WILLIAMS ON WINE: COOKING + WINE

By: Ed Williams, 1808 Magazine

October  26, 2017

THE DISH

Print Works/Green Valley Grill’s Cooking Class series is and isn’t about the cooking. Sure, Executive Chef Leigh Hesling shows you step-by-step how you’re dish is prepared, aided by large video screens and mirrors. This sit-down food-and-wine pairing is all about experiencing the textures, aromas, taste, culinary ambiance and fellowship with your table mates.

THE CURRICULUM

This three-course meal varies depending on date and season — and what’s in season. The wines paired with the courses are particularly well-thought out.

THE GUY

Chef Hesling claims Australian roots, his Aussie accent unmistakable. He’s part Julia Child, part Tasmanian devil and equal parts Barnum & Bailey. He and his assistants fly around the room, dropping ingredients tableside or showing the dish in-process.

RECIPE?

Yep, you get ’em. Each step of the prep work, sauce, or entrée is outlined on a set of cards so you can follow along. Even if you never try to replicate the dish, you’ll learn cool tips and tricks of the trade.

THE COCKTAIL

This kick-starter is a special concoction from the resident mixologist — and explains why I’m spending more and more time in the bitters section at my favorite food store.

THE WINE

Well-chosen from the U.S., Spain, France, Portugal, Germany and Australia. Chef Hesling explains why they work alongside his dish.

THE LANGUAGE

Perhaps the most entertaining piece of a two-hour afternoon. Avocado should not be subjected to “smoosh-tification.” Raw tuna should be “dice-tificated” provided things don’t get out of hand during the “mix-tifaction” part of the dish, which might include some “soak-tification of the beans” and “jam-ifacation of the plums.”

Hesling reminds: “Of course, I’m in charge of the Queen’s English.”

Other phrases you might hear: “Because I can.” “Because it’s so awesome.” “Because it’s so sexy.” “Now that’s a life-changer.”

WHY YOU SHOULD GO

Most fun you can have with your clothes on. The 2018 series makes a special holiday gift.

2018 SERIES

Proximity Hotel (704 Green Valley Road): 12:30 p.m. Feb. 17, 12:30 p.m. June 9, 12:30 p.m. Sept. 22

O.Henry Hotel (624 Green Valley Road): 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. March 24,12:30 p.m. July 28, 12:30 p.m. Oct. 27

Tickets: $85 per class or three for $235. Order at www.printworksbistro.com/cooking-class/ or contact Lee Healy at 336-478-9126 or lhealy@qwrh.com. Reservations required.

Ed Williams, director of public information at Alamance Community College, likes to pass along helpful tips from this class to culinary students at his college.