Culinary Class with Chef Colin Bedford at Fearrington House Inn – Corn Soup with Seared Scallops

Happy weekend to you!  If you read my last post about Fearrington House Inn and Restaurant, you will know that we traveled to this lovely Relais & Chateaux property outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina to attend one of their Culinary Retreats and Cooking Classes in August.

These Culinary Retreats are offered four times a year and are conducted by Executive Chef Colin Bedford.  His Executive Sous Chef, Tom Whitaker, also assisted with our class.  We attended the Seafood Cooking Class which was of particular interest to me.  Being a somewhat marginal fan of fresh fish, I was hoping to find ways to prepare fish that would make me inspired to prepare it more often.  I believe Chef Bedford might have achieved that! 🙂

We had a small class which afforded us some extra attention

I was excited to be able to work with Chef Bedford in the kitchen.  His formal culinary training was in England.  He also worked at a Michelin Star restaurant in the UK before leaving to pursue his career on this continent (more on that next week).

Executive Chef Colin Bedford

The food that we had experienced at dinner at the Fearrington House Inn the evening prior to the class was truly exceptional.  The presentation of the dishes was beautiful and the flavors outstanding.  I have to admit that I have missed dishes that are prepared with this level of technique and sophistication.  While I enjoy using and preparing fresh and local ingredients in a simple manner, I have found that many restaurants are now preparing food that is less complicated and often times, less than exciting.  Technique is still important in preparing great food, regardless of whether it is local or not.

We go out for dinner primarily to have a meal that either has ingredients that I cannot get or am not able (or willing) to prepare at home.  That will usually involve dishes that are more creative and more time consuming to prepare.  It is about the quality of the ingredients, but in addition, it is also about the technique in preparing them.

We oven dried these beautiful tomatoes for one of the dishes

Nancy holding the finished tomatoes

No matter how much you think you know in the kitchen, you can always learn something from talented chefs.  I took away quite a bit of knowledge and some very helpful hints from this cooking class that will definitely enhance my culinary skills at home.  I also think that you become inspired and empowered when you work with chefs in their kitchen.  It is how most chefs learn to do what they do; they train with other chefs.

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