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

One of the tips that Chef Bedford shared is something that I do mention when I have a complicated recipe on my site.  Prepare things ahead of time and do it in steps.  Creating a more difficult dish becomes easier when you break it down and prepare one element of the dish at a time.

We went through the entire preparation and cooking process for four dishes during this class from filleting the fresh fish to making all of the components and then plating the dishes.  It’s always nice to see the chef’s ideas on making food beautiful.  Plating it perfectly is part of that beauty in the final presentation.

Chef Bedford showed us how to properly fillet a fish


Walter is a pro at this now

I find that it is also far easier to learn to do something when you experience it hands on.  I was somewhat intimidated by making fresh pasta until I attended a pasta making class.  When you watch someone do it and you are able to see the technique and feel how the dough is supposed to feel in your hands before you roll it out, it becomes easier to do on your own.  It’s all about learning the technique.

We cleaned the inside of the clams by soaking them in a sea salt and water brine

All of the dishes we prepared in the class had several components.  We had three seafood courses and a dessert that we enjoyed tasting in the dining room after a long morning and early afternoon in the kitchen.  It was tough work standing for hours in that hot kitchen!  You really have to love what you do and be dedicated to be a chef.  I am always reminded of that when I have a dinner party and prepare lots of dishes and cook for several days in a row.  It’s not easy making all of that food!

Making gnocchi is much like making pasta

Making gnocchi was easy after a few practice rounds

One very important cooking tip that is critical when preparing seafood or any other meat in a sauté pan, is to have that pan really hot.  Don’t be afraid to crank up the heat.  If you want to achieve restaurant quality preparations in your own kitchen, this is essential.  Watch how the fish starts to cook on the one side.   You can see as it starts to brown and begin to cook through the flesh.  Leave it alone until it has a nice sear.  Then turn it to finish it on the other side.

Look at the perfect sear you can achieve by cooking it at the proper temperature


I think Chef Whitaker has done this a few times before, don’t you?

One of the dishes we learned to make at this class (and one of my favorites) was a Local Corn Soup with Apple & Bacon Remoulade and Smoked Scallop.  Chef Bedford has allowed me to share that recipe with you.  There are a few steps involved in making this dish, but you will  knock your own socks off if you do take the time to make this at home.  The flavors in this dish were luscious and it makes for a truly elegant and impressive presentation.  If you hurry, you may still be able to find some local corn before the first frost hits!

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