A Taste of Westchester

 A TASTE OF WESTCHESTER

Join us at several of Westchester’s most exciting restaurants for a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds. Each chef will offer a private cooking demonstration, followed by a tasting of the prepared items. Fees include non-alcoholic beverages. New menu items are explored each semester.Menu substitutions may occur when necessary. Demonstrations will begin at the times designatedSampling fees are payable in CASH only. Call restaurants or visit their websites for directions. No refunds are given for these classes. A one-time per semester registration fee of $3.25 will be added to the final tuition calculation.CE-REST 2000 is the class number for all Taste of Westchester classes.

April

Elia Taverna
502 New Rochelle Road, Bronxville
914-ONE-GYRO (663-4976), www.eliataverna.com
Delicious homemade Greek specialties from the classic gyro sandwich to the traditional moussaka await you. Nestled on the outskirts of Bronxville in the beautiful Chester Heights section, proprietors Rui Cunha and authentic Greek chef Michalakis Sarris are passionate about good food and great service. Chef Michaliakis will tell stories of growing up in Greece and cooking by his grandmother’s side while he teaches us the techniques to make delicious Greek cuisine. Come sail away to the Greek Isles as our demonstration will begin with melitzanosalata (a roasted eggplant dip) followed by prassini (romaine lettuce, scallions, dill, and feta cheese topped with their famously spiced grilled chicken breast). Next will be a lesson on the classic Greek dish, pastichio (baked pasta with ground meat topped with a bechamel sauce). For dessert learn the art of making loukaumadas (fried dumplings topped with honey syrup and cinnamon) along with miso-miso, equal parts of steamed milk and espresso. The restaurant now has an extensive catering and private party planning menu to meet every need. We will all join in a resounding “OPA!” in celebration of this terrific class so hold onto your dishes!
1 Mon., Apr. 28, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $23 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14189

NEW! Cedar Street Grill
23 Cedar Street, Dobbs Ferry
914-674-0706, www.cedarstreetgrillny.com
Located in the quiet downtown, this restaurant offers American themed fare and artisanal beers in a cozy and welcoming way. Family owned and operated, Chef Matt Kay and brother/manager Joe treat everyone like family. On most evenings you can also find mom Cathy (DF Deputy Mayor) greeting guests at the door. Chef Matt’s passion for creating specialty dishes began as he watched his grandmother cook Italian delicacies. Both Matt and Joe are musicians and love to join in during the weekly live sessions. The chef will demonstrate the makings of their crispy Brussels sprouts: bacon, almonds and local maple syrup (they don’t taste like the boiled ones from childhood). Then the secrets to his moist bacon stuffed meatloaf with house brown gravy over garlic whipped potatoes. For dessert a lesson on a great combination, banana and Nutella bread pudding served warm with vanilla ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauce.
1 Tues., Apr. 29, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14254

NEW! Haymount House
25 Studio Hill Road, Briarcliff Manor
914-502-0080, www.haymounthouseny.com
Kitchen Visit
: The mansion overlooking the Hudson River dates back to the early 1900’s when William Fuller built it and named it for the town in which he was born. It spent the last 50 years as a French restaurant until proprietor David Breschel magnificently restored to its original splendor. Executive chef Bruce Deaty, formally of the Red Hat in Irvington, will treat us to a peek inside his kitchen. He will demonstrate a warm shitake mushroom and asparagus salad with fried local farm egg and shallot sherry vinaigrette. Learn the technique for seared Atlantic halibut in a gingered spring vegetable bouillon with pearl couscous and mustard oil drizzle. Our lovely dessert will be a buttermilk panna cotta served in chilled rhubarb and strawberry soup with mint chiffonade. Don’t miss their live music Sunday brunch!
1 Wed., Apr. 30, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14255

May

Ramiro’s 954
954 US Route 6, Mahopac
845-621-3333, www.ramiros954.com
Hands-On:
 Chef Ramiro Jimenez grew up watching his family work at his grandmother’s restaurant on the water in Acapulco. He is a renowned chef who specializes in taking classic Nuevo Latino cuisine and adding his own contemporary approach and creativity. The chef is a wonderful mentor and will teach us about classic preparations in his open kitchen. In this interactive class we will help to create our meal, starting with an appetizer consisting of empanadas de picadillo (a turnover filled with ground beef cooked with onion, garlic, pepper, olives, raisins, and red wine and accompanied with sweet chipotle cream sauce). Help the chef to prepare the restaurant’s signature dish of pernil con mojo (slow braised pork shank served with tomatillo-avocado sauce and garlic mojo) and rice with beans. Our evening will conclude with flan de vanilla (traditional custard served with caramel sauce, whipped cream, and a chocolate cigar. Arrive hungry; Buen Provecho!
1 Mon., May 5, 6:00-8:00, pm $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14190

The Horse & Hound Inn 
94 Spring Street, South Salem
914-763-3108, www.thehorseandhoundinn.com
Ghosts? Just as it must have been for stagecoaches long ago, the Inn is a beacon amid the dark and wooded roads of South Salem. The building dates back to 1749, charming with its wide-planked floors, low ceilings and original beams. During the almost twenty years the Vales have owned the Inn, there have been several sightings of spirits. The husband and wife team, Silvano and Sue Vales, have created good food and fun and will be our hosts (possibly along with some ghosts). For an amuse bouche enjoy the Inn’s famous firecracker shrimp: cream cheese with jalapeno and a bacon wrapping. Our lesson in the dining room will begin with a vegetable goat cheese napoleon with a balsamic reduction. Pork tenderloin with sautéed apricots served with spring onions and glazed carrots is our entrée education for the evening. For a summery treat we will enjoy a mini-lesson on individual short cakes with macerated strawberries and whipped cream.
1 Tues., May 6, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14191

The Melting Pot
30 Mamaroneck Ave., Lower Level, White Plains
914-993-6358, www.meltingpot.com
Hands-On: Fondue is a fun and interactive dining experience, and we will help to make several of their fondues from The Melting Pot cookbook Dip into Something Different: A Collection of Recipes from Our Fondue Pot to Yours. It allows you to create your own fondue at home and will be available for sale for $29.95. We will view a brief slide show presentation followed by a unique demonstration where you will help to make a the following appetizer and dessert fondues: a classic Swiss cheese, the Wisconsin Trio, white chocolate bananas Foster, and s’mores. Our entrée will teach us to prepare a tasting sampler of the restaurant’s seasonal entrée offerings. This evening’s class will be graciously offered with wine pairings for an additional $10. Come and “dip” with us!
1 Wed., May 7, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor; optional cookbook additional $29.95; optional wine pairing additional $10). #14192

Fortina Pizza
17 Maple Avenue, Armonk
914-273-0000, www.fortinapizza.com
Weekend Lunch/Hands-On
: Chef Christian Petroni, along with proprietors John Nealon and Rob Krauss, are three young men who are on the road to something great. Their combined knowledge of good food and great service make for a winning combination. Housed in a grand space, situated in a courtyard setting in Armonk, these vivacious men make it happen each and every night. Chef Christian will wow you with his tasty combinations inspired by his Arthur Avenue/Bronx Italian upbringing, bringing new and exciting things to the plate each and every time. Our interactive demonstration will begin with traditional fried meatballs and a specialty of the house, the red sauce that adorns them and its many variations. A refreshing arugula salad dressed with a light lemon vinaigrette and shaved parmesan will cleanse the palate to make way for one of their signature dishes. Well known for their inventive pizzas crisped in wood fired ovens, we will learn the secrets to the restaurant’s popular pie, tenderoni, consisting of tomato, spicy sopressata, mozzarella, and chili oil, with a drizzle of honey for a winning combination. For dessert learn the art of making sabayon with wine served alongside an inviting cappuccino.
1 Sat., May 10, 12:00 noon-2:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14196

Thyme Restaurant
3605 Crompond Road, Yorktown Heights (Cortland Manor)
914-788-8700, www.thymerestaurant.net
Hands-On: Located on the main street, on the border of Yorktown Heights and Cortland Manor, is a contemporary restaurant serving great American fare. This warm and inviting setting allows you to view owner and chef Tom Costello on any given night working in his open kitchen. He will give us an interactive demonstration and we will help to create a delicious meal starting with lobster fritters over an asparagus salad with a spring onion remoulade. We will continue our lesson and enjoy Norwegian salmon with a charred onion soubise, served over saffron rice and local grilled ramps. Next help to prep a delicious mixed berry strudel made with seasonal berries and topped with crème anglaise.
1 Mon., May 12, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14199

Albano’s
83 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge
914-764-4051, www.AlbanoAppliance.com
 
Born and raised in France, chef Jehan deNoüe has over 35 years of experience in the area. He is Albano Appliance’s own resident chef, managing the company’s continuing education program, including cooking classes, manufacturer demonstrations, and personal and in-home instruction. He is a most approachable and informed instructor and will give out tips on a variety of methodologies for preparing a fabulous meal, all the while toasting us with wine. Surrounded by the most high tech and modernl appliances, we will learn how to make a wild mushroom and asparagus tart appetizer and then the French technique for a beautifully baked sole in parchment paper with seasonal vegetables. Our dessert lesson will be a how-to on fresh fruit turnovers with homemade crème fraiche. Do not miss this class as it is always a favorite!
1 Thurs., May 15, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14201

NEW! Chloe Madison Creations
961 US Route 6, Mahopac
914-539-5643, www.chloemadison.com
Sweet
: This fabulous dessert spot, known for its amazing cupcakes, is the mastermind of CIA graduate Mike Carroll. He will take us on a tour of plated desserts by showing us how to easily and creatively plate beautiful desserts at home. At this sweet spot you will get to taste four desserts: a deconstructed strawberry shortcake with panna cotta and the technique for spun sugar; the secret to Venetian tri-color cookies; a smooth cheesecake with a blueberry compote; and a beggar’s purse of chocolate cake, ganache, and raspberry coulis. You will leave the shop with a small version of each dessert including the sauces to replicate these presentations.
1 Sat., May 17, 12:00 noon-2:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14245

Tarry Tavern 
27 Main Street, Tarrytown
914-631-7227, www.tarrytavern.com
Kitchen Visit: Owner and Chef Henry Cabral, who cooked alongside his dad in their family restaurant, Caravela, has come up with a unique formula that fills a niche in a restaurant-heavy town like Tarrytown. His casual American gastro-pub offers creative, locally sourced dishes and seasonal menus inspired by what farmers and fishermen are growing, raising, and catching. Many patrons dine before or after a show at the Tarrytown Music Hall. The chef will show us how to make hand-made ricotta cavatelli with spring peas and asparagus along with a few other delicious tidbits incorporating seasonal fare. He will demonstrate flourishes of spring market inspired ingredients, continuing with a fabulous lesson on the makings of a morel stuffed chicken breast en croute (encased in pastry) adorned with a Madeira wine sauce. For dessert, a lovely vanilla bean panna cotta with blueberries. Join us for a peek into this inviting restaurant’s kitchen!
1 Mon., May 19, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #14183

July

DeCicco’s Family Market
17 Maple Avenue, Armonk (2nd floor)
914-499-1100, www.deciccos.com

Hands-On: DeCicco’s is a family owned and operated specialty grocery store chain, which has always valued buying local products and supporting local businesses. Each location offers full service, meat, seafood, cheese, produce, and bakery departments as well as an expanded selection of gourmet grocery and specialty beer. Their newest store in Armonk has an upstairs bar, a demonstration kitchen with a viewing screen, and even a bocce court. Learn the art of Shish Kebab in this interactive demonstration. Our treat will be to devour them with some “summer brews,” one light, one dark, and one fruity tasting. The proteins will consist of beef, chicken, and pork partnered with summer vegetables to create delicious shish kebabs for the grill. We will help the chef to prep and then skewer the tasty cubes and get great grilling and marinade tips. A well- composed green leaf salad and coffee and cookies will round out our class.
1 Thurs., July 24, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #5970

Peter Pratt’s Inn
673 Croton Heights Road, Yorktown Heights
914-962-4090, www.prattsinn.com
Outdoor Pig Roast: This colonial homestead, built in 1780, has been a local inn dating back to 1926. Set in a residential neighborhood, the area has historical presence, having served as General Washington’s command post. A special place to dine, it has been producing fabulous creations from master chef and owner Jonathon Pratt, who took over for his father, Peter, in the kitchen. Known for their summertime BBQ’s on the patio, this chef is a wonderful speaker and will delight us in his informative demonstration on doing a pig roast in the La Caja China (translated “the Chinese box”). This method dates back to the 1850’s when Chinese immigrant workers in Cuba toted this roasting box around to cook their meal as they toiled in the sugar cane fields. We will also enjoy a lesson on some of Jonathon’s favorite BBQ sides. For the dessert tutorial, the chef will surprise us with a summer treat. This class is a favorite so sign up quickly to reserve your spot!
1 Thurs., July 31, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #5971

August

Crabtree’s Kittle House Restaurant & Inn
11 Kittle Road, Chappaqua
914-666-8044, www.kittlehouse.com
Outdoors: Since 1981, CKH has been owned by the Crabtree family. They have returned it to its former glory, including transforming the former stables into an award-winning wine cellar boasting some 65,000 bottles, making it one of the greatest collections in the world. It began humbly in 1790 as a barn, before the restaurant and inn were built. Many hands have touched the stately structure over the years. Executive chef Jay Lippin’s expertise and unique style of cooking will lend for a very special learning experience, starting with an outdoor (weather permitting) lesson on summer grilling. The chef will discuss various grilling techniques along with the types of wood to ignite to produce the desired results. We will begin with grilled pineapple salsa and a lesson on ceviche, consisting of diver sea scallop and Gulf shrimp. Next a tutorial on espresso and ancho rubbed, grilled prime skirt steak accompanied by a refreshing watermelon and corn relish. Our sweet treat will be the chef’s secret to their “shortbread magic bar blondies” made with chocolate, coconut, and pecans. Join us for a special evening!
1 Wed., Aug. 6, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #5972

The Chophouse Grille
957 US Route 6, Mahopac
845-628-8300, www.thechophousegrille.com
TCHG hand picks aged steaks to create a memorable meal while offering it at a reasonable price, making it sometimes difficult to get a reservation. Proprietors Matt Camerino and Toni Vulaj have over 25 years in the foodservice industry. Chef Michael Camerino will teach us some trade secrets, starting with their summertime wild cherry, pistachio, and goat cheese water cress salad for a refreshing treat. We will watch how he prepares a pan-seared Branzino with a citrus glaze, accompanied by a refreshing arugula pesto cous-cous. A demonstration on baked Alaska will complete our education with a classic and cooling dessert. Come out to see what everyone is talking about!
1 Mon., Aug. 11, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #5973

NEW! Härth
699 Westchester Avenue, Rye Brook, 914-939-6300
www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-york/hilton-westchester-RYEHIHH/dining/harth-westchester
Saturday Night: With outdoor and kitchen views from every table, this restaurant is an innovative addition to the Westchester County dining scene. Chef Rafael Velazquez is committed to culinary innovation and believes in using the finest seasonal ingredients, featuring farm-fresh and locally sourced products. Our chef will show us how to make a quick coq au vin (a very traditional French dish that usually takes many hours of cooking) and translate it to the pressure cooker, to produce a beautiful dish in less than 35 minutes time. Our first course will be a lesson on a refreshing endive salad with candied walnuts, stilton blue cheese, and a tarragon vinaigrette. The accompaniment to our spectacular chicken dish will be roasted fingerling potatoes. We will end on a sweet note with a lesson on creating a traditional crème brulee with a summertime berry compote. Grab a friend for an interactive Saturday night dinner out on the town and then relax on the patio with a cocktail or two!
1 Sat., Aug. 23, 5:00-7:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #5974

Attention Restaurant Owners and Chefs
Interested in hosting a class at your restaurant or offering a cooking class on campus? Please call Sarah Fowler-Rogers at 914-606-6985 to discuss your ideas.