My friends will tell you: I'll do anything twice.
I love to try new things - and since new escapades can go crooked for a number of reasons, so I'll give most anything a second attempt.(1) My general sense of adventure & willingness to try again has resulted in some exceptional finds & favorites: bourbon + ginger ale, that Peter Pan feeling(2) from bungee jumping, Bikram yoga, small venue Blues concerts, Pig Candy & so many more. Of course I've verified a general dislike of a few things too,(3) but that's all part of the process.
So when my friend Chef Hillori asked me (over wine) to teach some Gluten Free cooking classes at the local Whole Foods, I agreed right away, thinking we'd have so much fun. Why wouldn't we? We contribute to the same radio cooking show, I've done tons of cooking demos on TV and in person, and I do the G-Free Foodie cooking videos - so I'm sure I can teach a two hour cooking class!
And then it dawned on me that I've never taught a two-hour cooking class, or been responsible for teaching actual cooking skills to anyone other than my buddies or my kid. My cooking demos are usually 5-10 minutes long, and AL (editor of our videos) keeps threatening to make a blooper reel(4) of the ones that don't get shot in one take. What if teaching a cooking class is like Stand Up comedy? You think you're funny, your friends think you're funny, and next thing you know, you're talking to crickets at an open mic night in the San Fernando Valley wondering what's become of your life.
"Maybe I've made a mistake here. What if everybody in the class has graduated from culinary school or something? Ugh. I'll make the theme "I Love Chocolate & Cheese" so I can make Pots de Creme, then if everything goes bad I'll just put myself in a sugar coma and they probably don't know my blender trick. Plus, I can make Macaroni & Cheese, and that just makes people feel friendly. I'll disarm them with Dairy, it's the only way out."
So I made:
Bacon Pimento Macaroni and Cheese - this is insanely good, inspired from my Southern Food Phase.
Chocolate Pots de Creme with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream - you know that rare occasion where the easiest way to do something is also the best? I use a blender, you should too.
Cinnamon Mascarpone - easy, yummy, and perfect for grilled, fresh or dried fruit.
The class was amazing - small, fun, and everybody loved my food & promised to come back next month for "Gluten Free Italian Favorites" - which is good, because I'll want some friendly faces in the crowd for Round 2.
In addition to Hillori, of course.
(1) Not husbands. That's a one-shot deal. I'm no Liz Taylor.
(2) Until the cord snaps back and you careen sideways with your stomach in your throat. But whatever. It's fun.
(3) I'm looking at you, long-distance running & sea urchin.
(4) That's definitely gonna be rated "R" for strong language, but it'll be hilarious. Especially the outtakes from Baked Mac & Cheese - the fact that the Fire Department didn't show up on the that shoot is pure miracle.