Food & Wine Classic: Seminars to amp up your cooking chops | AspenTimes.com

Food & Wine Classic: Seminars to amp up your cooking chops

Linda Hayes
Special to The Aspen Times

Picking favorites off the food & wine classic cooking seminar schedule is always tough.

this year, four chefs helped tenderize the task.

CHEF: ALEX GUARNASCHELLI

Seminar: Sesame and Pink Peppercorns: Fun with Spices

"Home cooks have great curiosity about spices," says Alex Guarnaschelli, about the concept behind her seminar. "There is spice to make foods spicy. And then there is spice that builds more subtle, but equally delicious, dishes. I am exploring the nuances of both.

Always ready to spice things up as executive chef at Butter in NYC and a judge on a "Chopped," Guarnaschelli is excited to make a pineapple upside-down cake enhanced by caramel and pink peppercorns in her seminar. "Pink pepper has a mild, tingling heat that links up beautifully with the floral and acidic notes of the fruit," she says. "A real crowd pleaser. Yum."

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CHEF: GABRIELLE HAMILTON

Seminar: Standing the Test of Time: Prune Classics

Fresh off winning the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef last month, Gabrielle Hamilton shares some of the classic dishes that have made her and her restaurant, Prune, something to be reckoned with since it opened in NYC's East Village nearly 20 years ago.

Post-award, sliding into a bistro table or onto a hot-pink barstool at Prune might be even more challenging than usual. Witnessing, and getting recipes for, the delicious dishes she prepares in Aspen (Cod poached in Fennel Milk, Cod Roe Puree, Cured Tomato and Fennel Salad) will potentially provide a first-hand taste at home.

CHEF: JUSTIN CHAPPLE

Seminar: "Just Cook It!"

Justin Chapple is duly excited about the concept behind his Food & Wine seminar. "It's based off my new cookbook by the same name," he exclaims. "The book came out last week!" While that was a month ago, the exuberance he expressed at the time will surely carry over onto The St. Regis stage this week.

Culinary director of Food & Wine's test kitchen and host of the cooking series "Mad Genius Tips," Chapple's known for easy, delicious recipes for home cooks. The Yellow Gazpacho with Parsley and Smoked Almond Gremolata, Ricotta Gnudi with Spinach and Dukka, and No-Bake Cheesecake with Strawberries he'll demonstrate will deliver.

CHEF: ROCCO DISPIRITO

Seminar: Healthy & Delicious

One of the original "rock star" chefs (he was named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine and "Sexiest Chef Alive" by People), Rocco DiSpirito has spent the past 10-plus years as a crusader for the healthy lifestyle.

While what he has up his sleeves for his seminar remains a mystery, we can make an educated guess that it may include one of the 200 mostly plant-based recipes in his new cookbook, "Rocco's Healthy & Delicious."