Stir! Cooking Classes and Demonstrations!

Here we are on Friday night practically running into Barbara Lynch’s Stir location next to The Butchery on Waltham Street in the South End.

Back in early December, I went into Boston on the appointed day to sign up for seven spots in one of Barbara Lynch’s Stir Classes. The schedule is announced about a month in advance of the next series, and classes are first come, first serve. They fill up quickly!  Not knowing everyone’s interests, I decided on one of the Friday Night Chef’s Tables. The format of the Chef’s Table is more demonstration than instruction and I loved it. I also can’t wait to go back and try a class that is more hands on. Here’s a small sampling of some of the classes they had in the current session…

  • Cassoulet a la Julia
  • Eating Well for Life with Chef Barbara Lynch and Nutritionist Julie Starr
  • Scotch
  • Gluten Free Pasta (and more)
  • No 9 Park Classics
  • Yankee magazine’s Best New England Recipes with Annie Copps

There are lots of choices and they are expanding their schedule. The next class list goes out on January 22nd at 10:00. Here is the link to the Stir website

So, here’s the scoop on our class. We had Chef Ralph Fiegel and Kaitlyn Hannegan who shared information on the wine pairings as well as general information on Stir. They were both very personable and fun. The evening flew by and the food was incredible!

Chef Ralph and Kaitlyn

Here’s what Chef Ralph demonstrated for us….

Equinox Farm Mesclun, fennel, citrus monte veronese

2009 Trimbach Muscat d’Alsace

Jonah Crab Tortellini, butter poached lobster, baesetra caviar

2008 Cogno Nascetta Anas-Cetta

Roasted Elysian Farm Lamb Saddle, cauliflower, persillade

2006 Qupe Syrah BobCat Cuvee

Corsu Vecchiu, Antons Liebe, marcona almonds, cherry compote

I don’t know how to describe this meal without using the expressions, “melt in your mouth”, “incredible combination of flavors”, “beautiful presentation”, and “perfect with this wine” over and over. It was all fabulous and I can’t wait to go back. Here is our very happy crew at the end of the evening.

This evening and the beginning of the New Year gives me the opportunity to think about how much fun I have had with the last year of eating with Lauren, family and friends. I am truly grateful for everyone’s enthusiasm and encouragement and look forward to another year of great meals and great friends!

Bon Appetit and many thanks!



Douzo! Great Sushi in the Back Bay

Having done a first rate job of eating my way through the holidays, I wanted to go to a Sushi restaurant for my birthday dinner this past Thursday. Lauren and I have been to a couple of good ones, I would have loved to go back to Oishii, but we’re always on the lookout for something new, so… Lauren called O Ya (popular and expensive near South Station) and made a reservation and they asked for her credit card and said that if we didn’t cancel within 72 hours our reservation, they would charge her card $75.00!!! What? That’s over the top, so we canceled it ASAP!

I found Douzo in the Back Bay because they were named “2010 Best Affordable Sushi” by Boston Magazine. That’s just what we wanted; really good Sushi at a reasonable price, but definitely not cheap sushi (that sounds dangerous). Douzo has a very sleek, contemporary urban feel to it. The service was good, the sushi was terrific, but the desserts were just okay.

The sushi was beautifully presented.  My photos didn’t do it justice, so you will have to use your imagination or go to their website where there are photos of everything on the menu.For starters, we tried the Edamame with Kosher Salt and Lime, the Seaweed Salad, and Soft Shell Crab Tempura. Next we had three Maki Rolls: The Back Bay Roll (asparagus, cucumber, avacado, wrapped with seared tuna, touch of wasabi sauce), The Torch Roll (avacado, cucumber wrapped with seared yellow tuna and a touch of yuzo sauce and black tobiko), and the Red Spider Roll (soft shell crab wrapped with tuna, tobilo and a touch of unagi sauce). We also tried the Red Snapper Sushi from the Special Menu which was simple, but good. I think we all had our favorite, and they were all decicious and fresh. That’s my idea of a great meal for that January “blah and bloat” feeling! What’s next? Exercise?

Another great thing about Douzo is it’s central location right next to Back Bay Station and Copley Plaza and right next to 131 Dartmouth parking garage where you can park for up to four hours for $5.00- bargain!!! This is especially nice with all the snow flying around! Hope you get a chance to try it if you like Japanese food!

Coming up….I made a trip to Barbara Lynch’s Stir with a group of friends! Stay tuned it was really fun!

Bon Appetit and Happy New Year!

Robin and Lauren


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