The New Year signifies the start of a new project for me on the North Fork of Long Island. My pal (and cooking co-conspirator) of 20-plus years, Gerry Hayden, and I have come up with a plan to make the winter pass quickly. We have been spending a good deal of time together lately, hanging out in his kitchen at the North Fork Table & Inn in Southold, and one day we had an epiphany: cooking classes, which we are calling the Cooking Sessions. (Edible covered nofoti this summer. And they’ve recently been named by Zagat as one of the 15 top-rated spots in the U.S.)
We are music and ingredient fanatics, so we decided to blend the two to echo the improvisational jazz scene of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Our plan is to pick a theme for each session and riff on it. It will not be a free-for-all; there will be structure, but the only structure will be the use of local, well raised and cared for ingredients. After that we’ll see what happens.
If you choose to join us for the Cooking Sessions that means you choose to have fun. We like that. The first session will be at the North Fork Table & Inn on January 4. We like the idea of Saturday afternoons for this project. We will do four sessions in January and four sessions in February and all of them at the restaurant. You can attend class-by-class, but we encourage you to book four sessions at a time to save a little money. Expect to learn, eat and drink and hear from a farmer, a chef or a winemaker about why they do what they do.
The first session will be with Holly Browder of Browder’s Birds in Southold; we’ll be talking about the chicken and the egg. Join us; it will be fun!
Classes will start at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and run for about one and a half hours. Cost per class is $90 or $300 for all four in January. Call the restaurant at 631.765.0177 for more information and to register.