Five-Day Hands-on Cooking Experience in Niagara Wine Country
Learn, cook, eat and drink -- with plenty of free time to take in the attractions of the Niagara region. You'll cook in our air-conditioned professionally equipped kitchen, nestled within award-winning Strewn winery. Registration is limited to 8 people to ensure a truly personal experience. Each day includes a four hour hands-on cooking class and the meal so you enjoy the fruits (among other foods!) of your labour. We use local ingredients in the preparation of seasonal three-course meals accompanied by specially selected wine pairings from Strewn's cellars. Our program also includes behind the scenes field trips to local farms and markets, as well as a special session of matching food and wine led by a member of the Strewn wine team.
Monday - Day 1
Begin at 9:00 am. by meeting your classmates and the teaching team. After a quick kitchen orientation, we'll set to work preparing our first meal, followed by lunch in our private dining room. Sample Menu*: Mixed Greens with Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette, Toasted English Walnuts (from Grimo Nut Nursery) and Woolwich Goat Cheese; "Cabernet Chicken" with ginger & garlic, Cauliflower Puree and Quick Cooked Seasonal Vegetable, Niagara Blueberry Parfait
Tuesday - Day 2
8:30 am. We'll visit a local market or producer, purchase ingredients and then prepare the second meal. Sample Menu*: Green Goddess Salad (fresh garden herb dressing) with Niagara Greenhouse Tomatoes & English Cucumbers, Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Fruit & Yellow Pepper Salsa, Quinoa with Cilantro & Basil Oil, Grilled Summer Squash, Niagara Sweet Cherry Clafouti.
Wednesday - Day 3
3:00 pm. Enjoy a morning at leisure and then meet at Strewn for a private vineyard and winery tour, followed by a tutored wine tasting and special wine education session. Today we prepare a delicious dinner to enjoy on the winery patio. Sample Menu*: Arugula with Mini Goat Cheese Soufflé, Beef Roulade with Mushroom Sauce, Sweet Potato Mash and local Green Beans, Peach Platz with Maple Cream
Thursday - Day 4
8:30 am. Today we make a start 'prepping' some of the meal's ingredients before heading out to Upper Canada Cheese Company, Niagara's specialty cheese producer, in Jordan Station. Then it's back to the kitchen to cook a late lunch. Sample Menu*: Local Red & Green Lettuces with Herb Vinaigrette, Feta & Heirloom Tomatoes, Rainbow Trout with Julienne Vegetables baked en Papillote (in parchment), Lemon Basmati Rice with garden chives, Sautéed local Spinach with Nutmeg, Redhaven Peach Napoleons.
Friday - Day 5
8:30 am. We get right to work preparing the final meal of your week. After lunch you may conclude your culinary vacation with a tasting of EVO oils and certified balsamic vinegars at OLiV Restaurant's onsite tasting room. Sample Menu*: Spring Mix with Icewine Vinaigrette & Fresh Berries, Escalope of Chicken with Oven Roasted Grape Tomatoes, Olives & Parsley, Orzo with Grilled Orange Pepper, Wine Poached Apricots with Wine Reduction Syrup served over Ice Cream
Menus vary with the season and food allergies/sensitivities of participants. Itinerary may vary with weather conditions; one session will be an evening class/meal but may not be Wednesday. Price includes instruction, food and wine for all classes. Optional activities and accommodation extra. Priced quoted are in Canadian Dollars and are subject to 13% HST tax.
When is the Culinary Vacation offered?
In 2019 the dates are July 15 to 19 and August 19 to 23.
What does the program cost?
In 2016 the cost is $1,275 for one-person (solo cook) and $2,500 for two people (cooking pair). Prices in Canadian dollars and includes instruction, food, wine, recipes and a logo'd Wine Country Cooking School apron.
Who Teaches the Program?
Class is led by Jane Langdon, owner of the Wine Country Cooking School. WIth a degree in food and human nutrition, Jane first began working in a cooking school while in university at Toronto's Academy of Culinary Arts. Upon graduating, Jane joined Agriculture Canada. She is a former food writer and ran her own successful public relations agency, specializing in food and consumer lifestyle accounts. Jane founded the Wine Country Cooking School in 1998 and, since then has taught thousands of participants in group, private and corporate classes, including the five-day Culinary Vacation. Jane is backed by a great team, including Strewn's Wine Educators, and experienced kitchen assistants. She works closely with local growers, farms, markets and other industry members to create a unique and memorable program.
What about Accommodation?
Accommodation is not part of the program tuition but there are many options nearby. The Wine Country Cooking School is a 10-minute drive from the heritage district of Niagara-on-the-Lake where you will find a number of quality boutique hotels/inns and literally hundreds of Bed & Breakfast establishments. Niagara Falls, Ontario, is a 25-minute drive and offers larger hotel properties, spectacular views of the Falls and plenty of night life.