Jul 3rd, 2018

Culinary Demo: Lightened Up Favorites

Recently I met with Executive Chef Anne Maury Haapala who shared her vision for the upcoming cooking demonstration Lightened Up Favorites with Chef Anne which will take place on July 25, 2018. This 90-minute demo is followed by a delectable lunch featuring some of the recipes discussed.Chef Anne Culinary Demo

MSC: What is your vision or approach to this class?

AMH:  I want to be completely honest and upfront that I have struggled to eat well all my life – food is such a comfort.  One of the biggest challenges with eating healthy is that we all have to eat to live and we want what we eat to taste good.  In this class, I want to bring back the fun into your favorite dishes without the guilty calories.

MSC: What can attendees look forward to?

AMH: I want to demonstrate tips and tricks for cooking healthy at home including substitutions that bring the indulgent meter up, but the calorie countdown.  We can reduce the number of calories in a lot of our favorite recipes just by changing a few simple ingredients!

Chef Anne culinary demo healthy pizzaMSC: The class description mentions “fake-out take-out.”  Can you describe what you are referring to when you use that term?

AMH:  “Fake-out take-out” refers to creating lighter versions of dishes that we tend to order for delivery or carry out like pizza or sesame chicken.  I’m planning to demo a lightened-up sesame chicken with brown rice and a cauliflower crust pizza to show how you can make healthier versions of these favorites at home. 

MSC: These classes always include a lunch featuring some of the recipes demonstrated.  Can you give us any hints about what might be on the July 25th menu?

chef anne cooking demo healthy eatingAMH:  I’d like to include dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to show how home chefs can lighten up each meal of the day.  For breakfast, I’d like to cover how to make lightened up pancakes.  As an interesting take on lunch, I’d like to show how to lighten up the Southern favorite, chicken salad, by creating a lighter chicken salad base that can be personalized with various flavorful additions.  For dinner, in addition to the sesame chicken and cauliflower crust pizza, I’d like to make an indulgent Italian dish turned light with eggplant parmesan over zoodles (zucchini noodles).  There also might be a few surprises….

MSC: What do you enjoy most about these culinary demonstrations?

AMH: I love the interactions with the attendees – their questions force me to learn more.  I love being able to impart some of my culinary school knowledge to the home chef.  Cooking should be fun and worry-free, not scary and intimidating!

MSC:  What other culinary demos do you have coming up soon?

Chef Anne Culinary demonstration cooking classAMH:  I’m really excited about the other demos I have coming up this summer!  In the Lunchtime Lecture: Brunch on August 15, I’ll show attendees how to make a delicious make-ahead brunch for a crowd.  I’m also looking forward to our first Culinary Evening: Japanese At-Home Favorites on August 28 where I’ll demonstrate how to translate some Japanese favorites for the home chef. 

MSC: Have you started planning any fall classes?

AMH: We are going to offer two daytime lunchtime lectures: Seasonal Sauces in October and Holiday Entertaining in November.  I’m excited that we are going to expand our after-work offerings with two culinary evening demos continuing the international theme with Bites Around the World: Spain in September and Bites Around the World: France in October.  Registration for these fall classes will open on Wednesday, August 1st.

Learn all the tips and tricks that Anne has to share during the Lunchtime-Lecture: Lightened Up Favorites on Wednesday, July 25, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Find out details and register online using the link above or call (804) 262-9887 x320. 

Megan Compton is the Adult Education Assistant at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. She enjoys spending time with her husband and children, gardening, reading and studying history.

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