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Monday, June 27, 2011

Cooking Up a Storm With GE Monogram

I've recently returned from four days at the GE Monogram Experience Center in Louisville, KY.  As it turns out, this is both a good and a bad thing.  The bad part is that I'm no longer in the company of a terrific group of designer, bloggers and  all around great people.  I've learned about some really well-designed appliances (more on them in a future post) and even had the chance to cook on them.  The good?  I am no longer being tempted by large amounts of great food.

I'm not kidding about this.  True, we were at the Monogram Experience Center (MEC for short) to learn about GE's high-end line of appliances.  But to truly appreciate Monogram, the MEC staff feels you need to cook with it.  The teaching kitchen at the MEC houses six smaller kitchens: five for small groups of participants, and one main kitchen for Chef Joe and Chef Brian.  These guys were amazing and really brought a lot of passion to what might have been a stoic couple of days of technical talk.

Training days were divided into product knowledge sessions, followed by the opportunity to put that knowledge into practice.  So after we learned about the Advantium Speed Oven for example, we went into the kitchen to actually cook with it.  From a designer's point of view, this is a really clever strategy. I now have specific knowledge about a very useful appliance I can share with my clients.  Win-win!


We cooked all our meals during our stay with the exception of our first dinner which was expertly prepared by Chef Joe & Chef Brian.

Cabia with a Salad of Cucumber & Celery
Curry Aioli
Capriole Farms Goat Cheese Cheesecake

Compared to other cooking classes I've taken, this was pretty simple stuff.  Everything was prepped and measured for us, so we essentially were just assembling our meals.  This is not a criticism.  In fact the amount of work the kitchen staff put into getting our "meez" together allowed us to focus on the appliances which, in fairness, is why we were there.

Grilled Chicken w/ Dirty Rice & Arugula Salad
Orecchiette w/ Sundried Tomato Pesto & Mushrooms

The finale of our time at the MEC was an "Iron Chef" competition.  Our team ( NickBrendaLori , Tara and yours truly) had 50 minutes to create a "meal" that featured the theme ingredient:  lemons.  Here was our entry:

From left to right: Baked Apple Panacake w/ Lemon & Cinnamon, Cranberry,
Chocolate and Pecan Scone, Chicken & Bacon Chowder, Blueberry Lemonade.

So now I diet.  Thanks to Michelle, Nancy, Paula and all the trainers at the MEC for an amazing few days.


*My trip and expenses are paid for by GE but my words, opinions, tweets, quips, etc. are nothing but my own.

4 comments:

  1. Your team made the best meal of the Iron Chef competition, IMHO. Thanks for allowing me a taste!

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  2. I may quote you on that one day Raina!

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  3. So happy to meet you! I hope your BBQ and bourbon was just as you imagined! ; )

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  4. Thanks, Raina! I had so much fun learning and eating and making new friends, this week seems a little dull in comparison. I think that all of us are probably cutting our food consumption this week down, quite a bit, alcohol, too!

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