Dirty Apron Cooking School: Part Two
“It Takes Two”
Known as one of the best places to get your ‘cook’ on, the Dirty Apron Cooking School offers one of the best cooking experiences for beginners and pros alike. Explore different techniques, enhance your skills and cook your very own attractive taste bud tantalizing meal. It doesn’t matter what type of cook you are or if you don’t even cook at all as the Dirty Apron Cooking School provides their students with thorough demos, constant assistance and easy-to-read recipe and instruction books to keep you at a comfortable pace.
The owners of the Dirty Apron Cooking School, Chef David Robertson and his wife Sara created the school because of their great passion for colourful mouth-watering dishes, exotic sweet desserts and for sharing their culinary knowledge with others. Chef David teaches the majority of the classes at the Dirty Apron and he has a solid amount of experience in classic French cuisine. Some classes throughout the year are taught by famous culinary pros and chefs like Vikram Vij, from Vij’s Restaurant which add even more flavour to the calendar year.
The Dirty Apron Cooking School offers a wide range of classes from Italian, Hawaiian and Thai to meat grilling, Spanish tapas and seafood classes. There are 2 1/2 hour hands-on classes, educational tasting classes, teen cooking camps, gourmet boot camps and 4-hour hands-on classes. If you want to encourage more team work in your office you can grab your office crew and take the corporate/private 4-hour hands-on class or the teambuilding class.
When students take part in the cooking classes at the Dirty Apron, they use only the best when it comes to cookware. The Dirty Apron’s partnerships with Sub Zero Fridges, Wolf Ranges, All Clad Cookware and Wusthof Knives has made it all possible. The Dirty Apron also has a delicatessen that offers the public a scrumptious deli menu during the day, catering services, gifts for that food lover in your life and group events.
Three Highlights That Make This Experience Unique
- There are a number of classes to choose from including international dishes from Italy, Thailand, France and Hawaii to themed classes such as grilling, seafood and tapas.
- The Dirty Apron offers dedicated assistance throughout the entire class and easy to understand demos.
- Perfect for teambuilding, icebreakers and dates! The ‘It takes Two’ which is just for couples is a great way to see how your partner turns up the heat in the kitchen.
Classes Provided by The Dirty Apron Cooking School Include
- The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker: A Night of Cooking and more
- Ocean Fling: The Ultimate Seafood Class
- Meat Eaters Unite: The Meat Class
- Ooh La La: The French Class
- La Cucina Toscana: Tasting Tuscany
- BC Dine and Vine: A Celebration of Local Flavours
- Mamma Mia! The Italian Class
- The Brunch Bunch
- San Sebastian Tapas: Small Plates from Spain’s Birthplace of the Tapa
- Ocean Potion: The Seafood Class
- Sea to Sky: Ocean Deep and Mountain High
- Foodie Favourites: Crafting Decadence
- Hawaiian Nights: A Culinary Tour of the Islands
- Crabs in the Bucket: A Three Course Crustacean Tasting Menu
- It Takes Two: A Class for Couples
- Viva La Vegetarian: The Art of Vegetarian Cooking
- Singles in the City: Food Lovers Unite! (for gentlemen)
- Singles in the City: Food Lovers Unite! (for ladies)
- On the Bone: Braise, Roast and Grill
- Get Your Grill On: The Ultimate Grilling Class
- Famous Guest Chef: Vikram Vij
- The First Step: The Knife Skills Class
- No Place Like Home: The Uniquely West Coast
Tips for Visitors: Some Things To Know Before You Go
- If you are going for a 4 hour class at the Dirty Apron, make sure you have a snack beforehand. While the Dirty Apron is hospitable with some small treats and drinks before you start the cooking class and during, you might need a little more for energy as you won’t be eating your first course for awhile.
- Don’t forget to take your camera so you can capture each culinary masterpiece you create before you gobble it up!
- Wear comfortable shoes as you will be standing for certain periods of time while cooking.
Our Dirty Apron Couples Experience: “It Takes Two”
Shaun and I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘It Takes Two’ couples class as it offered a lot of cooking laughs and the opportunity to work as a team. When we entered the school we were kindly greeted by a wonderful staff and our soon-to-be teachers. We enjoyed sparkling wine and some light tapas and snacks before starting the first demo. I wasn’t feeling nervous as I had already been once to the Mama Mia! Italian class and knew what to expect.
(At first you may feel a bit anxious because you are trying to remember everything that is shown and said, but I guarantee that you will be just fine regardless of your skill level. Don’t write notes during the demos and just listen to the teacher and watch what they are doing with the ingredients. Remember, you are not being graded on this experience and you are there to have fun with your partner!)
We put our aprons on and headed off to the classroom where there were seats facing the front of the class and demo area. I believe it was Jennifer Peters who was the first chef we met for the classroom and cooking tool introduction and then Chef Takashi Mizukami took over. Both chefs were funny and a delight to listen too because they both possessed such positive upbeat attitudes and expressed their genuine passion for cooking and food.
Our first demo was on the Chocolate Soufflé and the Grand Marnier Crème Brulee which seemed pretty easy to understand. We couldn’t believe the minimal steps that were taken to make a sinful Creme Brulee! After the desserts were prepped and prepared by us, we placed them at the front of the class so the chefs could place them out of the way so we could start on the Whole Roasted Cornish Game Hen and get it into the oven to bake.
We then began to work together our appetizer dish which was a Goat Cheese Apricot Cake and Grilled Pear and Prosciutto Salad. We split the responsibilities and checked in with each other to make sure we were both on the right track. It was a lot of fun to work towards a delicious appetizer together and delicious it was! See photos below:
We then started working on the Truffle and Thyme Risotto which was to go along side the Cornish Hen when fully cooked and plated. I love truffle sauce so this was one of my favourite dishes to make! After checking the temperature of our hen and making sure it was cooked throughout, Shaun separated the legs, breast and wings and plated it for us to enjoy. We added the grainy mustard sauce that I made to compliment the dish and added our risotto! Voila! Dinner is served. While it may not be the best plating or photo, it was very tasty and tons of fun to make together. (Don’t judge a book by its cover!)
Up next was our desserts which we were truly excited about. Before eating the Crème Brulee, Shaun took the torch and caramelized the top of it and then dipped two strawberries in vanilla and dark chocolate along side of the chocolate soufflé. It was heavenly! While our soufflé didn’t come out perfect, it was still sweet and sinful as we hoped. Every time we sat down to dine and enjoy one of our entrees we were given the choice of wine, beer or non-alcoholic sparkling cranberry juice and then a selection of tea and coffee with dessert. Our evening ended with a closing speech by our chefs and a round of applause for all of us couples. It was such a great night idea for a night out and completely different from the normal dining experience.
My Final Thoughts
We thoroughly enjoyed our experience at the Dirty Apron Cooking School and I hope in the future we can try the other themed classes, discover various cuisine techniques and learn how to make more of the Dirty Apron’s signature dishes. I believe the Dirty Apron Cooking School is a fabulous experience for friends, couples and even family members to truly spend some unique time together working on dishes together. The school can offer students and aspiring chefs the opportunity to increase their confidence level in the kitchen and allow them to move onto more challenging dishes and levels of technique. I will be recommending this couples class to any couple I know that is seeking something ‘unique’ for date night.
Dirty Apron Cooking School
540 Beatty Street, Crosstown
Vancouver, BC V6B 2L3