, steak, and patisserie. 

The first Sur La Table class I signed up for was “Steak: the French Way”.This specific class is $89, and the menu consists of: 

  • Pan Seared Steak with Shallot and Herb Compound Butter
  • Summer Ratatouille 
  • Caramelized Onion Tart
  • Cream Puffs with Chantilly Cream and Chocolate Glaze

As I’m drafting this before the class, I can say with confidence that I’m excited but nervous. Students are put into groups for the class, and it’s my hope I end up in a good one. Everything on the menu sounds delicious, even if I’m a bit trepidatious about making choux pastry (I’ve watched enough Bake-Off to know it’s trickier than it seems). 

The Class, The Menu

Well, in a wonderful turn of events, the table that needed a person happened to be made of a friend I knew from preschool and her family. I felt so much better once I saw them! We were “Team Perfection” because every single thing we did turned out perfect– the chef’s words, not ours! 

We started out making the choux dough so it had time to rest. It was very strange taking butter, eggs, flour and water and turning it into something that looked like mashed potatoes but was actually quite difficult to stir after a while. The chef let us know you have to scrape the dough from the sides to make sure everything is incorporated and to only add one egg at a time to your mixture–you want each egg to be fully incorporated before adding the next one! Chef also had us bring the pan on and off the fire to stir, as you don’t want the dough to be too wet.

choux pastry
Choux pastry dough

Moving forward we got to practice some knife skills by chopping veggies for the ratatouille. Granted, it wasn’t the layered one you’re used to seeing–same veggies, just diced instead. 

Fun tip from the chef: when you’re chopping parsley, grab the stems and rip them off with one hand, and with the other hand roll the parsley into a little ball, and chop the ball! Makes the process much quicker. The chef also said to store your fresh herbs in your fridge, wrapped in a damp paper towel. Then the herbs will stay fresh as long as the towel is damp! 

Caramelized onion tart

The caramelized onion tart may have been my favorite. It was like eating the greatest slice of pizza I’ve ever had. Pizza dough, olive oil, some dried herbs, caramelized onions, then bits of goat cheese, kalamata olives, and cheese that melted like mozzarella but was decidedly not mozzarella. I’m aware caramelizing onions takes time and patience, but it’s something I’m willing to attempt on my own, knowing how good it tastes in the end! 

Steak with herb compound butter

I may have been the most excited about the steaks. Steak has always intimidated me, so I was eager to learn how to tackle it the right way. We had a New York strip, cooked mid-rare. Chef tip: rest your meat on a pastry rack rather than in the juices! We don’t want it to rest in the juices (why I’m not sure, but that’s what the chef told us). We seared the steaks in our tabletop pan and then finished them in the oven. Another chef tip: we were told good steak should only need to be sprinkled with salt once it’s been sliced. I have to say at least in this case, the chef was very right! A little salt, and then our compound butter for a little extra oomph. The compound butter was a softened stick of unsalted butter, tarragon, parsley, chives, and shallots I believe! 

Creme puffs

Finally, dessert time. Our class ran long (it started at 7:00 and we got out of there at 10:00) so the chefs filled and put the chocolate on the creme puffs. They were heavenly, but VERY messy to eat with your hands. I’d definitely opt for a fork and knife next time! The class sang happy birthday for me as I ate the last one, which is something I won’t forget anytime soon. Please note, it was not my birthday, but the class was a birthday present from my parents–my birthday was at the end of March!

Sur La Table Cooking Class Review 

These Sur La Table classes are pricey (this one was $89) but in my mind was definitely worth it. You’re paying for an amazing meal as well as the skills to make it on your own at home. I highly recommend this specific class, because it gives you essentially an appetizer (the onion tart) a side dish (the ratatouille) entree (steak and compound butter), and a dessert (creme puffs). 

The chefs were engaging and downright enjoyable, we never would have known it was the chef’s second time teaching there! There was also a lovely chef from Brooklyn who said she’ll be appearing on the next season of Next Level Chef, so make sure you root for her, the flavor queen!! 

If you’re on a budget and want a cooking class that’s somewhat similar, my Florida friends can look into Publix Aprons classes. At certain locations they’ll run cooking classes or demonstrations, but for around $60. 

For more content like this, you can go ahead and click here! If you’d like to see what I’m eating or cooking each week you can follow me on Instagram or TikTok, and for all things aesthetically pleasing you can follow me on Pinterest

By Hannah

Lover of all things geeky.

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