Cooking with Wine

One of the coolest things about my current employer is the nature of the cuisine and it’s strong relationship to wine. None of the restaurants I’d worked at previously offered the quality and diversity our menu does. I’ve already gleaned a lot about cooking by building relationships with the executive kitchen managers, aka the chefs.

Tonight, the restaurant hosted an event for its wine club members called, “Cooking with Wine.” Because I work there, I don’t get to go to these events, but I’m always trying to hang around to see what I can pick up, because the menus for these events are specialty dishes served exclusively to the attendees. What set tonight apart was the inclusion of a demonstration by one of our chefs. Afterwards, I picked his brain for some takeaways from his presentation.

He cooks chicken with vermouth, much like his french grandfather did. He said it’s like white wine only with higher alcohol content and longer shelf life. He reiterated what we’ve often heard from the company’s chief winemaker and head chef, that one should never cook with wine one won’t drink. Specialized wines like Marsala and Madeira are an exception. He talked about deglazing, and the reasons to use stainless steel pans rather than non-stick. One tip he offered for entertaining was to cook the pasta the day before and simply heat it up when the sauce is ready. He might have had more to offer if I hadn’t needed to get back out to my tables, but that was plenty. I appreciated his willingness to take the time to share the tidbits with me. I look forward to picking up some vermouth to keep on hand just in case. Now I just have to remember to ask if he prefers sweet or dry… Enjoy!

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