July 14, 2024


Than a Food Fitter

Great British Baking Secrets revealed! Plus other cooking techniques

3 min read

If lamination calls to mind something you’re not supposed to do with your COVID vaccination card, we have good news: It’s also an integral step in making croissants. You can learn how to do that or how to make Chinese food from a five-star chef or even how chocolate is sourced and processed, in culinary classes here.

Mark LoRusso, executive chef at Wynn Las Vegas’ Costa di Mare, said the resort has been offering master classes on food and other topics for about four years.

“They’ve been really popular,” among locals and visitors, he said. “Every time they sell out.

Wynn Las Vegas

Upcoming on the Wynn schedule are “Creating the Ultimate Brunch,” timed to before Mother’s Day at noon on May 7; a master pasta-making class at noon on May 13; “Cooking With a Five-Star Chef at Wing Lei” at noon on June 3; and “Mastering Summertime Desserts” at 2 p.m. on June 11. Classes range from $95 to $150 per person.

“I think they’re pretty affordable for what you get,” LoRusso said.

At the brunch session, students will learn tips and recipes for weekend entertaining, starting with smoothies for a healthy spin and moving on to “the ultimate foolproof brunch dish,” the frittata, plus Hollandaise sauce for eggs Benedict, chocolate-cherry French toast and brunch cocktails.

LoRusso, who will lead the pasta-making class, said students learn how to make pasta dough, roll it, cut it and in some cases stuff it. The classes have shifted away from a hands-on approach during the COVID-19 pandemic, but will gradually transition back. To register or for more information, go to wynnlasvegas.com.

Sur La Table

Sur La Table at Downtown Summerlin offers two to four classes each day. Some cover basic cooking techniques such as knife skills, while others are make-and-take classes or dine-in sessions. Assistant store manager Marc Lemieux said classes resumed in October after a pandemic pause; the former limit of 16 students per class currently stands at eight.

While the schedule changes regularly, Lemieux said some classes tend to stand out.

“Tamales are always popular,” he said, “and the Chinese dumpling classes.”

At the make-and-take class on croissants on April 28, students will learn to mix croissant dough and laminate it, which is the folding and rolling that produces all of those flaky layers. They’ll also learn how to shape classic croissants and to make Gruyere and herb croissants. Classes are open to students age 14 and up (participants ages 14-17 must be accompanied by a paying adult) and most are $79.

Fans of a certain English baking show might be interested in Sur La Table’s Great British Baking on May 4. The class is designed to explore the baking traditions featured on the show, which means students will learn to make Victoria sponge cake, puff pastry for traditional sausage rolls and sticky toffee pudding. For the full schedule and to register, go to surlatable.com.

Ethel M Chocolates

Ethel M Chocolates has introduced two new tasting experiences at its headquarters and factory at 2 Cactus Garden Way in Henderson. There will be two Chocolate & Mimosas tastings per day every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through April 30, in which participants will sample four chocolates, accompanied by four fruity mimosas, and learn how chocolate is sourced, refined and produced, delving into the subtleties of chocolate tasting. Classes cost $35 per person for those 21 and older.

People with a particular interest in Ethel M’s 3.4-acre cactus garden can get an in-depth tour from the garden’s curator while it’s in spring bloom. The largest botanical cactus garden in the state, it has more than 300 species of cacti and other succulents. Participants will sample two chocolates in a mini-tasting, led by one of the chocolatiers, and will receive an aloe clipping to take home. The cost is $30. To register for either tasting, go to ethelm.com and choose “tasting experiences” under the “visit” tab.

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at [email protected]. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

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