The first thing you notice about the Dirty Apron Cooking School is how bright and spacious it all is, plenty of room to wave your elbows, wield the big knife and cook up an aromatic, tasty storm. The second thing, a close second in fact, is how charming and knowledgeable the chef is. David Robertson has an easy way with people. As he works his way through a short series of recipes, such as, for the “You & Julia” course, Lobster Thermidor, Boeuf Bourguignon, and a soufflé, he pauses often, and purposefully, to expound a bit on knife technique, or how to mince a shallot quickly and effectively. He is a firm believer in self-empowerment. “I don’t really believe in following a recipe down to the finest detail. You need to learn to use your own judgement and instincts as you cook. The Thermidor, for example, is a dish that is great with fresh prawns, or even something like sole.” He pauses briefly, looking over the kitchen’s multiple stoves and cooking stations, before saying, “The whole point is to learn a few things, and then take that with you as you create your own identity as a cook. And what a great thing that is.” After preparing and then eating our own dishes this evening, we could not agree more.
Photo: Kevin Clark Photography.