My fiance took me to Cooking at the Cottage after his mom bought us a gift certificate. I knew Cooking at the Cottage had been named the Best Cooking Class in Louisville by Leo magazine, but I didn't know what a fun date night it would turn out to be. I love to cook, but I hate the mess. I hate the measuring, the cleaning, the clearing, the scrubbing. Cooking at the Cottage does all the measuring and cleaning for you, and you get to have a relaxing evening cooking with your sweetheart.
We sat at a big round circle of tables facing a stove. Chef David Moeller, from Sullivan University, taught us how to fry crab cakes spiked with pine nuts and doused with pesto cream sauce. After each course, we got to sit and devour what we made. Afterwards, we seared steak and cooked a mushroom risotto until thick and creamy, plus roasted carrots added by the chef. The final course was crepe suzette, a super fancy French dessert I thought was far more complicated than just crepes, orange juice, sugar and butter and liquor.
As a foodie and an amateur restaurant critic, I usually like the things I eat out much more than anything I make myself, but this was a shining exception from the mediocrity that is my cooking. We were provided with all the recipes, and Cooking at the Cottage is also (conveniently) a shop that sells all manner of cooking gadgets, including every single cookie cutter you could ever possibly want. The owners and the chef were more than kind, absolutely welcoming and warm people, and the location on Lexington Road was really convenient.
Cooking at the Cottage offers a list of classes, and boy do I want to take every singe one of them--from a "Daddy Daughter Valentine's Day Party" decorating beautiful cookies together to a "Perfect for your Valentine" dinner making seared scallops over sweet pea puree with crispy prosciutto and white truffle oil, purple potatoes gnocchi with roast duck, bacon and gorgonzola, braised lamb shank, plus chocolate lava cake! There are even events perfect for bachelorette parties, making lingerie cookies or learning to roll sushi. The prices range from about $45 for two people to $65 dollars for two people--a really good deal if you consider you're signing up for a 3/4 course meal, three hours of entertainment, and a bucket of memories. So why buy your mom the same old dish towel set for her birthday? Why take your girlfriend to the same old sit down restaurant for the same old overpriced Valentine's day stuff? Why double date at a bar when you could all learn something new and eat an amazing meal to boot? Take a cooking class together and stir up some memories, some camaraderie, some experience--and support a local establishment.