Chef David Goergen of Crú A Wine Bar led a “Sweet and Savory” cooking class last night where he taught participants how to prepare Beef Wellington (the savory) and Pumpkin White Chocolate Cheesecake (the sweet).
The class began at the end: with the dessert. Chef David explained the different styles of cheesecake- New York Cheesecake, Philadelphia Cheesecake, and French Cheesecake- and promptly ignored all three in favor of his unique style of cheesecake, which we lovingly termed “the David”. The difference is in how the eggs are added. Most of the participants were unaware that this one simple ingredient has such a dramatic effect on the cheesecake as a whole! Beat the eggs too long and you will end up with a lighter, merengue-type cheesecake (French Cheesecake). Beat them too little and the result will be a more dense cheesecake a la New York Cheesecake.
Chef David has been helping in the kitchen since he was 4 and made his first cheesecake, his specialty, at only 6 years old! Twenty-four years and over 10,000 cheesecakes later, I’d say Chef David has perfected this delicious dessert. He still likes to experiment though and claims to have made every variation and flavor of cheesecake imaginable, including a habanero maple cheesecake (he says it was one of the best he’s ever made). For this class, David taught a Pumpkin White Chocolate Gluten-Free Cheesecake. Instead of using a traditional cheesecake crust of graham crackers or biscotti, Chef David opted for a simple crust made of melted butter and crushed mixed nuts- a healthier, gluten free alternative.
After popping the cheesecake in the oven, Chef David helped us prepare Beef Wellington: beef tenderloin seared, wrapped in a puff pastry, and baked. Chef David made this look so simple, nonchalantly seasoning, searing, and wrapping the meat before baking it in the oven. While the beef was in the oven, Chef David prepared a mouthwatering Madeira sauce complete with trumpet mushrooms, lobster mushrooms, morel mushrooms, and shitake mushrooms. The combination of mushrooms, shitake, garlic, and Madeira provided an earthy taste which was a pleasant accompaniment to the beef.
When the dishes were prepared, the participants had the opportunity to sit down and dine with Chef David, asking him questions about his food philosophy and sharing cooking tips while enjoying a glass of wine that he so generously provided for our enjoyment.
We had a great time with Chef David and are so thankful that he took the time out of his busy schedule to spend an evening with us.
To see pictures of last night’s class, click here.