In addition to offering diners healthy cuisine with fresh seasonal ingredients daily, The Curious Fork — the brand new local café and hybrid culinary space in Solana Beach at 512 Via de la Valle - is now offering a full schedule of exciting, educational cooking classes this summer in its intimate, state-of-the-art demo kitchen. A great way to spend an evening with friends, a party idea for your group or your next social outing, these interactive and practical classes range from the Cooking Essentials Class that helps any novice learn their way around a kitchen to the Weekly Farmer’s Market class that guides shoppers through the mysterious world of organic shopping and healthy meal options. Other highlights include Guest Chef Minh Nguyen’s special healthy-living interactive dinner with an emphasis on raw ingredients, and The Curious Fork’s Executive Chef Kai Peyrefitte teaching Organic Baby Puree methods, Knife Skills techniques, and a special Aphrodisiacs class.
A haven for the health-conscious, The Curious Fork in Solana Beach is a 1,800 square-foot quick-service café and multi-use culinary space helmed by local founders and executive chefs Barbara McQuiston and Kai Peyrefitte. Organically sourced, gluten-free fare is always the quick-service café menu, which is open everyday except Sunday from 7am-2:30pm, serving freshly baked pastries, nourishing smoothies, salads, sandwiches and soups, pizzas, small plates and specials. In the dedicated event space, engaging cooking classes are offered in the evening for every level culinary enthusiast on a variety of topics from beginner knife-skills and date night ideas to pop-up chef demonstrations, hosted speaking engagements, and book signings. A curated retail shop features carefully selected products to promote healthy living and improve at-home cooking technique including specialty gifts, appliances, cooking utensils, bakeware, and artisan goods.
Full descriptions of classes offered this August and September are below, and you can find additional class information online.
Knife Skills Class - $70 - August 12, 2014, 6-8pm with Instructor Kai Peyrefitte, The Curious Fork’s Executive Chef
Knife skills are the first place to start when beginning an adventure in the culinary world. This class explores how to carefully hold and wield the blade along with a variety of techniques, allowing cooks to create beautiful vegetable cuts and fine carving. Learn how to fine tune skills, why different cutting methods are important and how to use them when you cook. Bring your favorite knife for a complimentary sharpening, or upgrade your class by purchasing the trusted Shun Sora series 8” Chef’s knife!
Farmer’s Market Box Class - $60 - Offered every Thursday - August 14, 21 & 28, 2014 | September 11 & 18, 2014, 6pm with Instructor Kai Peyrefitte, The Curious Fork’s Executive Chef
The fresher the better! The Farmer’s Market class is a weekly seminar that guides a shopper through local San Diego farmer’s markets and provides meal ideas. Attendees take home a box full of some of the freshest produce San Diego's local farms can provide — the contents of the Farmer's Market Box change weekly depending on what’s in-season, and The Curious Fork Chef cooks through a meal with the ingredients in the box, providing guests with ideas on how to include the ingredients in meals for the week.
Guest Chef Minh Nguyen: Let Food Be Thy Medicine - $60 - August 23, 2014 5:30 - 8:30pm
Guest Chef Minh Nguyen (Nutrition Chef & Fitness Specialist/Healthy Lifestyle Coach & Consultant) takes over The Curious Fork’s state-of-the-art demo kitchen for a special healthy-living dinner and interactive presentation. With an emphasis on eating raw, Chef Minh guides guests through the healing power of what we consume and how food affects the mind, body and soul.
Highlights from this exclusive dinner include wild Alaskan salmon cakes with raw honey gold sauce, farmer's greens with fresh herb dressing, and coconut green smoothies from scratch. Enjoy a guiltless sweet ending with a layered raw dessert made with silky chocolate avocado mousse, vanilla bean coconut cream, raw honey-berry glaze, and a raw nutty graham cracker crust.
Cooking Essentials - $220 or $550 (Includes Cooking Essentials Kit) - Three-part course: August 27, September 10 & September 17, 2014, 6-9pm with Instructor Kai Peyrefitte, The Curious Fork’s Executive Chef
The perfect course to learn your way around the kitchen with ease, Cooking Essentials is a three-part, three-hour class series that includes interactive activities, demonstrations, and hands-on theory. This fun and playful class gives you a solid culinary foundation to cook simple yet fantastically delicious meals and covers basic equipment, knife skills and how to correctly season for delectable breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees.
Some of the dishes covered include the classic omelette, French toast with Chantilly crème and berries, a savory three-cheese grilled cheese sandwich, a goat cheese, wild mushroom and candied nut salad, and a fresh caprese salad. Other hearty and healthy recipes include the roasted chicken with rosemary red potatoes, parmesan-crusted asparagus and traditional pan gravy, grilled New York Strip with garlic whipped potatoes and pan seared salmon, rice pilaf and a seasonal vegetable medley topped with citrus sauce.
Attendees can upgrade their experience with The Curious Fork Cooking Essentials Kit, a hand-selected collection of must-have culinary tools including: the Shun Sora 8" Chef’s Knife and Sharpening/Honing Steel, MicoPlane Grater, Silpat Baking Liner, Metal Tongs, Rubber Spatula, Metal Fish Spatula, Whisk, Measuring Spoons and Cups, Wooden Spoon, Curious Fork Cutting Board, two Hand Towels and a case to make it easy to organize the tools for your new culinary know-how.
Chocolate In the Raw - $65 - August 29, 2014, 6-8pm with Instructor Barbara McQuiston, The Curious Fork’s Founder & Executive Chef
Dating back centuries, chocolate has long been a symbol of love and delight. Class guests learn how raw cocoa, a naturally bitter ingredient, blends and complements various flavors to create treats that range from comforting to exotic. Perfect for a date night or ladies night out, this class is a hands-on guide to chocolate highlighting facts about its history and health benefits. Attendees learn dessert plating techniques and mouth-watering recipes such as Spicy Green Tea Dark Chocolates, Mayan Hot Chocolate, and Lavender Chocolate Mousse Tarts (surprisingly gluten-free!)
Homemade Organic Baby Purees - $85 -September 6, 2014, 2-4pm with Instructor Kai Peyrefitte, The Curious Fork’s Executive Chef
Join The Curious Fork’s Executive Chef Kai Peyrefitte in this two-hour class to create nutritious purees while understanding proper canning methods, preservation procedures and safety techniques. In just a couple of hours, guests are able to prepare food to last one to two weeks and keep ALL of the nutrients in the food. Chef Peyrefitte has personally ensured that his children receive meals that are all natural containing non-GMO products and using organic ingredients from local farms — he shares his recipes that reflect just that.
Game Time: Football Finger Foods - $70 - September 12, 2014, 6:30-9pm with Instructor Kai Peyrefitte, The Curious Fork’s Executive Chef
It’s game time! The Curious Fork’s Football Finger Foods class prepares any fan for the next pigskin party by teaching you some essential bite-sized dish recipes. Impress your guests with the perfect chicken wings, some inventive date, goat cheese and Rumaki street carnitas with queso fresco and salsa fresca, pulled chicken sliders, gluten-free walnut brownies and dark chocolate-covered peanut butter balls. This class will have your friends and family begging you for recipes and repeat performances every Sunday!
Spice It Up with Aphrodisiacs - $85 - September 26, 2014, 6-9pm with Instructor Kai Peyrefitte, The Curious Fork’s Executive Chef
Ideal for a spicy date night, this class takes you on a sensory journey of aphrodisiacs. Learn what makes an aphrodisiac an aphrodisiac along with some stimulating facts, and then prepare to indulge in a hands-on menu creation of aphrodisiac dishes. Guests can sip on pomegranate cocktails while enjoying dark chocolate and lavender strawberries infused with brandy, a mouthwatering appetizer of watermelon, basil and pan-seared prosciutto, fresh oyster shooters, sautéed salmon and a tantalizing bananas foster dish.
The Curious Fork is located in the Ocean Pointe complex at 512 Via de la Valle; private events and catering are also available. For more information, call (855) 387-3675 or visit thecuriousfork.com.