Village Restaurant Teaches Students How To Chop Like A Pro
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You may know how to cook, but the question is, can you slice and dice like a chef?
A class in Greenwich Village is helping New Yorkers cut it in the kitchen.
“Most people don't know how to hold a knife properly, and they don't know how to do the fluid motion,” says chef Abigail Hitchcock. “Initially people have their fingers flat out, and I feel like they are going to chop them off.”
Hitchcock is the chef and owner of Camaje, a bistro on MacDougal street where customers can sign up for all different kinds of cooking classes, but once a month she goes back to the basics and teaches students how to sharpen their skills and shows them why a proper cut can make a difference.
“We like to present food beautifully, and how you cut it make a big difference. If you cut into or sort of saw through food with a serrated knife that will rip the food, the liquid comes out; it’s too juicy, and it means you can't sautŽ it as well,” says Hitchcock. “All these things sounds minor, but when you are trying to learn to cook and cook well, you want to be able to chop your food and have it cook the right way. And it makes a big difference in the end.”
This intimate class is made up of just a few students. First she explains all the different types of knives how they are used. Then she demonstrates the proper cutting technique. Then she grabs the veggies and lets students take a stab at it.
“I think it’s great,” says class participant Timothy Dillon. “I really don't know the first thing about using a knife in the kitchen properly, and it seems like — you watch the shows — and they do it with such effort and ease. And I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to use a knife more efficiently in the kitchen.”
What's a cooking class without a little eating? After chopping vegetables, students need to enjoy the fruits of their labor. So the big finish is a fabulous bowl of gazpacho.
The class is held once a month at the restaurant and is $55 a person.
Because when your cooking a gourmet meal, things can get dicey, so getting a handle on that knife will help you cut through it, chop chop.
85 MacDougal Street
- Jill Scott