Tag Archives: skills

Workshop spotlight: Cheese and wine

8 May


Ever wonder what the difference between burrata and mozzarella is? Or what exactly does pecorino mean? And what about wine?? If you’d like to learn more about how to expertly pair cheese and wine for your next dinner party, picnic or dinner for two Join Sophie Mosgrove, cheese connoisseur and all around lover-of-lactose, and Advanced Sommelier Deena Smith for an evening of cheese and wine tasting and education.

Join Sophie as she explores the regional varieties of Italy’s immensely diverse cheese selection. From the Alps to Sardinia and everything in between, this workshop will uncover some of Italy’s better known cheeses as well as a few secret gems. This workshop will include a lesson in cheese history, vocabulary, a discussion of the basic differences between cheese types. This workshop will include tastings of a variety of Italian cheeses, as well as other tasty accoutrements. This workshop will also include wine tastings, provided by Deena Smith, Advanced Sommelier, with the London based Wine & Spirits Education Trust; and San Francisco Manager for the Henry Wine Group, a Fine Wine Distributor dedicated to Family Estate & Sustainable wines.

This workshop is open to 21 and over only.

About the teachers:

Sophie Mosgrove | Cheese Monger

Growing up in the Bay Area, Sophie has always had a taste for cheese. Her appreciation began at the ripe age of 5, asking for brie and baguette sandwiches for lunch but it wasn’t until she returned to San Francisco after college that the passion truly flourished. Gaining experience at some of California’s most notable cheese counters, Sophie has evolved her love of lactose into the ultimate dream job.

Deena Smith | Advanced Sommelier

Deena Smith’s love of wine began at an early age on a trip to Europe where her chef and artist family helped inspire the world of fine dining. It progressed from there to all regions and she is an industry professional who continues to travel to learn of new and exciting wines and the cuisines that are both historic and important for wine lovers. She consultants regularly with restaurants and bars, and her passion and teaching have inspired many from Industry Professionals to the home wine lover.

What I’m working on

8 Feb

The week has flown by again, and yet I don’t feel quite caught up. It was a productive week however. There was a lot of client work, and I wrapped up the final touches on a new web design project that is being coded by a little css-code-fairy,  as we speak. The project will be live by next week, just in time for me to pack my bags, and fly to New Mexico for a whirlwind tour-lecture-Skill Exchange-work trip. I’ll be visiting Santa Fe and Las Vegas, checking out Parachute Factory, and hopefully working through a long list of recommendations from the lovely lady behind Stitch and Hammer.

Early next week I’ll be sharing our very first Skill Exchange video, a video project that has been months in the making. With help from many friends and contributors, I am excited to finally share it.  If one more day of teasing this video release is just too much for you, just sign up for the Skill Exchange newsletter.  Newsletter subscribers are going to get a sneak peek of the video a day earlier than the rest, in addition to other perks like early ticket releases, and adorably brief messages from Skill Exchange. I kid, but mostly, I promise not to send more than a handful of newsletters, every few months.

And, last but not least, I’ve got something to admit. Over the weekend I got a lesson in fish– which is a good thing, considering how much I have been enjoying our seafood CSA with Sirenseasa. We received a beautiful catch of herring, a fish I have never cooked, prepared, or even eaten. The fish were whole, and it meant in order to taste these little beauties, I had to learn how to scale a fish, clean a fish, and fillet a fish. I was eager. I was excited and nervous too. Intern left the house (partly to do laundry, and maybe also partly to escape this scary new fish-skill). I watched some videos online, I got my apron on, and got to it. Scaling fish? Not bad. Gutting, and cleaning my first fish ever? Not bad either. Filleting was hard, and something I am certain more practice would improve.

Here is the part that is hard to admit: I didn’t like the herring. We grilled it very simply… and I just didn’t like it. I love fish! I want to love herring! but not yet, I’m clearly not ready. I’m told it is a hard fish to love, if you’re not familiar with the oily, fishy flavor, and I want to try again… but I feel a little defeated. I’m glad I learned the skills to deal with a whole fish… but I wanted the reward of a delicious fish dinner too. So here you go, failures happen in our kitchen all the time, I am admitting it just this once.  [Edit: and also this other one time]

Skill Exchange in 2013

11 Jan

In case you missed it earlier in the week, I sent out the first Skill Exchange newsletter of the year with a few bits of news. Click here if you’d like to read the newsletter. Most of the big workshop news, including a new series is scheduled for the spring, however I hope to share a few exciting pieces of news in the coming weeks!

Skill Exchange part 4

19 Sep

Our final day of workshops at StoreFrontLab began with Sean Timberlake of Punk Domestics, along with Tattini from El Rio. The pair made two versions of piadina, a traditional Italian flatbread. After Sean’s workshop we moved directly into a cheese workshop with Sophie Mosgrove of Salumeria, followed by a workshop on contemporary letterpress by James Tucker of The Aesthetic Union.

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In the afternoon we were joined by Photographer Margo Moritz, who lead a lesson on manual photography. Finally, to end the series Dave Nelson of PUBLIC Bikes joined us for a crash course in bike maintenance. Also,  my camera battery died, and we had to rely on Instagram to document the final workshops of the day.

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If you missed any of the workshops, or would like to see all the photos from the pop-up, check out this set on flickr.

Skill Exchange part 3

18 Sep

Saturday’s workshops started at 10AM, with freshly brewed coffee from Ritual Coffee, and a discussion with Thomas Kriese of The Urban Chicken Network. After our conversation about backyard chickens, we moved into a workshop on the basics of lamp wiring, lead by self-taught lamp maker David Hard. Following David, Pastoral Plate joined us to give a demonstration on how to cut a whole chicken into 8 pieces, then how to carve a roast chicken. We sampled roast chicken and hot chicken stock as Jonathan Lewis explained the process of getting the most nutrition and meals out of a whole chicken.
In the afternoon, we were joined by Sharon and Alisha Ardiana of Ragazza Pizzeria, to learn how to make mozzarella. Sharon surprised everyone by bringing supplies for everyone to pull their own mozzarella, and by the end of the workshop we had enough mozzarella for a feast, plus some to take home. Our final workshop of the evening was with Tammy Tan of Spice Hound, who offered a tasting and conversation on the history and variety of artisan salts.


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