photos by Macduff Everton
story published in the Santa Barbara News Press on 12/9/18
Chef Jason Paluska thinks a few expert tips can make holiday meal making a lot less intimidating.
The culinary whiz behind the huge success of Santa Barbara’s popular restaurant, The Lark, is leading his very first cooking class. The intimate, 90-minute gathering of budding cooks will take place Wednesday, December 19th at The Lark’s sister spot next door, the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. Tickets are $100.
|The Lark's signature Brussels Sprouts w/Medjool Dates are on the cooking class menu on Dec. 19|
So the goal of his class is to make holiday cooking “more simple and more approachable.”
Much of the class’ appeal, though, is the chef’s own celebrity, thanks to the following The Lark has reaped in its five short years as a culinary cornerstone in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. Mr. Paluska transitioned from a thriving career in the San Francisco food scene -- Town Hall, Salt House and RN74 are on the Texas native’s résumé – to help design and launch The Lark in August of 2013. The story of the restaurant’s success ever since, as well as the story behind its deliberate homage to Santa Barbara in the food it sources and purveyors it partners with, is chronicled in a 400-page cookbook published by the Lark late last year. In fact, “Around The Table: Recipes and Stories from The Lark in Santa Barbara,” inspires all of the culinary components on the menu during Chef Paluska’s upcoming class.
“The book represents the Santa Barbara region and who I am and what I do every day in the kitchen really well,” says the chef.
Students will learn Lark classics like Crispy Brussels Sprouts, prepared with Medjool dates, garum, serrano chile, sesame and lime and Butternut Squash ad Candied Apples, made with fromage blanc, beets, black walnuts and pomegranate. The lesson on Grilled Spanish Octopus will aim to “demystify the myth that it’s going to suck,” says Chef Paluska, “because everyone’s had crappy octopus.” Mr. Paluska preps his with a vadouvan curry glaze, roasted pistachios, creamy cauliflower, missions figs and cilantro, then cooks it for 10 hours over a super low heat of 180 degrees.
The class, which will feature several hands-on demos, including a lesson on octopus butchery, includes food, wine-paired tastings and a copy of the cookbook signed by the chef.
Tickets can be purchased through Nightout.com or by calling The Lark to reserve at 805.284.0370.
Find out more at thelark.com.
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