A hands-on cooking class culminating in a dinner served with wine and beer.
Welcome to Castroville, CA: the heart of artichoke country in the United States. We are going to cook them up five ways to Sunday, from the simple to the most high-falutin’ French classic. Come devour this delicious thistle with us at 18 Reasons, while paying homage to that first brave soul who fought their way through thorns, spikes, and armored skin to become the first to enjoy an artichoke. As a bonus, this is a vegetable with two seasons (at least the field of plants in Chef Mike’s yard!) so you can enjoy a second season come the Fall and enjoy these recipes twice.
Steamed Whole Artichoke with Butter or Mayonnaise
Grilled 3-Cheese Sandwich with Artichokes and Pancetta
Raw Artichoke, Mushroom and Parmigiano Reggiano Salad
Deep Fried Baby Artichokes with Green Goddess Dressing
Salade Bretonne: half a turned artichoke stuffed with white beans, mussels, clams, and prawns with saffron vinaigrette
Born in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, Mike Weller grew up in suburbs of San Jose, where he discovered cooking as his first profession and lifetime passion. After wandering through typical teenage jobs at pizza joints and ice cream parlors, Mike’s first “restaurant” job was with Sambo’s Coffee Shops, slinging hash and cooking eggs for the bar rush and Sunday breakfast crowds. He moved on to help open several restaurants, attend the California Culinary Academy, and study under European chefs with Michelin backgrounds. Later, Mike served as an executive chef for catering companies, wineries and country clubs. When his son was born, Mike transitioned his career into teaching, returning to the CCA where he eventually became the Executive Chef and Director of Academics. Having taught for Le Cordon Bleu North America in both online and brick and mortar schools, Mike is thrilled to return to teaching in a neighborhood-based community. When he is not teaching he tends to his backyard garden, helps his wife to can and preserve food, and loves to cook for his friends and family.
(Photo courtesy of Pexels)