First, I have a tiny crush on pastry chef Joseph Allford. How could I not? The former Peterson's pastry chef prepared three yummy dishes: blackberry fool, peach cobbler and blueberry jam. His ingredients were fresh from the farmers' market, the finished desserts were outstanding, and his commentary was fascinating.
The key: Allford went beyond recipe demonstration, sharing useful information about the ingredients and preparation methods. We discussed why vanilla beans are so expensive, learned how to whip cream without getting tired, examined the difference between factory and farm-fresh eggs, and even learned how to use different types of flour and sugar. I've never taken so many notes in a class.
Here's another confession: I have been hard on the cooking classes at Frasier's, but it seems they have potential after all. I might still argue that they should be called demonstrations, because there's no opportunity for hands-on learning. On the other hand, I learned quite a bit, so it's probably okay to call it a class.
Final confession: This review may be biased by the leftover peach cobbler I'm devouring right now. Wow, this stuff is yummy. Now, whether I can make it myself is another story ...