Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chef J Bistro -Delicious Restaurant and Cooking Classes in Cape Coral


Chef J Bistro and Cooking School is a mouthful to say. It is a tasty mouthful when food hits your plate and palate that’s crafted by Executive Chef J, aka, Chef Jethro Joseph.
    Cayman Islands born and professionally trained at prestigious Johnson & Wales, his subsequent experience at Tarpon Lodge and other high end spots further honed his palate. His passion for cooking is evident by his choosing to teach and mentor some 298 high school students this year, some of whom will go on to be culinarians in their own right.
     I recently attended one of his $35-42 cooking classes for adults, and all attendees were impressed by the fine quality of the food, the setting, and most of all his warmth, great teaching skills and passion for cooking. Bonus-wines are served and you get to eat all that's cooked. 

Many chefs can give a recipe and prepare a dish in front of attendees. The art comes in showing just how to use a technique, and in sharing time-saving techniques that make home cooking a pleasure, not a pain.

Recipe books are full of masterpieces requiring 10-20 ingredients-there’s always one or two that are unavailable or require shopping at several stores to gather them up. Ugh. Those books rarely get cracked open in the kitchen. Chef J instead chooses simple fresh ingredients obtainable at the local grocery store, and items in your cupboard. He then shows/tells how to make it more delicious with simple techniques. Why not learn how to make a delicious dish with only five or six easily obtainable fresh ingredients?

 Chef J demonstrated the steps to making each dish, then we tasted them. Try two items that are also on the regular restaurant menu- crab and corn chowder-it would make a New Englander feel at home!
 The candied walnut, pear and cranberry salad-it's refreshingly light and tasty.
 He next made a delicious crisp mushroom flat bread appetizer in no time, and it was a hit!

 He followed with  easy-to-make chicken with marsala and mushrooms that was tender and flavorful. It only whetted our appetites for coming back to the restaurant later.

 One attendee who has dined at the restaurant recommends the roasted Chilean sea bass topped with saffron-citrus dressing, marinated fresh halibut served with miso vinaigrette, and the steak au poivre-grilled and topped with a savory peppercorn-cognac sauce. We left as two tables of repeat customers arrived.
The menu is extensive and pricing is wallet friendly.
For those on the run, or off to a picnic, there are boxed lunches to go-call for your choice ahead of time and pick it up-minimum order is for ten guests. Try veggie wrap, grilled chicken provolone and mini roast beef sandwiches. Then choose two add-ins from a list, and you’re good to go.
Chef J Catering is available for any number of guests.

Not only is Chef J a competent chef with an attractive restaurant, the fact that he gives back to the community by sharing his skills with hundreds of students gets my respect. Sign up for a Cooking Studio class with friends,  or come in for lunch or dinner- you are in for a treat!

Chef J Bistro and Cooking Studio, 2612 Santa Barbara Blvd, Unit 12 & 13 Cape Coral, (by Five Guys) 829-0348   www.chefjbistro.com

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