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Make 2013 the year of Mediterranean cuisine with the help of the award-winning team at Sofra and Oleana. Chefs Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick have enlisted their friends and fellow cookers in creating a spectacular winter and spring line-up of cooking classes, covering topics like The Mysterious Pomegranate, The Bread Basket and Middle Eastern Baking. Peruse the entire roster below and pick out a class or two that speaks to your interests – or someone you know (any of them would make a great gift). Classes generally start at 6:30pm at Sofra (1 Belmont Street in Cambridge) unless otherwise noted and include a recipe booklet, detailed demonstrations and samples of everything the chef prepares (with wine pairings). Prices vary. To reserve your spot, you can register online (for a small fee) using the link provided or contact Janice Goldsmith (Janice@oleanarestaurant.com) or call 617.661.0505 x17.
Dolma & Sarma with Ana
Monday, January 7th
Wrapped, rolled or stuffed - these loved dishes are a signature of the Middle East. Chef Sortun will bring her favorite dolma tool and show you how to make some of her signature dishes. vine leaves with figs, leeks & yogurt, swiss chard rolls with bulgur, almonds & saffron, carrots with ground lamb and Moroccan spices, and more. Register online.
The Mysterious Pomegranate
Sunday, January 13th
Oleana’s Chef de Cuisine, Cassie Piuma, is ready to demystify the magical powers held within the pomegranate. Piuma will show you how to juice fresh fruit and make your own pomegranate molasses at home. Learn to create dishes like tuna nayeh with pomegranate spoon salad, Brussels sprouts with pomegranate, walnuts and olives, braised lamb shanks with pomegranate jus and charred eggplant, and pomegranate bbq chicken, too. Register online.
Lior’s Spice Lab
Monday, January 21st
Longtime friend, chef, and spice guru, Lior Lev Sercarz joins the team at Sofra to celebrate the release of his new book The Art of Blending. Join them to learn about his mastery of combining spices, herbs, flowers and other aromatics to complement sweet & savory flavors. This night will be complete with a couple of short demonstrations, prepared nibbles from the book, and your own author-signed copy to take home (included in the fee). Register online.
It’s Citrus Season
Monday, January 28th
Come celebrate the racy, sweet, tangy, acidic, and bright flavors of citrus season with Sofra’s Maura Kilpatrick. They’re going to liven up the winter blahs with recipes like Meyer lemon tart, candied grapefruit, frozen blood orange soufflé and lime-basil sharbat. Register online.
One Fish, Two Fish
Monday, February 4th & 25th
Chef Sortun is in the kitchen to teach you how to identify fresh fish and prepare them masterfully by using 4 different techniques: sautéing, roasting in paper, braising, and salt-crusting local, day-boat fish to make: Hake with toasted garlic and kale pancake, seared scallops with tahini, brown butter and curry, whole fish in Moroccan spiced salt crust. Register online.
From the Root Cellar
Monday, February 11th
Don’t get tired of the same old flavors in your recipe box, let Sofra’s Chef de Cuisine, Geoff Lukas, take your taste buds to the Middle East. Learn recipes like rutabaga hummus, beef köfte with mixed turnip slaw, and marinated sunchokes with crispy-skin chicken… and parsnips with dessert? You’ll have to come to find out. Register online.
Cassie’s Comfort Food
Monday, February 18th
Feel satisfied with warm, rich flavors and less fat. Cassie Piuma, Oleana’s Chef de Cuisine, shares her favorite wintertime recipes that warm you from the inside out. Learn how to make avgolemeno soup, bread & ricotta dumplings, lamb meatballs, Moroccan tagines, latke and stuffed vegetables. Register online.
The Bread Basket
Monday, March 11th
Join Sofra’s pastry sous chef, Emily Weber, as she shares with you the secrets to Sofra’s most loved breads. She will walk you through yeast breads like pita, mana’eesh, and brioche and explain the technique that makes Sofra’s so different. She’ll also demonstrate her best loved quick breads – and have you baking in no time. Register online.
Breaking the Rules
Monday, March 25th
First you learn about the classics, and then you can learn how to break the rules. Pastry Chef Maura Kilpatrick turns classic brioche into tahini brioche and then into twice baked sesame rolls, prepares chocolate olive oil truffles with chocolate panko coating, m’hencha and pistachio olive oil cake, too. Gain some confidence and suggestions to take a go-to classic to the next level. Register online.
What To Do With Your CSA Box
Monday, April 1st
Do you ever feel unsure how to tackle your CSA treasures? Let chef Sortun show you how to improvise with your box. Start by using master recipes as guides and let the vegetables be your inspiration. Learn to make vegetable kibbeh, monks salad—creamy eggplant with chopped vegetables and pomegranate molasses, and vegetable shakshuka—farm egg, vegetable ragout and Israeli spices. Register online.
Middle Eastern Baking
Monday, April 15th
Maura Kilpatrick’s creative spin on Middle Eastern will give you the recipes and know-how to tackle amazing recipes in your home kitchen. Come experience the far away flavors of milk pudding parfait, mountain bread strudel, and galaktoboureko – a Greek dessert with custard, phyllo, and sweet syrup… and much more. Register online.
Turkish Street Food
Monday, April 22nd
The streets of Turkey have inspired so many of the dishes at Oleana and Sofra that it’s only fitting they showcase them in a class. Oleana’s Sous-Chef, Cara Chigazola, shares stories about her travels and demonstrates kumpir (stuffed potatoes), lamejun, stuffed mussels, köfte ekmek, and lentil soup. Learn about traditional preparations and join the discussion about how to make each recipe your own. Register online.
Monday, May 6th
Geoff Lukas, Sofra’s Chef de Cuisine, is inspired by the power of flowers and blossoms. They’ll take dried and fresh flowers and use them to flavor and scent amazing dishes like just-cooked scallop with a salad of herb flowers, violet scented lamb with aromatic rice, confit artichoke with saffron, and rosehip-tea poached halibut. Bring the whole garden of blooms into your kitchen. Register online.
Pies In Your Pocket
Monday, May 13th
Why make a big pie when you can make one to fit in the palm of your hand? Chef Maura Kilpatrick takes phyllo, pie crust, and cream cheese dough to sweet and savory places in this mouthwatering exploration of baked goods. They’ll make raspberry rose-petal pies, blueberry-pomegranate molasses pies, asparagus-goat cheese pies, and much more. Tiny pies make a great meal on-the-go or a wonderful party snack. Register online.
Cara Had a Little Lamb
Monday, May 20th
For the second year, Oleana Sous-Chef Cara Chigazola celebrates the season with a true sign of spring – lamb. Cara will show you her take on classics like Fistik Kebab from the streets of Istanbul, and her unique creations like lamb köfte in yogurt broth, lamb shanks with pomegranates, and lamb boregi with walnuts and olives. Register online.
Restaurants featured in Sofra’s Spring Schedule
Get Baking with Less Sugar - Joanne Chang’s third cookbook, Baking with Less Sugar: Recipes for Desserts Using Natural Sweeteners and Little-to-No White Sugar, may not officially hit the shelves until April 7th but you can swing by Myers + Chang to pick up a copy. READ MORE »
Staff Picks Wine Dinner - Picking wine to go with your meal can be a little intimidating, unless you’ve got a knowledgeable and hospitable team like the one at Ten Tables Cambridge to give you some help. READ MORE »
Spring-y Wine Dinner at Franklin Cape Ann - Now that spring has officially sprung, take a jaunt out to Gloucester for a sea breeze and a paired prix fixe from the team at Franklin Cape Ann. READ MORE »
Vote for Best New Chef - On the heels of announcing their picks for the country's top ten Best News Chefs, Food & Wine has opened the polls for The People’s Best New Chef so be sure to cast your vote for your favorite East Coast cooker before Wednesday, April 8th. READ MORE »