Thursday, November 24, 2005

Waters Fine Catering

Forget about Turkey Day 2005 for a bit and lets talk about the Macy’s School of Cooking (at the Mission Valley Home store, next to Target). Last Saturday, Chef Andrew Spurgin from Waters Fine Catering joined Chef Bernard from The Marine Room for two hours of cooking. Chef Bernard is the regular “emcee” at these classes and he usually has a guest chef that comes in, though sometimes it will be just Chef Bernard, who puts on an entertaining and educational class. Typically, a 3-course meal is prepared with sample plates served to all.

The readers of San Diego Magazine has given Water Fine Catering high marks the last couple of years in their reader poll “Best of…” lists. I won’t pass judgment one way or another from that (I mean, who knows….I believe IHOP has appeared on such a list) but surely it is a city favorite. (Hard to find, I hear, on West Morena Blvd.)

The theme was Holiday Entertaining Secrets – I care little of entertaining, but I’m of course always interested in some interesting foods. Chef Andrew had plenty of stories to tell – he got off on tangents to the point my wife whispered, “Come on already, cook something.” I found him to be an excellent speaker and seems to be very knowledgeable.

Sometimes at these classes (I’ve been to 4 or 5 this year) the chef starts out with an empty slate, so to speak, grabbing the raw materials from counter and making the food right in front of us with the samples coming right from that. Other times, the recipes are quickly demonstrated with samples handed out from food that was prepared earlier (or “in back”.) I suppose it depends on the size of the group. The room was probably half full (full capacity is 110 or so) and was the largest group I’ve seen there.

Okay, on to the food. First Chef Andrew made a Truffle Fonduto – I wasn’t sure if this was just a cute name for a fondue or if it has real meaning. From the recipe it seems to be fondue with the inclusion of eggs. It was served to us in a small cup with a variety of dipping items (marble potato, asparagus spear, cubed bread). Tasty. Next he made a Apple-Walnut Vinaigrette for a Frisée Salad. Again very tasty. I’m not to the point in the kitchen where I would make more own dressing, but it was delicious – basically a apple juice reduction with oil (one part walnut oil to two parts olive oil) and vinegar, a little finely chopped garlic and shallots.

Main course, which I have pictured, was Duck Breast with Yam and Gold Potato Purée, Vegetables and an Orange-Fig Balsamic Sauce with Anise. Whew. It all sounds fancy! And again it was delici-yoso….ahh, sorry, lets just say it was deeee-lish! (There is a little fig in there with the sause).

My, it's really a small portion!

Cost is $25 for the 2 hour class. Oddly, they don’t have a website, but you can see class descriptions by picking up a flyer at the store. And if you want any of the recipes, or info on the upcoming classes, fire an email at me.


Blogger crazysalad said...

Thanks for the report, Scott. It always surprises me to find businesses that don't have websites yet. I tried calling the Macy's phone number, but gave up after trying to wade through their voice mail system for 5 minutes. But the U-T Wednesday Food Section usually has Macy's classes listed in their upcoming events column.

I wish there were more hands-on cooking classes. The demonstrations are fun to watch but they remind me of the old Smell-o-Vision movies from the 60s. With Taste-a-Rama cooking classes you get little bites of food to complement your visual experience.

November 25, 2005 10:56 AM  
Blogger KirkK said...

Scott - Water's makes pretty good sandwiches and salads from their Morena Blvd location - pretty reasonable too.

November 27, 2005 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is also another caterer in town that does an incredible Thanksgiving Dinner :to Go"...Everything from hors d'oeuvres and soups to desserts, ready for you to heat and serve.. top quality, free range turkey...Metro Gourmet at It's usually posted on thier web site around holiday time.

July 10, 2006 10:04 AM  

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