Weekend Foodie Warriors – Take 65! German Cooking Class Review
Hello again, Foodie Friends 🙂 Hope you’ve had a great week so far! For this edition of Foodie Adventures, we’re taking you on a tour of The Cook’s Station’s most recent cooking class with our friends Chef Vince and Chef Tazia, for their “German Food Pairing” class! 🙌
German Food Pairing Class
515 Buncombe St, Greenville, SC, 29601
Jamie and I love when we get to go to The Cook’s Station to hang out with Chef Vince and Chef Tazia for their cooking classes! 😁 This one was really cool, as it was different than the last Greek cooking class we went to. Check out the blog here if you missed out on reading about that one.
This was a pairing class, where Chef Tazia and Chef Vince were taking more time explaining the pairings behind the food and the drinks that were going on and the stories behind the food more so than the recipes themselves. They supplied a menu this time, but not specific recipes unless people asked for them after the class.
I actually grew up in Germany when I was little! My dad used to work for a company that had a German division and got transferred over there as an ex-pat for a year, so I lived overseas with him and my mom in Frankfurt when I was a baby. While I don’t remember much about the food or the fun sites that we saw while we were living there, I have tons of photo albums to look back at and I’ve always had a soft spot for the cuisine as my mom and dad would cook it a lot when I was growing up. Whenever we got the chance to go to a great German restaurant or hang out with our German friends that visited from overseas, they would always try and cook some of the great foods from their homeland that they missed.
One of my favorite restaurants to take my parents to in Greenville when we are feeling nostalgic is Schwaben House, which is about the closest to super authentic, homemade German food that you can get around here, in my opinion. Chef Vince, who has cooked quite a bit overseas, had interns that worked for him at one of the restaurants he was at that were German. He ended up giving them a call before this class to make sure that he got the recipes and the methods of how to cook some of these dishes directly from the source, which I think is fantastic!
Anytime Jamie and I try to cook a new cuisine we always love to try to make it as close to the real thing as possible; using all of the ingredients or tools that someone in that native country would be using as well. I feel that it makes the dish so much more authentic and taste so much better when you’re trying to be as immersive and respectful as you can be of the culture and food. 💜
Curried cottage fries, Bavarian pretzels, & beer cheese
The first course was an appetizer of curried cottage fries and homemade Bavarian pretzels baked by Chef Tazia, which were sublime, along with German-style beer cheese, with a German ale added to the sauce. This was served with a Bavarian-style Pilsner to go along with it as the alcohol pairing.
Our sommelier and food and beverage guide, Devin, did a fantastic job throughout the night of explaining all of the different alcohols, whether they be wine or beer, that went along with the food and why he picked which for what course.
Wienerschnitzel with spaetzle and a sage brown butter sauce
The second course was actually combined with the third course if you look at the original menu picture from the top. So this new second course included the Wienerschnitzel with spaetzle and a sage brown butter sauce, which was phenomenal. This is the quintessential German food and is basically like eating a warm hug. If a German person could give you a hug, this is what it would feel like. 😂💜
To translate “Wienerschnitzel” in German, “wiener” is translated as “veal”, which is typically baby cow, and “schnitzel” is the method by which it is pounded out (cutlet style) and then breaded and fried. “Jaegerschnitzel”, which is also very traditional, is the same thing but made with pork instead.
Ours was served with spaetzle, which is a really simple egg noodle pasta (typically made with only eggs, milk/water, and flour), which you put through a ricer that turns into these tiny tiny little grains of pasta almost. Chef Tazia did an awesome job making that, and you can see the process in the slideshow below from her making the batter to it coming out of the ricer and breaking apart into little pasta pieces in the water.
It’s super delicate but really comforting, and Chef Vince made this great sage and brown butter sauce to go along with it. Chef Tazia’s spaetzle was absolutely delicious and the sauce went beautifully with the schnitzel as well. Chef Tazia also made a quick German-style cucumber salad, with yogurt, some onion and spices, and a little shallot oil, which really brightened up some of the heaviness of dishes.
Devin paired this with a German ale called a Kolsch, which is a lighter beer, along with a 2019 Sybille Kuntz Orange Riesling made in Germany. I love the story behind the Sybille Kuntz Winery, which you can read more about in my Euphoria Greenville blog here, as the first time I learned more about it was from Matt, who runs Mission Grape in Greer.
You can also learn more about the dryness of the rieslings that the Kuntz family makes in Germany by watching the video here from Devin, our sommelier, that I had posted on our Instagram this week.
Beef rouladen on a bed of apple red cabbage
The third course was a Beef rouladen with an apple red cabbage on the side. This was a rolled beef flank steak that Chef Vince had pounded out and stuffed with good grainy mustard, bacon, (if he had been able to find it he would have used German) pickles, and some spices, and baked those in a red wine reduction sauce for a few hours. That was served with an apple and red cabbage mixture that was absolutely delicious.
This was paired with a 2016 Corver’s-Kauter Pinot Noir from Germany, as beef is typically paired with a glass of red wine. This was the most colorful and delicious of all of the courses and the beef had so much flavor from all the Umami and tangy notes inside of the roll, paired with sweet and tangy cabbage on the side.
Bee Sting Cake
Last but not least was a “Bee Sting cake” made by Chef Tazia, paired with a 2019 Neiss Riesling out of Germany, along with a Jagermeister honey liqueur, which was super honey forward.
The cake itself she spent all day on, and was made using brioche dough and was cut in half and stuffed with pastry cream. The topping was made with honey and slivered almonds! It was super light and absolutely delicious and we still had leftovers after the class was done to take some home.
We even brought our new friend Emil with us this time, who was so awesome in taking videos of some of the cooking class, so definitely stay tuned for those coming up in the near future as well. 🎥
We also got a chance to look around at some of the new goodies that The Cook’s Station had to offer. They just went to a really awesome cooking trade show and brought in a lot of new items to the shop; and did you know that they just celebrated their one year birthday at their new location!?! I took a video of some of the new things they acquired and you can check that out here!
Anytime you go to one of their cooking classes, you also get 20-25% off of anything in the store before your leave, so Jamie and I got some of the wines that we loved from the class at a discount along with a new meat thermometer, as ours broke in the move to the new house. We are really looking forward to their next cooking class with Chef’s Vince and Tazia on the 20th, which is an Italian cooking class, Chef Vince’s specialty! Definitely get your tickets soon because that one sells out really quickly! 🍝😁 Click the link here to check out their whole calendar of cooking classes for more.
Bonus! More about the Chefs:
Chef Vince is super cool, we’ve hung out with him a few times since we started taking cooking classes at The Cook’s Station and love his vivacity for life and passion for food! He used to be the fishmonger for the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen and Food Network in New York City! Chef Vince has also cooked alongside Food Network chefs at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and is a really down-to-earth guy. We’re glad we’ve found another foodie friend that shares our love of travel, cuisine, and cooking as well.
Chef Tazia is a local southerner, and went to the Greenville Technical College, majoring in culinary arts. She loves baking and has worked for The Cook’s Station for about a year, and prefers cooking European, African, and Caribbean cuisine. She and Chef Vince do quite a lot of classes together, and they tend to lean more towards Chef Vince’s Italian and Mediterranean roots, but it’s definitely a cool matchup with both of their personalities. I love her baking style too!
So how was your weekend, Foodie Friends? Have you ever taken a local cooking class? What cuisine should we learn to cook next? Sound out in the comments below to let us know your suggestions of what dishes to make or places we should visit next. As always, feel free to like, comment, & share 🤗