What I enjoy most about the holidays is getting together with friends. I love the festive atmosphere of everyone chatting and snacking away, but if you are hosting the party, it can get a little stressful. I recently went to The Cook’s Warehouse at Merchant’s Walk shopping center in Marietta where Healthy Chef and Food Stylist Nancy Waldeck hosted an amazing hands on course called Food Styling for the Holidays.
Participants in the class were divided up into four teams and each given items to prepare from the full menu. Team members took turns grinding, slicing and dicing depending on the recipe being prepared. My team made a fabulous fresh guacamole. Nancy gave tips to transform the presentation of the guacamole instead of using a simple bowl.
Party attendees love single servings. We easily jazzed up our team’s shot glasses filled with guacamole with skinny cucumber sticks and sliced cherry tomato skewers. Using different shaped serving platters with variable heights adds pizzazz to the presentation. Just look how cute these shooters of Chilled Tomato Soup with Shrimp skewers are!
Our group also learned the contents of a food stylist’s on the go tool kit. I definitely made a mental note to buy some brown parchment paper. It photographs much better than the stark white version. A few other items that would be fun to start my own tool kit would be some pinking shears (for cutting cute edges of paper or fabric), squeeze bottles, a melon baller, and long tweezers for random item placement. Nancy suggests using products out of their normal use for more creative serving ideas. I loved the one team’s idea to serve their Red Pepper Jelly Pork Tenderloin Sliders in adorable red and white chevron cupcake liners. By the way…the sliders also tasted AMAZING!
One of my favorite dishes of the evening just happened to come from my own team. We made Spanish Paprika Chicken Skewers with Romanesco Sauce. I am not a huge fan of peppers in any shape or form, but I loved the Romanesco sauce, and one of the primary ingredients in roasted peppers. I am usually at a loss for garnishes in my photos since I am still learning, but Nancy’s advise to garnish with ingredients in the recipe was eye opening. The thin sliced lemons on the chicken skewers are perfect and add a pop of color and freshness to the presentation.
We all had an amazing time with the crew at The Cook’s Warehouse, and I know I will be back to attend future classes. Merchant’s Walk has something to offer for everyone from the shopping fashionista to the fabulous foodie. Be sure to stop by this holiday season so you don’t miss out!
What is your favorite place to visit at Merchant’s Walk?