There was a lot more instruction in this class, and I really liked that. The instructor would show us how he wanted us to cut two or three types of produce, then we would go to our stations and do it, then the instructor would show us more, etc. He floated around to each station to help us. We cut onions, leeks, garlic (my hands still smell), basil, parsley, oranges, turnips, and carrots. I feel like I know the proper way to hold a knife now, and I understand why I could never chop fresh basil. Turns out that trying to do what the guy on TV does isn't a foolproof plan.
The instructor took the produce we cut and made us dinner with it. We had salad with fancy carrots and orange slices, tomato-basil soup, and turnip and onion gratin. It was really good and I enjoyed it, although the instructor used a lot more butter and cream than I would use at home.
At the beginning of the class, the instructor asked if anyone was a vegetarian. I raised my hand, and he said, "Tonight is for you!" I was relieved we wouldn't be cutting up meat. I'd already decided that I would just abstain from that part of the class, but it was nice to not have to do so.
Image nicked from here. You should click that link. I'll wait.
Then, after we'd had our salad and soup and were eating the turnip dish, I heard the chef explaining to the other table how he had made the soup. "Then I used three parts chicken stock to one part cream to one part milk."
I believe the words I uttered then were, "Are you #$*)@ing me?" I don't think I said it loudly enough for anyone but Kyle to hear, thankfully. I then contemplated whether to say anything to the chef. I didn't, deciding it would just make him feel badly with no benefits. There was nothing to be done about it now. We had already finished the soup. I'm still contemplating whether I should e-mail the company to share my experience and ask them to be a little more aware in the future.
The kick is twofold:
1. I would have checked with the chef concerning the ingredients if he had not made a point of noting I was a vegetarian at the beginning of the class.
2. I really, really don't want to ingest meat. It makes me sad that I have chicken stock in my body. I silently apologized to the chicken, but I'm guessing that's little consolation for her.
Sigh. Nothing's perfect, and I will try to focus on the things I learned instead of the one flaw of the evening.
Maybe my experience can be a cautionary tale for someone who reads this. People have all sorts of ideas about food that you may find weird and meaningless. Being hospitable means that you pay attention anyway.