On Monday, I was invited to the new San Francisco Cooking School, for a cooking demo with chefs Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, authors of whole grain cookbook Grain Mains. I got to the school early, to check out the fancy industrial kitchen before the class started.
The San Francisco Cooking School opened this fall, with classes officially starting this January. Aside from offering a curriculum for aspiring professional chefs, it also offers demos, book signings, and other events for the public.
Located on Van Ness and Turk, the building for this professional culinary school doesn't look like much from the outside, but once inside – holy shit! The finish on the wood, all the stainless steel, and the state of the art equipment and cookware... It's like pornography for like me.
After getting a tour of the kitchen, it was almost time for the whole grain demo to being. Being an avid meat eater, I was a little skeptical about why anyone would eat quinoa, barley, or farro instead of a steak, burger, or roast as their main course. So I asked Mark and Bruce. Mark responded with "Do you want the truth? I had a colonoscopy and found out that I had something that could 100% lead to cancer. I had to eat more whole grains." Faced with the severe diagnosis, Mark changed his lifestyle and eating habits, and found in the process that he liked eating whole grains. "We didn't want to showcase grain as something healthy, but tasty," Bruce explained. "We promise we don't mention colon anywhere in the book," Mark added. And just in case you're wondering, Mark is just fine and healthy now.
Mark and Bruce showed us how to make grain burgers, a wild rice salad, and my favorite dish from the night, a barley soup with coconut and ginger.
Catch what's happening next at the SF Cooking School on their blog.