By Lorna Luniewski ~ The LakeHouse, a Bay Shore staple known for its wonderful food and impeccable service, has added something new to its menu, cooking demonstrations with Chef Max. The first event was held on Jan. 14, at 7 p.m., and I was lucky enough to attend along with 16 other guests.
An intimate dining area was set up with two tables, some of the food items needed to create our dish, the complete recipe on a printed sheet, and Prosecco chilling in ice buckets. On the menu was Mustard Crusted Scottish Salmon with French Lentils, Celery Root Puree and Pinot Noir Butter. Sounds ambitious, right? Well I can only speak for myself, a competent cook at best, but Chef Max explained each step and answered each question thoroughly.
After being shown the beautiful cuts of farm raised, organic salmon, Max explained how to cut it (down the center first, then across to the desired size), and we were then each given our portion to prepare. After donning gloves, we added Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, Dijon mustard on the presentation side (the one without the bloodline), and ground breadcrumbs. The plates were then taken to the kitchen where the salmon we prepared was cooked for our dinner after the demo.
Max then moved on to the side dishes, which he prepared in front of us. On the table we could see and touch the celery root, lentils and leeks. While he explained how to cook each side, hors d’oeuvres were served, Tuna Tartare and Mushroom Risotto, and the Prosecco flowed freely. Samples of each side dish were passed around for us to taste, each more delectable than the last. Who knew that celery root (the actual part that grows underground) could taste so good?
Following the demonstration, everyone moved to the dining room for the three-course dinner, paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. First came the Organic Farm Green Salad (Honeycrisp Apple, Toasted Hazelnut, Walnut-Goat Cheese Crouton), then the salmon dish we had a hand in preparing, followed by dessert (a mini brownie and mini cheesecake) and coffee. And while this is not a review of the food, it must be said that everything was superb.
There were couples and friends in attendance, including the three lovely ladies I sat with who were there to do something different. Kits from the demonstration are available for purchase ($20) with some of the items needed to prepare this dish at home, and as previously mentioned, a copy of the complete recipe is yours to keep.
The event was very informative (when a recipe calls for butter, unsalted is implied as chefs like to salt their food themselves; burgundy is the preferred cooking wine here) and Chef Max also served up some humor during the presentation. Some fun facts gleaned from The LakeHouse Facebook page include that Max Manthos is a Star Wars enthusiast, is a local boy who graduated from Bay Shore Shore High School, but has spent many years living in Hawaii. Weekly cooking tips from Chef Max can be found on Instagram by following The LakeHouse IGTV feed. The cost of the event is $125 per guest, plus tax and gratuity, and includes the class, dinner, glass of sparkling wine, glass of paired still wine, recipe, note cards and pen. The next live demonstration is scheduled to take place on Monday, February 18, 2019. Braised short ribs will be the entrée. For information, call 631-666-0995 or visit www.thelakehouserest.com.
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